Sabbath For Jews Only?
Isn’t the Sabbath for the Jews only, and didn’t God introduce the Sabbath to the Jews for the first time in Exodus 16?
It is not correct that the Sabbath is mentioned for the first time in Exodus 16, or that God introduced the Sabbath to the people at that time. The Sabbath is mentioned in the very second chapter of the Bible, where God set it aside as HOLY, to be USED by man for a HOLY purpose.
God created the Sabbath at the time when He created man. We read in Genesis 2:2, “He RESTED on the seventh day from all His work…Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work.” The word for “rested,” in the Hebrew, is “shabath,” and it means, according to Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, “to cease, rest, keep Sabbath.” God created the Sabbath at the time of the creation of man, by RESTING or ceasing from His work, and He “sanctified” that day, that is, He “set it aside for a holy purpose.”
Later, we read, in Exodus 20:11 that God had “rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the SABBATH day and hallowed it.”
Also, we read that God made the Sabbath for MAN — not only for the Jews or the Israelites (Mark 2:27).
The reason that God had to re-introduce the Sabbath to the people in Exodus 16, is that they had come out of slavery in Egypt, where they had FORGOTTEN to keep the Sabbath. They were under hard bondage and forced to work every day, and they were obviously not allowed to keep the Sabbath. So, in time, they got used to not keeping it. Note what God said to Moses, after they had, for the first time, gone out on the Sabbath to gather manna: “HOW LONG do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath…” (Exodus 16:28-29). The people had not kept God’s Sabbath for a very LONG time — that’s why God is asking, “HOW LONG do you refuse” to keep it holy?