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God’s Memorial


Examples of Memorials


What was the monument erected by Joshua declared to be?


“Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:7.


What were these stones to commemorate?


“He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘what do these stones mean?’ Tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground.” Verses 21,22. 


Note – These stones were to be a standing memorial, or reminder, of Israel’s coming dry-shod over the Jordan.


What was the Passover called?


This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord – a lasting ordinance.” Exodus 12:14.  


Note – This, the Passover, was a periodical memorial to be observed on the fourteenth day of the first month of each year, the day the Israelites were delivered from Egyptian bondage, and its celebration was to be, with the seven days’ feast of unleavened bread following and connected to it, in commemoration of that event. (See Exodus 13:3-9.)


God’s Creation and Memorial  


What has God commanded men to observe in memory of His work of creation?


Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son nor daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11.  


Of what was the memorial to be a sign?


“Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20. 


How long was the Sabbath to be a sign of the true God?


“It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.” Exodus 31:17.


Note – It is manifest that if the subject of the Sabbath was to remember God as the Creator, and the day had always been faithfully kept, there would not be a heathen or an idolater on the face of the earth.


Memorial of Deliverance and Redemption


What besides creation were the people of Israel to remember when they kept the Sabbath?


Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” Deuteronomy 5:15.   


Note – The recollection of their bondage and oppressed condition in Egypt was to be to the Israelites an additional incentive for keeping the Sabbath in the land of freedom. The Sabbath therefore, besides being a memorial of creation, was to be to them a memorial of their deliverance from bondage, and of the great power of God as manifested in this deliverance. And as Egypt stands as a symbol of the condition of everyone in the world under the slavery of sin, so the Sabbath is to be kept by every saved soul as a memorial of the deliverance from this slavery by the mighty power of God through Christ.


Of what else does God say He gave the Sabbath to His people to be a sign, or reminder?


“Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.” Ezekiel 20:12.


Note – Sanctification is a work of redemption – of making holy sinful or unholy beings. Like the work of creation itself, this requires creative power. (See Psalm 51:10; John 3:3,6; Ephesians 2:10.) And as the Sabbath is the appropriate sign, or memorial, of the creative power of God, so it is also of God’s re-creative power. This will be one reason for the saints’ keeping it throughout eternity. It will remind them not only of their creation and the creation of the universe but also of their redemption.


Through whom do we have sanctification?


“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become the wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30.


Note – Then, as the Sabbath is a sign, or memorial, that it is Jehovah who sanctifies us, and as Christ is the one through whom the work of sanctification is accomplished, the Sabbath is a sign, or memorial, that the believer is united with Christ. Through the Sabbath, therefore, God designed that the believer and Christ should be very closely linked together.


God’s Memorial in the Hereafter


How often will the redeemed congregate to worship the Lord?


“As the new heavens ands the new earth that I will make endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:22,23.


Note – The Sabbath, which is the memorial of God’s creative power, will never cease to exist. When the sinful state of things shall give way to the sinless new earth, the fact upon which the Sabbath institution is based will still remain; and those who shall be permitted to live in the new earth will still commemorate the creative power of God, while singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. (Revelation 15:3. See Revelation 22:1,2.)


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