Mercy and Not Sacrifice? #3

Sunday, September 8, 2013

“But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” (Matthew 12:7,8 KJV).

What did our Lord mean in today’s Scripture?

Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:8-11 explain that Israel’s Sabbath-day keeping was connected with the creation week. The writer of the book of Hebrews elaborates:

“[3] For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. [4] For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. [5] And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. [6] Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: [7] Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. [8] For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. [9] There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. [10] For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. [11] Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:3-11).

Quoting Psalm 95:7-11, which describes how most of Israel rebelled against JEHOVAH under Moses’s leadership and thus could not enter the Promised Land (the “rest,” God’s kingdom on earth), the writer of Hebrews cautions Israel during the (future) seven-year Tribulation not to repeat their forefathers’ mistakes, so they may enter Christ’s millennial kingdom.

Both Adam and Israel under Moses fell into sin, delaying God’s earthly kingdom connected with the Sabbath “rest.” Regarding today’s Scripture, Jesus the King, is now on earth, ready to bring in Israel’s kingdom if she would trust Him….