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THE SABBATH AND MARRIAGE RELATION

The Sabbath is a sign, symbol or token representing something of far greater importance and value than just being merely a special day of the week.

This is in no wise meant to belittle the sacredness of the Sabbath day or downplay its obligatory observance, but to draw attention to what it really stands for, because if that is lost sight of, then the mere observance of the day becomes a meaningless ritual. If what the sign represents is ignored, then the sign itself ceases to be of any significant value to a person, clinging to it merely to fulfill the commands of a lawgiver; consequently reducing it to simply a dead form of practice.

The source imparts life and value to the sign, the reason adds meaning to its observance and without a living connection with the source, we render the sign useless.

To illustrate this point:
The wedding ring is a sign or symbol of the marriage vows exchanged between the bride and her groom. It is a sign of their love, commitment and loyalty to each other as long as they live. The love covenant means to live together in a loving relationship bearing each other’s burdens, faults, weaknesses, shortcomings, happiness, sorrows etc In a nutshell it is a sign of a marriage relationship between the husband and his wife based on love.

The ministers pray over the ring during the wedding ceremony not because it has any capacity to hold any blessings, or that prayer is going to impart an aura of holiness to the ring, making it a sacred object. No, not at all, but when prayer is offered, it is offered for the marriage commitment and the love relationship for which the ring is a representation or a sign of.
A wedding ring is a universally accepted sign of the marriage commitment.If we see a man or woman with a typical wedding band adorning their ring finger, we understand that the man or woman is married. It is not necessary to have witnessed or to have been part of the ceremony to confirm this, but the ring says it all

The Sabbath is a sign of a love relationship between us and our creator, our beloved groom Jesus Christ.

“Christ honored the marriage relation by making it also a symbol of the union between Him and His redeemed ones. He Himself is the Bridegroom; the bride is the church, of which, as His chosen one, He says, ‘Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.’” AH 26.2

But think about it, if the love in the relationship has disappeared. If the husband or wife is being unfaithful. There are misunderstandings, bitterness, hatred, deep resentments towards each other. Does the wedding ring still hold any significance or is merely reduced to an object of display, to present a reality which no longer exists or even worse than that; a reality which never existed at all.

As the Jews departed from God, and failed to make the righteousness of Christ their own by faith, the Sabbath lost its significance to them.” DA 283.4

The Sabbath is Holy because the source of the Sabbath rest is Holy. The day itself is a 24 hour period just like any other day of the week but what makes it special is that the 7th day has been specifically chosen by God himself as a sign to represent two profound truths.

1. That the great I AM, Jehovah, the Lord God our Creator is our Heavenly Father and we are His children. (A Spiritual Father and Son Relationship) “All who keep the seventh day signify by this act that they are worshipers of Jehovah.” PP 307

2. That His Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and loving Saviour is our groom and we are his bride. We are sanctified and made holy by this intimate spiritual relationship with our Saviour. The Bible says “ Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen 2:24 Even so we have the privilege of abiding in Christ and thereby being one in spirit. ( A Spiritual Husband and Wife relationship)
This is what the Sabbath stands for.

The marriage covenant is an expression of the most intimate relationship between a man and a woman as it is the only relationship involving emotional, mental and physical intimacy like no other relationships.
Similarly the Sabbath covenant is a symbol of a very close relationship with God which is not only on a mental and emotional level but is an expression of the deepest spiritual intimacy that can exist between the Creator and His Creation.

“But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ.” DA 283.3

Brethren, Do we have a living connection with our Creator? Do we share a love relationship with Him? Are our minds constantly occupied with Him? Is our heart entwined with His? Have we made the righteousness of Christ our own through faith or are we merely bearing the sign of the Sabbath as an outward symbol of adornment and denying the inner reality of the love and power of a living God, “ Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:” 2 Timothy 3:5

Finally brethren let me leave you with this beautiful thought from the pen of inspiration on the relation between the Sabbath and the marriage covenant :-

“There were two institutions founded in Eden that were not lost in the Fall—the Sabbath and the marriage relation. These were carried by humanity beyond the gates of paradise. All who love and observe the Sabbath, and maintain the purity of the marriage institution, thereby prove themselves the friends of humanity and the friends of God.” —Signs of the Times, February 28, 1884. FH 356.6