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The Sabbath Blog

Uniting God’s Family

Uniting God’s Family
  • North Korea’s regime has kept Korean relatives divided for nearly 70 years
  • Government-sanctioned reunions allow families separated for decades to connect
  • Sabbath is God’s sign of His eternal promise for the reunification of His creation

  • It has been nearly seventy years since war divided Korea into two nations. Subsequent government policies, especially those of the communist regime in the north, have kept families separated ever since.

    North Korea’s isolationism has kept many South Koreans in constant suspense as they wonder what has become of their loved ones. But recently, about ninety South Koreans were able to meet with long-lost family members at a tearful reunion near the border. Over the past twenty years, several rounds of such bittersweet reunions have been organized, with about 23,000 South Koreans—of the 700,000 who have applied—able to finally meet with their relatives.

    Tragically, since these reunions first began, more than half of the South Koreans who applied to see their relatives in the north have died without the satisfaction of reconnecting with their loved ones. And time is running out on thousands more, with many in their 80s and 90s still hoping for a reunion.

    Political analysts say that North Korea is using these reunions principally as a bargaining tool, but they still give its isolated citizens a glimpse of the outside world, a view the regime would prefer its people not see. North Koreans chosen to meet their relatives are only those who express loyalty to the regime, which selfishly oppresses its people for the sake of power.

    Of course, such selfishness has caused untold suffering in our world, but it wasn’t always so.

    In the beginning, God created a perfect world. He designed people to engage in loving, mutually beneficial relationships. A significant part of God’s plan for sustaining happy relationships was the seventh-day Sabbath, which He introduced at the end of the Creation week—a time when families could come together with one another in worship and praise to God.

    Unfortunately, the perfect world was destroyed by Adam and Eve’s selfishness—with their sin creating a deep gulf in the relationship between God and humanity. But even before the crisis on earth began, God had a plan for reunification. He promised to send His Son to bridge the chasm caused by sin. In the interim, the Father outlined key principles of His government in the Ten Commandments, at the center of which is the seventh-day Sabbath.

    Throughout the Old Testament, God is seen pointing His people back to the Sabbath and His Commandments as a sign of those who faithfully follow Him. Of Abraham, the Lord said, “I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him” (Genesis 18:19). To later generations, He said, “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you” (Exodus 31:13).

    For hundreds of years, God’s prophets repeatedly gave the invitation to “hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God” (Ezekiel 20:20). This weekly time provides God’s people the opportunity to spend time with their Creator and build the eternal relationship that He longs to have with each of us.

    The Sabbath was not only meant for Jews; the invitation was for everyone: “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants—everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer…. For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:6, 7).

    Furthermore, “ ‘They shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,’ says the LORD, ‘as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘So shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,’ says the LORD” (Isaiah 66:20–23).

    The Scriptures point to a time when people from all nations will come to a knowledge of God’s truth and will join in sharing the truth of the Creator’s great plan for an end to sin and an everlasting reunion in heaven.

    Don’t you want to be a part of sharing His final invitation? Click here to learn more about the solid foundation of the Sabbath in all of Scripture by watching this video presentation with Pastor Doug Batchelor.