“But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain” (Galatians 4:9-11).
The Jews observed two kinds of holy days. The weekly Sabbath of the Ten Commandments, which was given by God before sin (Gen. 2:1–3; Ex. 20:8–11) and the sabbath feast days, which were ceremonial holy days established after sin and spoken by Moses (Lev. 23; Num. 10:10; 28:11–15). In Galatians 4, Paul is referring to the yearly seven ceremonial sabbaths and the new moons of the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 23).
God’s Law has existed at least as long as sin has existed. The Bible gives the definition of sin: “For sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). “Where no law is, there is no transgression [or sin]” (Romans 4:15). The seventh-day Sabbath of God’s Moral Law was instituted 2,500 years before the Mosaic Law or the Jews.
The seventh-day Sabbath was written by God’s finger in stone (Exodus 31:18) and placed inside the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 40:20), while the Mosaic Law was written by Moses (2 Chronicles 35:12) and placed outside the Ark (Deuteronomy 31:26).
The Jewish converts to Christianity were asking the Galatians to observe the seven Jewish feasts but Paul was saying, these ceremonial feasts of the Mosaic Law foreshadowed, or pointed to, the cross and ended at the cross “having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace” (Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14-16).
The Mosaic Law was added “till the seed should come,” and that seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16, 19). The ritual and ceremony of the Mosaic Law pointed forward to Christ’s sacrifice. When He died, the Mosaic law came to an end. But the Ten Commandments of God’s Law “stand fast for ever and ever” (Luke 16:17).
In His service,
Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps .