THE SABBATH DAY
A great principle of revelation occurs for the first time in this chapter, but it will be found again and again in the Word of God. It is one of the fingerprints of inspiration. It is the law of recurrence or the law of recapitulation.
In other words, the Spirit of God, in giving the Word of God, has a practice of stating briefly a series of great facts and truths; then He will come back and take out of the series that which is all–important, and He will elucidate and enlarge upon that particular thing.
He is going to do this now in chapter 2 with the six days of creation which were given in chapter 1. This same principle is seen in the Book of Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy is the interpretation of the Law after forty years of experience with it in the wilderness.
Deuteronomy is not just a repetition of the Law, but rather an interpretation of it. Likewise, we are given not only one but four Gospels. Again and again, this procedure is followed throughout the Word of God.
In chapter 2 that which is lifted out of the six days of creation is that which pertains to man, and we begin with the Sabbath Day.
Genesis 2 concludes the description of God’s week of creation and then zooms in on the creation of man, his work, his perfect environment, and the creation of woman as his helper and wife.
It is our last glimpse of the world before it is ravaged by human sin and death with the disobedience of Adam and Eve in chapter 3. Where chapter 1 gave a full overview of creation, this chapter focuses more on a few specific events.
These are crucial to understanding the fall of man.
Genesis 2:1-3 KJV
 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Thus the heavens and the Earth were finished, and all the host of them.
This proclaims the fact that when the heavens and the Earth were completed, they were a brilliant array. The narrative of the six days‘ creation continued.
The course of the narrative is improperly broken by the division of the chapter. The heavens — referring to the firmament or atmosphere.
Host — referring to a multitude, a numerous array, usually connected in Scripture with heaven only, but here with the earth also, meaning all that they contain.
Were finished — means it was brought to completion.
No permanent change has ever since been made in the course of the world, no new species of animals have been formed, no law of nature repealed or added to.
They could have been finished in a moment as well as in six days, but the work of creation was gradual for the instruction of man, as well, perhaps, as of higher creatures (Job 38:7).
The first verse of Genesis 2 begins with the term “thus,” or, “so.” This reflects back to the content of the prior passage, so this verse summarizes all of chapter 1.
It is a statement of conclusion: God completed His work of creation. The heavens and the earth and every aspect of God’s great creation was finished.
Chapter and verse divisions were not part of the original Bible text; these words are meant to be read in a natural flow from those at the end of chapter 1. In Genesis 1:31, God declared all He had made as “very good.”
He accomplished exactly what He set out to do, and He was satisfied with the results. In this moment, nothing existed in creation which was bad, or corrupt, or out of sync with the plan and purpose of God.
The heavens and earth were vast, teeming with life, and they were exactly as God intended them to be.
What will change this ideal state is human sin, as described in chapter 3.
And on the seventh day God ended His Work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His Work which He had made.
Do not miss the importance of the Sabbath Day. What does it mean when it says that God rested from His work?
Does it mean that God got tired, sat down to rest on the seventh day, and said that he had had a big week—that He had worked more than forty hours, and that He wanted to rest?
If you look at it like that, it is perfect nonsense.
And he rested on the seventh day — Not to repose from exhaustion with labor (see Isaiah 40:28), but ceased from working, an example equivalent to a command that we also should cease from labor of every kind.
God rested from His work. When God finished His six days of work, He looked upon it and it was very good, and there was nothing else to do.
As the previous verse made clear, God completed His work of creation on the sixth day. The week was not over, however. The seventh day mattered to God and became the most important of all of the days of the week.
Having completed His work, God rested. This is the point where the pattern of chapter 1 is halted. On each of the six creation days, God did specific work and saw that it was good. On the seventh day, He did no work.
What does it mean for God to rest?
What does it mean to “rest” from working, for one with the power to create worlds out of nothing with just His command?
It’s hard to know, but the passage is clear that it was significant to God. Whether for practical, symbolic, or other purposes, we are meant to see this as a meaningful choice on the part of the Creator.
This day of rest will become known as the Sabbath, a central point of God’s Law and essential to Israel’s worship of Him. But even now, before sin enters into the world, before the Law exists, this day of rest is already meaningful to the Creator.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His Work which God created and made.
- The Sabbath, or seventh day, or Saturday, the last day of the week, is meant by God to be a Type of the Salvation Rest which one finds in Christ; that’s the reason it was a part of the Ten Commandments.
- The Book of Hebrews tells us that as believers we enter into “rest”—that is, we enter into His sabbath; we enter into His perfect redemption.
- He died on the cross almost two thousand years ago for you and I, and He offers us a redemption that we can enter into.
Blessed and sanctified the seventh day —A peculiar distinction put upon it above the other six days, and showing it was devoted to sacred purposes.
The institution of the Sabbath is as old as creation, giving rise to that weekly division of time which prevailed in the earliest ages.
It is a wise and beneficent law, affording that regular interval of rest which the physical nature of man and the animals employed in his service requires, and the neglect of which brings both to premature decay.
Moreover, it secures an appointed season for religious worship, and if it was necessary in a state of primeval innocence, how much more so now, when mankind has a strong tendency to forget God and His claims?
Thus Paul can write: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). I do not even have to lift my little finger in order to be saved—Jesus did it all.
The previous verse described God accomplishing His work of creation in six days. After this, on the seventh day, God rested from work. Here, in verse 3, God does two things: He blesses the seventh day, and He makes it holy.
What does it mean to bless a day?
In chapter 1, God’s blessing was tied to the fertility of His creation, to reproduction and populating the earth. This blessing of the seventh day is less clear.
In the future, under the Law, God would bless Israel for observing the seventh day rest. He would demonstrate His ability to provide for His people even when they sat out a day of work each week.
God also makes the seventh day holy or “set apart” from the other six days. Even before sin entered into the world, God intended from the very beginning for the seventh day to be a special day dedicated to rest. It’s the pattern He set for the world beginning in this verse.
I hope that you have really enjoyed this post,
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