“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.”
Day 7 is an important subject of Creation Week. This is the first time that God blesses and sanctifies a certain day, and it this case, the seventh, which we understand to be Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath). As we compare Scripture with Scripture we will come to understand why God set this day apart from the others.
God completed everything to do with Creation in six literal days. This cannot be made to fit with any theory of evolution, for according to evolutionists, all life structures are progressing and bettering themselves. Genesis confirms the completion of Creation by stating, “God ended His work.” There is no more creating on a physical level, instead Christ is conserving the universe until the final day of world history … “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17). When He created it, it was perfect first time … “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
The Sanctified Day
God rested from His work on the seventh day. This does not mean that God went to sleep or took a well-earned holiday, though Exodus 31:17 does informs us that on “the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” God sanctified the Sabbath day. The word ‘sanctified’ mean ‘to make holy,’ therefore it is to be considered as a holy day throughout future generations. Something that God sanctifies must be very important and hold a vital lesson for mankind. In fact, the whole of Exodus 31:17 reads, “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” The word ‘rested’ must be seen alongside ‘finished’ and ‘ended’, in other words, God was immensely happy with what He had done and declared the seventh day as a continuous celebration.
The fact that the Sabbath Day was a “sign” between God and His people means that it was a covenant. There is nowhere in Scripture that suggests that this covenant could be broken or compromised in any way. God expected His people to make it a permanent institution. To break the covenant is to break faith with God.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11).
Notice how Moses ties the Sabbath Day in with Creation. If God rested and commanded that we followed His example, then we should do it. This is not meant to be legalistic but as a benefit to man. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27), and we should listen to Him since He is “Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:28). So what benefit is it to us? The answer is found in looking back at Exodus 31:17 … “He rested, and was refreshed.” God wants us to be refreshed in our bodies as well as our spirits by resting one day in seven. Not only do we disobey God by not doing so, but we also damage our bodies and minds. We will be blessed if we adopt this as a weekly practice in our Christian lives, “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil” (Isaiah 56:2).
A Day For Spiritual Activity
The Jews visited their synagogues on the Sabbath Day to hear and understand God’s word. Both Jesus and Paul taught and preached on the Sabbath Day (Mark 6:2; Acts 16:13, 17:2). It is a day we can use to spend time with other believers in the presence of the Lord, (the Saturday / Sunday arguments cannot be entered into here, except to say that Sunday can be used as our day of rest and fellowship). “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Isaiah 58:13-14). Our day of rest should not be spent working, shopping or laying around watch TV!
One Day in Seven
There will always be those who cannot free themselves from work on the day of rest (Sunday), but it is still important that we have one day to refresh you body, mind and spirit. Nevertheless, we should all do what we can to keep Sunday free. Far too many doze off during Sunday Services because they don’t keep a day of rest. By the way, it’s the whole day, not just a couple of hours at church! The Sabbath was not ordained as a day of relaxation but as a day of refreshing.
God did not need to rest after six days creating the universe, but did so as a sign to follow for our own benefit. In reality we bless ourselves if we do and curse ourselves if we don’t take one day off from working. While there is so much more to be said concerning the significance of the Sabbath Day, we have at least come to understand how important it is for our weekly lives.