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Beginnings in Genesis – Today is Sabbath

January 27, 2008

Genesis 2:1-3
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested [a] from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

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As I said earlier, the whole chapter is organised to allow for movement from heaven to earth. There is also a move from God to human beings. And the climax of the whole movement is Sabbath. Why is this so appropriate? Well, primarily because the Sabbath is the means that God creates whereby human beings can have fellowship with God. Not only has God created these human beings in the image of God and thus with the capacity for relationship with him, he also creates the means by which this relationship can happen. Sabbath.

I think it’s worth noticing that in 2:2,3 there is something missing. Unlike all the other mentioned days of the creation week there is no concluding formula, no ‘there was evening and there was morning the seventh day’.

Could it be that this ‘Seventh’ day hasn’t yet been concluded, that we are living in it still? I think so. We are living in the great cosmic Sabbath of God. The great ‘Day’ which has been set aside as the period during which it is possible to call on God and meet him.

The Psalmist writes:

Psalm 95:1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert,

and in the NT

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith….3 His work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” ..6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

Both OT and NT passages are set in the context of the creative activity of God and both mention ‘The Day’, during which it is possible to hear and respond.

It is only while we live on this earth that we can call on his name in faith and enter thereby into his rest. After that it is too late. This is the Sabbath of God when he is available to human beings in faith.

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From → Genesis

6 Comments
  1. asharedadventure permalink

    I love the idea that we’re living in ‘the great cosmic Sabbath of God’. That as Christians we don’t have to keep looking ahead, waiting for rest and fellowship with God only when we’ve died but that we are ‘walking with God’ now. It’s also important though to note the emphasis in Hebrews 4:3 that God has completed his part, now it’s up to us. God provided everything for us from environment and nutrition to relationships and the opportunity during our whole lives to draw close to him but we have to move and remain close to him. As mentioned in Hebrews hearing the gospel is not enough, neither is following scripture in a legalistic, law focused way. It’s a reminder for me to try harder and put my faith into ‘practice’ in everyday life.

  2. a good reminder Joanne…God has completed it, now it’s up to us. There are two partners in the game here. Thanks

  3. virtualmethodist permalink

    “The great cosmic Sabbath of God”… Fabulous. Your phrase?

  4. virtualmethodist permalink

    A pertinent quote from John Bell is
    “God is not a time keeper. He is a holiday maker.”

  5. None taken David!!

    So far as I’m aware…yes! Unless I subliminally ingested it from somewhere else conveniently forgotten.

  6. virtualmethodist permalink

    “None taken” what!?!?

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