God Blessed It
The great Jehovah had laid the foundations of the earth; he had dressed the whole world in the garb of beauty and had filled it with things useful to man; he had created all the wonders of the land and of the sea.
God, who could have completed His creative work in one day, chose rather to divide it in six days. This He did principally to lay the foundation for the weekly Sabbath, as is clearly intimated in Genesis 2:2, 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. 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.” And Exodus 20:9-11, “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.”
He rested, not as one weary, but as well pleased with the fruits of his wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of His glory. Did God enter into an endless rest, as many claim He did? Should we regard the Sabbath command as not relevant to our times, because it was not part of the other six days of creation? Does the absence of the words “the evening and the morning” in connection with the seventh day, as we read them in reference to the other six days make the seventh day an undefined time period? These and many other, are genuine and important questions.
All that needed to be created was created and completed. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31. It is clear that after the sixth day Jehovah created nothing. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” Genesis 2:1. “For he spake, and it was;” “he commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:6, 9. He “laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.” Psalm 104:5.
“And God rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Genesis 2:2. Had this been all that is there regarding the seventh day, i.e. that God rested, and then we would have reason to believe that His rest was endless. Thus it would not make sense for us to keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment as a literal day of rest or even regard it as a twenty-four hour period. “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.” Genesis 2:3. Two things stand out about this day: that it is the only day God blessed and the only day He sanctified. Though Moses did not use the “evening and morning” in reference to this particular day, He left us with no doubt that indeed it was part of the six days of creation and should be considered as a day with complete twelve hours making up the evening part and the other twelve hours, the morning part.
It is worth careful notice that it was after He rested that God blessed and sanctified the seventh day. For Moses in writing declares, “…because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3. Thus the day must have ended else it would not stand out as a day blessed and sanctified by Him. It was in Eden when God set apart the seventh day. For what or for who we may ask?
The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27. He gave it man as “a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God” “for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 20:20; 31:17.
Following the example of the Creator, man was to rest upon this sacred day, that as he should look upon the heavens and the earth, he might reflect upon God’s great work of creation; and that as he should behold the evidences of God’s wisdom and goodness, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker. Is it any wonder then than He calls us to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy?”
Its observance was to be an act of grateful acknowledgment, on the part of all who should dwell upon the earth, that God was their Creator and their rightful Sovereign; that they were the work of his hands and the subjects of his authority. Thus the institution was wholly commemorative, and given to all mankind. There was nothing in it shadowy or of restricted application to any people.
It is wholly inconceivable to render such a day as no longer applicable in our day and age, and to regard its claims as binding as far as to the times of Paul and not beyond. Much more, is the idea that it is not part of the six days of creation, when the record of History shows no change in the number of days of the week since creation. Seven days He made them, and seven days they still are to this very day.