Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups
07/06/16 – 513 – The Creation Story
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 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.
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. NIV
I usually read several references before writing a devotion, just to get a good overall take on what I’m writing without ‘borrowing’ too much from any one source. Usually, I don’t have to. But today, I found some material in the Bible Exposition Commentary that was just too good not too share (although I’ll paraphrase).
The words “seventh day” that appear 3 times in verses 2 & 3 come from the Hebrew Shabbat, where we get our word Sabbath. It’s the only day where there is no mention of evening and morning, suggesting that it was never meant to end. Maybe it was just supposed to be an eternal day of R&R with us and God enjoying each other’s company in the garden!
Second, this is the only day that “God blessed”. In blessing it, He made it a blessing for us. Yet, how many of us treat it as a burden instead?
Third, He made it holy, which means set apart for His own purposes. Again, it should be the same for us. Yet, we seem to have either become legalistic about it or ignore that aspect completely.
In Jesus’ day, there was a long list of laws for the Sabbath, and He was accused several times (that we know of) of breaking them. When I was a child, we had a long list of rules for the Sabbath. As I grew older many of those relaxed in the church as we tried to accommodate this new culture with Sunday morning soccer practices and the like.
But the Bible is not legalistic. It simply sets these guidelines for the Sabbath. And by the way, we don’t know any more what day of the week this was, really. So it could have been Sunday, or Friday – Sat (as the Jews think). What matters is that we take a Sabbath.
Take one day a week, and set it apart for God’s purposes. Make it holy. Let Him bless it. How do I do that, you ask? Go to church (there are many services on days other than Sundays now). Pray. Study the Word. Do service for others. Work on relationships that need it. That should be enough to start with.
In fact, why not make that your prayer for today? Ask God what day he wants you to set aside for a Sabbath – a holy day. Let Him bless it, and use it for Him and only Him. See what happens.