ESV - 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
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In His fore knowledge, God knew that by the time of this present generation, there would be Darwinism, the belief that the material universe started 'accidentally'. And the people would have to make a choice whether to accept the Creation account or the Evolution fable. Those who accepted the Creation account would demonstrate that by commemorating, every week, the Creation story through seventh-day Sabbath observance. They would acknowledge YHWH as their God, and that they were His. See Ezekiel 20:20 NIV Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. THEN you will know that I am YHWH your God.” See also Exodus 20:8, 11 NIV “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. For in six days YHWH made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. ....... 11. Therefore YHWH blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Seventh day Sabbath observance is integral to true worship. God has tied it to the new covenant. Isaiah 56:6-7 NIV And foreigners who bind themselves to YHWH to minister to him, to love the name of YHWH , and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Bless.
God rested on the seventh day of creation, but that does not mean that God was necessarily tired or exhausted. Just like our birthday, the birthday of the world was the seventh day. And just like our birthday is a special day, God blessed and sanctified the Sabbath day and made it a special day (Gen. 2:3). In Mark 2:27 it says that "the Sabbath was made for man." so obviously God must have had also created the Sabbath day for us during that week of creation.
I believe in the Seventh-day Sabbath and have experienced the blessings of keeping it. By observance of this day in the method given in Exodus 20, I am refreshed and feel a closer relationship with God. But given the opinion of others, it seems the benefits of the Sabbath are exclusive to Judaism. Why would God Himself rest? Is God a Jew? Was Adam a Jew? Does God tire after speaking into existence our intricate creation? God does not tire. He refreshes, just as the Sabbath refreshes. He is not a Jew, nor was Adam, yet good practice of worship was given through His own practice to rest on the seventh day. The rest commandment was given long before Moses delivered God's Law to the children of Israel. Even before sin, the fact God rested emphasizes He desired the worship to commemorate His creation. Even God by illustration gave respect to this day and thus sealed it as a sign between his faithful and His presence. God, through the life of Jesus, gives us a faithful guideline on how one should live. Even in Eden, at the end of His magnificent creation, He showed us how to live and by example, just as Jesus Christ, He followed the example He set for us. Simply put, if God rested, perhaps I should heed His example.
In the same manner that Jesus did NOT need to be baptized, but chose to be baptized to set an example for His followers, God set aside the 7th day as an example for mankind. He knew what was coming. He knew man would long for materialism in his sinful state...He knew that man would run himself ragged in his sinful state...He knew that man would push himself to the limits when he had the chance in his sinful state. And HE KNEW BEST...that man needed REST! He set the example...then gave us the law regarding the Sabbath. There's not nothing we've done, do or will do that He hasn't experienced and given us a way to handle it...by His Word... by His example. That's called LOVE.
Although most Bible versions translate the Hebrew word Shavat as "rested" according with Jewish scholars, a more accurate translation of Shavat is "abstained," i.e., "God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because He abstained from all His work which God created to make" (Gen. 2:3). Nachmanides, a 12th century Jewish Rabbi, interpreted Genesis 2:2 to mean that “God ceased to perform all His creative work." God worked six days creating the world and on the seventh He ceased working (shavat mi-kol melaʾkhto), blessed the day, and declared it holy. Obviously God didn’t need the rest because He was tired. God rested from creation in order to teach us that as human beings created in His image, we too need to make time for rest and purposely abstain from our worldly concerns and devote ourselves to higher pursuits. In our modern days taking time to rest might not be as significant as in Bible times when leisure time was reserved only for the ruling class or the very wealthy. The laboring class was busy seven day a week, sunlight to sundown. The very idea of resting 24-hours each week being unimaginable. The day, the month and the year, are all found in the heavens; however, there is no historic record or astronomical reason for the seven-day weekly cycle. God's creation and the Bible record of His creation is the only reason. Thus we are commanded to remember the creation through the Sabbath-day (Exodus 20:8-11), but remembering means much more than merely not forgetting to observe Sabbath, it also means to remember the significance of Sabbath, a commemoration of creation (Hebrews 4:10). Observing the Sabbath-day is not about being slaves to a Bible commandment, but about freedom. If during the rest of the week we are slaves to our jobs and our need to provide for ourselves; on Sabbath, we are truly freed from these concerns (Ezekiel 20:12).
I believe the whole purpose of creation was to produce adam, both male and female (Gen 1:26-28) to have dominion over the earth. When this was accomplished there was no need for God to go any further, so He stopped creating at that time. We don't know why he used six days for the creative process, but since the nothing further was needed, God stopped creating and rested, so to speak, on the seventh day.
I contend that God allotted 7 days for Creation, and ended up finishing a day early because He is THAT good at whatever HE does, so with the project all done, He took a well deserved day off.
There is an old saying "CHANGE OF WORK IS REST" God the Father created the entire universe out of nothing (Gen 1::1) through God the Son or God the Word (John.1::3) and God the Holy Spirit was hovering (Gen 1::2) over the Work of Creation. After completing the Work of Creation, the Holy Trinity did CHANGE the completed WORK of Creation to some other WORK of the Holy Trinity which is not and need not be mentioned in the Holy Bible. Our Lord Jesus Christ who is God the Son also known as God the Word has revealed to us that His Father is always busy with His Work and He Himself is also always busy with His Godly Work (John 5::17)
Let's go to Genesis 2:1 "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." Why did God rest? Not because He was tired, but rather because He was finished with His perfect and sinless creation. No sin marred God's perfect creation. His rest would have been eternal if Adam and Eve had not sinned. The fall, however, ruined God's rest. God is no longer resting from His sinless and perfect creation because it was ruined by the fall of mankind. We can see this in the Ten Commandments. In the original tablets it reads as follows: Ex 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work...(why?) 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day...." The reason one was to rest was because God rested from His perfect and sinless creation, but God's creation had been ruined by the fall. So Moses, when God restored the broken tablets, changed the reason one was to rest: Deut 5:12 Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work...(why?) 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. " So God, through Moses, changed the reason the Sabbath was to be kept. Now it stood for a perfect redemption from Egyptian bondage. Again, that's because God's rest had been interrupted by the fall and therefore the Sabbath of creation had become meaningless.
God, in his great wisdom understood from the beginning that Man would need a way to remember our creator, and to keep track of time. So he created a memorial for us to remember him and celebrate his finished work, and he instituted a 7 day cycle of the week. God outlined for man the pattern of how we can accurately tell time and keep our calendars. Later, upon establishing the Nation of Israel and giving them their Laws he established in their Laws a day of rest so that they could celebrate their God and Creator nationally, Virtually every society has adapted a 7 day Calendar, Because it works and is accurate. There is much more that can be said about Solar and Lunar Calendars, and the different types of calendars that the Hebrews used, typically it historically was a Solar Calendar until about 200 bce when they switched it to a lunar Calandar (Except for the Essenes up in the area of Qumram who continued to use a Solar Calendar) For more info on this very interesting topic check out Ken Johnsons excellent work on the subject.
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