Why did God rest on the seventh day of creation? Was He tired?
[Genesis 2:1-3] 2 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested[a] from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.
A review of the broader context of scripture reveals that God tells man to set apart the seventh day as holy… as a day to rest and to focus on God. Scripture also tells us that this rest is for man’s benefit, not for God’s.
[Exodus 20:9] 8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
[Leviticus 23:3] 3 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the Lord’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live.
[Exodus 34:21] 21 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.
[Luke 4:16] 16 When [Jesus] came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.
[Matthew 12:9-12] 9 Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, 10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)
11 And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. 12 And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.”
[Mark 2:27] 27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.
There is much more that can be shared from scripture regarding the Sabbath, but here are a few points to consider as a start:
- God rested on the seventh day following creation.
- God observed in Sabbath in the person of Jesus Christ during His ministry on earth.
- God commands us to honor the Sabbath.
- Sabbath was made as a help for man, not for God.
- Sabbath was made as a time for rest and for focusing on God.
- We should prepare in advance while we work for six days to be ready to honor Sabbath.
- Sabbath should be honored even during busy times, like harvest. Work is not an excuse to ignore Sabbath.
- We are permitted to do good works on Sabbath. Jesus demonstrated personally by healing on the Sabbath.
Since I have started observing Sabbath I have genuinely found a slice of peace in one day of every seven. I spend it focused on family and God and at times on doing good works such as acts of service in Jesus’ name. It is truly a blessing to follow God’s command to honor the Sabbath.
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