Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Genesis 2:1-4 - Why does God rest on the seventh day?

SCRIPTURE – Genesis 2:1-4
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,


God finished his work of creation by resting on the seventh day.
Why does God rest on the seventh day?
It is not because He needs the rest but because He knows we will need it.

He becomes our Father and we become His children.
Remember our Lord said “the Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath”.
God blessed and made holy the seventh day.

You have to understand God’s purpose for resting.
By sanctifying or making holy, God wants us to set the seventh day apart from the other days.
God uses the seventh day to reveal to Man his ultimate destiny. Man was made on the sixth day along with all the beasts. We work like all of the animals/beasts, but unlike the rest of the animals we have been created with the capacity that is divine. We are able to pray to God, we are able to love God as children love their father.
The sixth day is not enough for us. God knows that we are not made for work but for worship. We are not made to labour or for kingly dominion. We are not made for the earth but for heaven.

The Sabbath is the seventh day and the Hebrew word for “seven” is sheba. Yet sheba stands for not only for a number. Sheba is also a verb, and it means to swear a covenant oath – literally, to “seven oneself”. (see for example Abrahams covenant oath in Gen 21:27-32) The number seven is the unmistakable sign of a covenant. With the seventh day, God was making a covenant with mankind. God took Adam and Eve into His family. God made them His children.

With this shift in relationship comes a corresponding shift in language. In the first chapters of Genesis, we read of God as “Elohim”, a formal name, usually translated into English as “God”. Elohim evokes the divine power in the act of creation. In the second chapter, however – immediately in the wake of the seventh day – God appears as “Yahweh Elohim”, which is usually translated into English as “the Lord God”. “Yahweh” –which only appears after the seventh day, is a personal name, a family name.

God is not just our creator but our Father.

Source: Scott Hahn
Professor of Scripture and Theology at Franciscan University
Book and/or Audio Interview on: First Comes Love

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