ITB: A Very Special Day
Resource: Elder Greg Schroder
Topic: The purpose of the seventh day
Whether you’re a mountain person or a beach person, have you experienced an awesome vacation or getaway where you were able to disconnect, decompress, and just relax? Wasn't it incredible, refreshing? Wasn't it hard to leave?
We are in week seven of our series called “In the Beginning” and it is an honor to get to be up here to share this message and just tie up this series all together. We really take it to heart and believe it makes a big difference understanding the creation story and what it is all about.
A few years ago we went to Sea World and they had dolphins and beluga whales and they were doing their shows, the orcas were around too. I was enjoying it all and halfway through I started bawling. These massive creatures were just so beautiful, nothing like I had ever seen before. I was touched and I’m thinking “what’s happening to me?” According to the National Geographic, there are 8.7 million different species of plants and animals. However only 1.2 million have been identified and described. As I grow my relationship with God, I notice myself having moments like that more often. Whether it’s the sunset, an orchid we got Keri years back. All these things are so beautiful; an amazing creation of the Lord and we get to enjoy it.
So as we dive in, let's continue 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) Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." - Genesis 2:1-3
What comes to your mind when you see the word “rest”? God had finished the work he had been doing so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. He blessed the seventh day and made it holy. So what comes to mind? For me, sleep, right? You know, some classic R&R. Kicking back and disconnecting. But do we seriously feel like God needed to sleep, that he needed to rest in a way that replenished himself? It’s really interesting to think that God rested, isn't it?
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. - Isaiah 40:28
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. - Psalms 121:2-4
So, God "rested," meaning He ceased creating. He wasn't tired, He was finished with His Creation. Done. Resting, which in Hebrew is Way-yis-bot: means to not do work, to cease from labor. This is profound because Creation isn't continuing, it's not continuing to evolve. It was created and it was finished. After learning that definition and reflecting on the above scriptures, I go back to Genesis 2:3.
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
This is the first time in the Bible the word "holy" is used - (Hebrew: Qaw-desh)
Sanctified (made sacred)
Consecrated (declared sacred)
Originates from Qo-desh, which means "dedicated"
The 7th Day is often misunderstood and I believe that, if we hold on to the truth of God's Word, it will change our lives! So don't miss this…God set apart this day to be a very special day, a dedicated memorial of His Creation!
He blessed His work, He sanctified it. He delighted in the satisfaction of His Creation.
…and so should we. Think about it…
Why are our weeks is 7's? Because this order of 7 days was established by God for Creation. So, each 7th day, we should recognize our Creator…a reminder that He created EVERYTHING in six days.
You may wonder HOW can we make this seventh day a dedicated, special, and sacred one like the Lord did? We should look back and revel and enjoy what has been created just like God did, the ultimate Creator did. Have you ever just been out in nature and enjoyed the creation of God? That isn’t just in nature, it’s in humanity too. We can see it in the blessings different people are in our lives, our inner circle and community. God can use things from butterflies to birds to rainbows to put us in awe of His majesty. Being in awe of His majesty, that’s how we can spend the day in a holy way.
Why? This keeps us in a worshipful posture, recognizing the awesomeness of our God!
So What About The Sabbath?
There is no mention of man on the 7th day. This is all about God's proclamation of the completion of Creation. So, what about the "Sabbath?" I mean, it's one of the Ten Commandments after all!
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 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. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. - Exodus 20:8-11
The very first word in this scripture is remember which in Hebrew is simply, remember. It’s that important. He’s telling us to remember the Sabbath day, remember what I accomplished in 6 days. Keep it holy, sacred, and set apart. Let that sink in… don’t forget the sabbath day and what we are supposed to do on it. What kind of change and impact would that make in our lives, our church, and in our community if we made a point to recognize the story and power of creation, God’s creation. It’s no wonder why Satan attacked that straight away.
"Sabbath" - (Hebrew: shaw-bath)
So remember the Sabbath day. Cease doing work. Rest. The Lord created this seventh day to be special. Therefore, we should treat it as a special day.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Take hold of this holy opportunity to say “God, you are so amazing, you are the Creator of everything. You made this all way back then, the very things that bring us joy today. An intentional design from an intelligent Creator. We are beautifully and wonderfully made, and with purpose. Let us dedicate our 7th days, the Sabbath, to the One who created it all.
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