Genesis 2:1-3, Yom Shabbat: Out With the Old, In With the New
[This is the last in a series about Creation week, specifically, how each day corresponds to the progress men and women make as they exercise their salvations, showing that the fruitfulness of the physical earth is God’s foreshadowing of spiritual success.]
On Yom Echad – the First Day – I separated God’s Word from “darkness”, which is everything that attempts to overcome the truth.
On Yom Sheni – the Second Day – I learned that I have excesses like the earth had excess water. God not only “circumcises” my excess but teaches me how to rely on “Heaven.”
On Yom Shlishi – the Third Day – I accepted that Israel (the Kingdom of God)- differs from “the nations”. In Israel, I discover faith produces good works of fruitfulness.
On Yom Revi’i – the Fourth Day– I learned that the temporary lights of Torah are the key to experiencing God on his time, and preparing me for more difficult days to come.
On Yom Chamishi- the Fifth Day– I brought the message of Good News to the nations, and sought that which is lost.
On Yom Shishi Part 1-the Sixth Day– I resigned myself to oversee the Kingdom in the twilight of my life, because I have lived it, and seen everything.
On Yom Shishi Part 2-I am resurrected to be a part of Messiah Yeshua’s kingdom when the government will be upon His shoulder.
Yom Shebebee – The Great Enduring Sabbath
The heavens, the earth, and all their vast array were finished. 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. God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work of creation which he had done. (Genesis 2:1-3)
At the literal level, this clearly says that God “rested”. But does it make sense at the literal level? Does God actually “rest” like I would relax in a hammock? Yeshua didn’t think so:
“Yeshua answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.”” (John 5:17) In context, Yeshua said this on Yom Shabbat (The Sabbath Day), when challenged by religious fanatics who thought that all things – including the healing of a blind man – should cease on Yom Shabbat. This tradition was eventually recorded in the Talmud, as it instructs to say to a sick person: “”It is Sabbath; we dare not lament: healing will soon come; celebrate your Sabbath in peace” (Shabbat 12a).”” The Jews also believed that God Himself ceased from working on the Sabbath, “evidenced” by His cessation of providing manna on the seventh day (Mekilta 104 a,b). In other words, Yeshua demonstrated the foolishness of thinking God does nothing on Yom Shabbat. In fact, Yeshua proved that God never ceases to work for man, if not especially on Yom Shabbat (“Shouldn’t this woman be healed on the Sabbath?” – Luke 13:16). This was the reason 75% of Yeshua’s miracles occurred on Yom Shabbat; it was and is a day set-apart for men.
So in returning to the text of Genesis, does it literally say “God rested”? Yes, the word is “wayish’bot (And He rested)”. However, it says He rested… from all His work which He HAD done. This “work” is creation; He had accomplished our earth and interstellar neighborhood in six days (though He could be celebrating the finishing of the whole Universe – who knows?). By the time He “rested”, God had fixed and forgotten everything that was bad from the beginning of the week (when “the earth was tohu v’bohu”), and remembered everything “good” (‘God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good’).
God passed from acts of creation to preservation (ref. 2 Peter 3:7). His next “work”, as Yeshua has shown, was to preside and guide over men. Some He would judge for honor, and others He would judge for shame. But He utterly completed the first work (creation), before passing to the second (judgment).
Therefore, God rested not of necessity, but for example. He exemplified a day to be appreciated by all mankind. He “blessed” it (again using the mysterious ‘Alef-Tav’) and set it apart for men, as Yeshua said: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27).” By setting the Seventh Day apart, He promised men a day He would visit mankind. By sanctifying it after a finished work, God demonstrates the former things (the heavens) are complete; He is focused on new things (judging men for honor or shame).
The Coming Great Shabbat
When we look at Yom Shabbat prophetically, we see a continuation of the prophetic patterns of the Sixth Day, which underscores a man’s future Resurrection in the Kingdom of God. I judge this period will endure one thousand years (see Revelation 20:4-6). But following this period – what then? Is there a “Shabbat” marking the end of one thing and the beginning a new thing?
“I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works… They were judged, each one according to his works.” (Revelation 20:12-14)
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
One day, God will resign judging the works of men. Just as in the Beginning – when God rested from His works of creation, God will finish presiding over the works of men, because works of men will come to an end. A man’s works lead to pain, mourning, and death, but in the “Seventh Day” there will be an end to all judgment, and a new beginning of life, joy, and peace. In that day, men and women will forget how to cry, because everything before a Sabbath worthy of remembrance is remembered, but everything useless will be forgotten.
With this pattern in mind, we have an example of how to live this life week-to-week. If our week begins with something useless, let’s fix it by the Sabbath that we may rest when all things are good. Let us then forget the unprofitable things, and begin anew. This has been the order of things since the beginning of mankind, and shall be that way until time ceases to be. May our lives reflect this wonderful truth!