“It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” – Exodus 31:17
Scripture reading: Exodus 31:12-17
Before God commanded Adam and Eve to extend the glorious presence of God over the whole earth, God blessed them for this task. When God blesses people for a certain task, this blessing is meant to make them fruitful for their task.
After God had created for six days, He rested on the seventh day. In addition, He blessed the seventh day and made it holy. If in Genesis 1, blessing people for their task means making them fruitful in fulfilling their task, then blessing a day in Genesis 2, would mean making this day fruitful for the fulfilling of its task. Thus, it should not surprise us that God made the seventh day holy, i.e. He set it apart and made it a special day for the fulfillment of the purpose for which He had blessed it.
From what we have seen so far, we can conclude that right from the beginning the seventh day was a reminder for Adam and Eve and their posterity of the goal of creation: to increasingly enter into the fullness of God’s Sabbath rest by extending the glorious presence of God throughout the whole earth through being people where heaven and earth meet. Accordingly, it should not surprise us that when God enters into a covenant with Israel, the seventh day officially becomes a sign of this goal of creation; a weekly reminder to enter into the fullness of God’s Sabbath rest as well as a promise that one day this fullness will descend from heaven on a new earth.
Suggestions for prayer
Read the second part of Answer 103 of the Heidelberg Catechism and pray this back to your heavenly Father.
Rev. Dick Moes is pastor emeritus of the Surrey Covenant Reformed Church in Surrey, BC. He and his wife Elsina have five children and 14 grandchildren.