Genesis 2:1-3 – Blessed, Rested, and Sanctified

Genesis 2:1-3
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

The first chapter of Genesis provides a fitting backdrop for the institution of the Sabbath day. Here the scripture tells us that the containers were finished (heavens and the earth) and the inhabitants of the containers were finished (host of them). It is then that the Sabbath is created.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made;and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made

God “finished” God’s work or “ended” God’s work on the Sabbath. Here God created something very valuable on the Sabbath, God created rest. We cannot be forever judged by what we do. We cannot forever place ourselves on the treadmill of mindless acquisition of resources. No if God can end God’s work then certainly we can end ours.

And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it

God rested, blessed, and sanctified the Sabbath on that first Sabbath. No other day in the history of mankind has been identified as being rested, blessed, and sanctified. Sanctification means to set aside for holy use. God has sanctified that day for a purpose. That purpose is to create a sanctified people. God blessed that day for a purpose, to create a blessed people. And God rested on that day for a purpose, to create a people that understand and appropriate the benefits of rest.

This is key, what God does to the Sabbath, God wants to do to humanity. God wants to bless us. God wants to sanctify us, and God wants us to rest.

In addition, God wants us to follow God’s lead and be a vehicle for the blessing of the Sabbath to come to others. Thus we should bless humanity in our Sabbathkeeping. We should be a means of the sanctification of humanity in our Sabbathkeeping, and finally, we must provide means for significant and meaningful rest to humanity.

be­cause that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

Why was the Sabbath created? The Sabbath is God’s creation because God had created and God rested. We participate in and experience the Sabbath, but it is ultimately God’s Sabbath. The Sabbath is ours by gift, God has given it to us. The Sabbath was given to us by God who is the ultimate owner the one who created and rested.