A thought on Sabbath
Okay, we’re going to do a little theology. Don’t switch off, because this is great!
You may or may not know, that Genesis 1 displays an incredible literary intent. It’s way more than just a hastily written chapter on creation. But every word, every phrase, every repetition is deliberate.
Inspired by God, the original Hebrew author, writes beautiful poetry to communicate truths. We get this in the English too.
There’s a rhythm: And God said, And God said, And God said. Let there be, let there be, let there be. And it was so. And it was so. And it was so. And God saw that it was good, And God saw that it was good, And God saw that it was good.
There’s a cohesion: day 1 corresponds to day 4; day 2 to day 5, and day 3 to day 6.
These literary styles and devices are conveying deep, deep truths – that there is an order, an intent, a design to creation. Far from being a haphazard accident, creation is wonderfully conceived and brought into existence by a pre-existent God. Everything in creation fits together, has a place, inter-connects. There is a harmony, an integrity, a rightness, a beauty, a rhythm, a perfection about creation.
Maybe you knew some of that.
But this is what I discovered this week.
Genesis 2:2-3…the first occurrence of the idea of Sabbath.
In the original Hebrew these verses comprise 3 sentences, each made up of 7 words. In Hebrew, the number 7 denotes perfection.
And what’s more…..the middle word in each of these three 7 word sentences is exactly the same.
Still not convinced about the importance of Sabbath? Still unsure what to think about it?
Why would the writer, inspired by God, go to such lengths to draw the attention of his original readers to it? There is something significant. Something important. Something he doesn’t want his readers to miss.
And I think it’s this…
God’s original intent is that the 7th day would represent His heartbeat for humanity. All of creation leads up to it…prepares the way for it. God finishes creating….people are the culmination of his handiwork…and he immediately gives them Sabbath to enjoy. You see, Sabbath represents God dwelling with His people….His people enjoying Him and His creation. Sabbath…relationship…is what it’s all about. A perfect God living in a perfect relationship with a perfect people in a perfect place.
And I wonder, if one of the benefits of us enjoying regular Sabbath rest, we are reminding ourselves that one day, because of Jesus, all things will be made new…all things will be restored. Perpetual Sabbath will be enjoyed once again. When we Sabbath, we rest in the God of creation and the God of recreation…we rest in who He is and what He has done in and through Jesus. We rest in His timescale…His purpose and His plan. When we Sabbath we realign ourselves with the God of the universe.