The Sabbath As A Memorial of Creation

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The Psalmist declares, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Psalm 33:6). In a mere six days, the creative power of God changed what was without form and void to a beautiful planet sprawling with living creatures and verdant vegetation. Beginning with light on the first day, God spoke a life-sustaining world into existence, and it was good. He divided the waters of the atmosphere on the second day, created the seas and dry land on the third day, and covered the land with vegetation. On the fourth day the Creator brought into existence the sun, moon, and stars. On the fifth day, He fashioned the birds that filled the air and marine life that inhabited the seas. On the sixth day, God made the animals, and then He made man, the crowning act of creation. God made man in His own image, male and female God created them, and God saw everything He had created was indeed “very good.” (Genesis 1.)

On the seventh-day, God ended His work of creation and rested. After which, God blessed the seventh-day and sanctified it meaning He “set it aside,” which makes the Sabbath, the memorial of God’s creation. (Genesis 2: 1-3). Given this designation, this weekly 24-hour period is a time for us to reflect on nature, and the Creator of the universe. When I consider the magnificence of our Creator God, additional words from the Psalmist David come to mind,“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun” (Psalm 19:1-4).

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All of nature functions as a witness for God. When we observe the majesty of lofty mountains, we cannot help but be moved by the splendor and power of God. When we plumb the depths of the ocean, we cannot but marvel at God’s amazing grace and forgiveness, for He buries our sins in the depths of the sea! When in nature we see the grace with which an eagle rides invisible thermal columns of air and soars effortlessly to great heights, or see the elegant grace with which a twenty foot tall giraffe languidly walks and then starts running in a style which can truly be described as “poetry in motion,” our hearts cannot but confess that our Creator is an awesome God! Again we echo, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”

Because nature functions as a witness for God and His glory, no one can miss this unmistakable message from nature. Paul says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

God has ordained that beside work, life should include communion with the Creator, rest, and celebration of God’s marvelous creative works. That is why He declares, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your  stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).

Praise God for this endless injunction in the heart of the moral law as an everlasting sign and symbol of Creation! Praise God for the Creator! Praise God for Creation! Praise God for the memorial of Creation, the Sabbath.

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