THE SEVENTH DAY OF CREATION: THE SABBATH REIGN OF GOD OVER ALL


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 Gen 2:2

The seventh day of creation we are told that God rested from all His work.  The Sabbath is then modeled after this 7th day which becomes a central part of the old covenant Jewish law.  This for most Christians this seems odd.... Did God get tired from all His work?  Of course not.... The rest of God on the 7th day is rightly seen as the day when he had finished creating and on the 7th day He sat down to reign over His creation.  This rest is the Almighty ruling over His creation with no conflict. All of creation was in perfect submission to His sublime leadership.  He alone was exalted, He alone was glorified, He had nothing striving against His leadership; nothing resisting his perfect plan.  When we see the LORD actively sitting down on His cosmic throne on the seventh day to receive praise from creation instead of an apathetic deity that was nebulous about His own glory it clearly portrays Adam’s original occupation as overtly priestly in nature.  On that 7th day Adam was swept up into his creative design to gaze at his Maker, be fascinated, and explode with the praise due to His name.  That 7th day was surely a glorious day!

The call to keep the Sabbath was the call to let God again reign over the hearts of His people again.  It was the call for His people to stop striving against His leadership and let Him again rest over His creation.  The Sabbath was about worship; the Sabbath was about remembering that the LORD alone deserves to be exalted and is a weekly reminder that the true Sabbath was coming where the LORD would again come and restore all things and sit enthroned at perfect peace with His creation.  The Sabbath was about “returning” to the garden again; entering back into the priestly ministry of Adam to give glory, honor and praise to the LORD.  Because of this the Sabbath was/is completely eschatological in nature.  Its the call to enter into longing for the true Sabbath reign on the earth again.

2nd Temple Judaism as well as the first 300 years of church history hold to the Chiliasm which is the belief that the seven days of creation were typological of the entire plan of God.  For God finished His work in 6 days and then sat down to rule over his creation on the seventh day.  A day with the Lord is a thousand years so they saw that God would finish the plan of redemption in 6000 years and then usher in the 1000 year Messianic age in which He would again reign over His creation.  [http://www.answersinrevelation.org/on_millennial_week.pdf]
In the traditional view that Genesis 1 is an account of material origins, day seven is mystifying. It appears to be nothing more than an afterthought with theological concerns about Israelites observing the Sabbath – an appendix, a postscript, a tack on. In contrast, a reader from the ancient world, would know immediately what was going on and recognize the role of day seven. Without hesitation the ancient reader would conclude that this is a temple text and that day seven is the most important of the seven days... How could reactions be so different? The difference is the piece of information that everyone knew in the ancient world and to which most modern readers are totally oblivious: Deity rests in a temple, and only in a temple. This is what temples were built for. We might even say that this is what a temple is – a place for divine rest.  [John H. Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009), 71.]

.....On the sixth they said: "The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with excellency; the Lord is clothed, He had girded Himself with strength: (therefore) also the world is firmly established, that it cannot be moved." Because then He finished all His work He became exalted and placed Himself on the loftiest point of the world. On the seventh they said: "A psalm or song for the Sabbath day" [ibid. xcii. 1]. A day of entire rest, when there is no eating nor no drinking and no traffick, but the upright sit with their crowns on their heads and are nourished from the glory of the Shekhina, as it is written [Ex. xxiv. 11]: "And they saw (the glory of) God, and did eat and drink," just like the angels.] - ( NEW EDITION OF THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD Original Text, Edited, Corrected, Formulated and Translated into English BYMICHAEL L. RODKINSON SECTION JURISPRUDENCE (DAMAGES) TRACTS ABOTH (FATHERS OF THE SYNAGOGUE), WITH ABOTH OF R. NATHAN, DERECH ERETZ RABBA, AND ZUTA Revised by the Rev. Mr. GODFREY (Shajah) TAUBENHAUS Rabbi Cong. Beth Elohim, Brooklyn Volume I.(IX.)BOSTON; THE TALMUD SOCIETY PDF version 1918 p. 2668)
The following was the order of the Psalms in the daily service of the [2nd] Temple (Tamid, sect. vii, and Maimonides in Tamid). On the first day of the week they sang Psalm 24, ‘The earth is the Lord’s,’ etc., in commemoration of the first day of creation, when ‘God possessed the world, and ruled in it.’ On the second day they sang Psalm 48, ‘Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,’ etc., because on the second day of creation ‘the Lord divided His works, and reigned over them.’ On the third day they sang Psalm 82, ‘God standeth in the congregation of the mighty,’ etc., ‘because on that day the earth appeared, on which are the Judge and the judged.’ On the fourth day Psalm 94 was sung, ‘O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth,’ etc., ‘because on the fourth day God made the sun, moon, and stars, and will be avenged on those that worship them.’ On the fifth day they sang Psalm 81, ‘Sing aloud unto God our strength,’ etc., ‘because of the variety of creatures made that day to praise His name.’ On the sixth day Psalm 93 was sung, ‘The Lord reigneth,’ etc., ‘because on that day God finished His works and made man, and the Lord ruled over all His works.’ Lastly, on the Sabbath day they sang Psalm 92, ‘It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord,’ etc., ‘because the Sabbath was symbolical of the millennial kingdom at the end of the six thousand years’ dispensation, when the Lord would reign over all, and His glory and service fill the earth with thanksgiving.’ [Edersheim, Alfred;  The Temple—Its Ministry and Services]
“And six thousand years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day on which God rested from all His works. For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the saints, when they shall reign with Christ, when He comes from heaven, as John says in his Apocalypse. ‘For a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.’ Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that six thousand years must be fulfilled.” [Hippolytus. On the Hexa Ă‹meron, Or Six Days' Work, Fragments from Commentaries on Various Books of Scripture]
The Restoration of the Sabbath reign is central to the plan of redemption for the writer of Hebrews says:  
Therefore, while the promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear so that none of you should miss it. 2 For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith 3 (for we who have believed enter the rest), in keeping with what He has said: So I swore in My anger, they will not enter My rest. And yet His works have been finished since the foundation of the world, 4 for somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this way: And on the seventh day God rested from all His works. 5 Again, in that passage [He says], They will never enter My rest. 6 Since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again, He specifies a certain day- today -speaking through David after such a long time, as previously stated: Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken later about another day.9 A Sabbath rest remains, therefore, for God's people. 10 For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. 11 Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience. (Heb. 4:1-11). 
This “rest” is not some arbitrary ceasing from works so that we can relax from working hard.... This is talking about entering into the age to come, the age of rest, the messianic age, the age of the kingdom of God where creation again will voluntarily exalt the LORD alone.  (Is. 2)

 The call to be careful not to miss the "rest" is not a peripheral issue, missing the rest means missing the restoration of all things in the age to come. Missing the coming rest means eternal punishment in a lake of fire. ....I swore in my wrath they shall not enter my rest... This means that 98% of all those that were delivered from the land of Egypt and saw the signs and wonders have been sentenced to eternal punishment.  

This coming rest is the restoration of the priesthood of humanity (Ex. 19:5-6) when God ceases from striving with flesh (Gen 6:3). And Humanity enters into the single ambition to glorify God within the context of relational love driven worship.  In the End God will alone be loved, treasured, adored by a kingdom of priests from every tribe tongue people and nation.  He will rest over us again and we will rest under His leadership forever.   

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