Approximate Speaking Time: 13 min
Concerning the Sabbath, Dr. Hans LaRondelle wrote, “The Sabbath was from the very beginning created to make room for God’s sanctifying communion with man.” (Christ Our Salvation, p. 70)
This sentence makes one think of Adam and Eve in the perfection of their creation. The Lord’s words, that He gave the Sabbath so we would know that, “I am the Lord who does sanctify you,” have special meaning for fallen humanity. But, Adam and Eve were created holy. Why did they need, “sanctifying communion with their Maker?”
Separate from the animal creation humans were created with marvelous abilities. They could think, that is reason from cause to effect, and then create ideas they did not previously have. As managers of their garden and of the earth they had choices to make.
They, as are all humans, were filled with curiosity. Theirs was the exuberance of youth. There was so much for them to see. There was so much they could do and enjoy. Their days must have seemed too short for them to do all that they wanted to do.
Their marvelous endowments and the wonderful creation around them could easily absorb all their thought and time. Their abilities, and the enjoyment and study of the natural world must not become the one big goal of their life, for that would separate them from their Creator. For Adam and Eve, and indeed for all humans, in order to live and function properly a relationship – a unity- with the Creator is necessary.
The following words by Dr. Edward Heppenstall describe the danger that existed for Adam and Eve. Created in the “image of God,” with such great possibilities before them, they could forget God.
“Man must never be thought of as separate from God. Man is not given qualities by which he functions independently of God.” (In Him we live and move and have existence. Acts 17:28) “The moment man is thought of as independent of God, man destroys his identity. He can no longer see himself or understand himself as man.” (See, John 15:5; 17:21-23; Eph. 1:10)
Isaiah 14:12-14 quoted.
“Satan dethroned God in his life and put himself there, (on the throne) This claim to a life independent of God was a declaration of war against the Creator of heaven and earth. This war began in heaven and moved to this earth (see Rev. 12:7-9)” (Edward Heppenstall, Salvation Unlimited, pp. 8, 11)
The theory of Evolution and also, “Naturalism,” declare independence from God. They teach that all that exists is the physical universe, and all truth must come from human experience and the study of the physical world. For more than a century these theories have dominated learning and teaching. The result is an amoral society in which each individual decides for himself/herself what is right. Human society cannot exist in peace and safety under such circumstances.
Genesis 1:31, reads, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” In six days the physical creation was complete. So why did God not appoint a six day week?
It is because humans need more than the physical creation can give. Possessions, material things, are inadequate to supply the needs of humans who were made in the image of God. “Man does not live by bread alone.” God’s prescription is that we need to break from the things of time and space and need fellowship with our Maker and Redeemer.
That first Sabbath, Adam and Eve learned who they were, and where they came from. They began to understand their position and purpose on earth. Only in being united with God could Adam and Eve realize the completeness of all that humans were created to be. Only in being united with God could humans be kept morally holy. Man was never intended to be independent from God. From all the pleasures that Adam and Eve daily found they must take a weekly rest. This rest in God was for their own good. They must keep connected to their Creator. They needed, “sanctifying communion with their Creator.” So God, by His actions, and by His words, “made the Sabbath.” (Gen. 2:1-3.)
The Sabbath was not appointed as were the, feast days. It was made by an act of God. As surely as trees, animals, all things, were made by Him, so the seventh-day Sabbath exists by the creation of God. (Gen. 2:1-3) Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man” and, He is its Lord. (Mk. 2:27,28) Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath. He, not Pharisees, shows to us its purpose. It is for our good. He, not Pharisees, shows us how to “keep it holy.”
He met with His people. He taught them. His presence worked the miracle of changed lives. (Lk. 4:16, 31-35) Think of those first disciples who followed Him in His ministry. They experienced Sabbath in a new and blessed way. It was so different from Sabbath-keeping as prescribed by the Pharisees. For them Sabbath became a day of refreshing. God established this weekly time for us to be with Him. It is as needful as, is the air we breathe, as is food, and family.
Think of what our God has given to us. Many adults, looking back, say, “Dad was always working. He never took time to be with us. He gave us things, but I don’t really know him.” Our great Creator takes time from His management of His universe for special weekly fellowship with His people of faith.
Creation Sabbath tells us, “We are not alone.” It is not as, Jacques Monod, scientist and French Nobel-laureate wrote, “Man finally knows he is alone in the infinite immensity of the universe.” (Chance and Necessity) He would have us believe that our existence is the result of un-provable chance happenings. That we are adrift in a vast universe with no purpose or meaning for our existence, except that which our imagination may supply.
What would it have been like for Adam and Eve to come to consciousness and not know of any other being? The sense of being alone, completely alone, in a new place about which you know nothing, is a frightening situation. What would they have become? All they could have done was to learn from what animals were doing and so respond. On that Creation Sabbath they learned they were not alone. More than that, they experienced that the “Creator God” was also “Father.”
CREATION SABBATH TODAY.
‘There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God… Since we have a great High Priest who is passed through the heavens., Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” (Heb. 4:9,14)
Independence from God arises out of self-worship and results in sin. Independence from God, severed the lifeline Adam and Eve had to God. It resulted in, decay and death. It is the cause of all evil.
Jesus Christ by His life and death became the new “Lifeline.” Now, as our Great High Priest, “He is able to save completely all who come to God through Him.” (Heb. 7:25)
To keep the Sabbath in Christ is an issue of one’s faith in Christ. People need to know the blessing of God’s Sabbath rest. When we participate in our Lord’s Sabbath rest it becomes the sign of our faith in God, and of our dependence on God, as the Creator, Redeemer and Savior of the human race. The power that, “makes alive those who were dead in sin,” and effects the, “new birth,” is the same power by which all things were created, and that brought forth Jesus from the dead. (Eph. 2:5; 1:19 John 3:3, 5, 6)
God as Creator is also a great issue in science. We must not deny our “Maker and Redeemer.” God’s final appeal calls the world to, “Fear God and give Him glory…and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and water springs.” (Rev. 14:7)
“Remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” is the witness of faith that God is Creator. It witnesses to Christ, and the salvation which He provided for us by His death on the cross. It witnesses that it is His power that creates us to be a new person. He has raised us up and enables us to daily live “in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:4, 11) He is the One who sanctifies us, and who, “is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the throne of His glory with joy.” Jude 24,25.
Only God can make a person holy. “I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and you, that you might know that I am the Lord who does sanctify you.” There is a special work God does in believers when they, put aside their own business and activities and focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”
All growing vegetation turns towards the light. As it does this, energy from the sun causes changes in the plant. So, Sabbath calls us to put aside the weekly activities that consume our time, and turn completely to our Lord and Savior. As we behold Him, in His word, in His works in nature, and His work for our salvation, change occurs in us. 2 Corinthians 3:18, we are being transformed, and we worship!