Is it for mankind? Or is it just for the Jew?
Thus the heavens and the earth
were finished, and all the host of them. 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.
And God blessed the seventh day,
and sanctified it:
because that in it he had rested from all his work
which God created and made.
And Jesus said unto them,
The sabbath was made for mankind..
Is it for mankind? Or is it just for the Jew?
TIME, what is time?
TIME itself is but a small allotted period in the stream of eternity. From the beginnings in the book of Genesis to the end of the millennium in Revelation, the period described in the Bible is about 7000 years. Since a thousand years is as a day to our Lord, (2 Peter 3:8) we see TIME in itself is one great week. Before this great week of time began for planet earth, eternity stretched into the infinite past; and when this great week allotted to the outworkings of the great controversy is complete, unending eternity opens before the people of God. Eternity is that infinite duration which has no beginning and is without end. Finite beings find it difficult to comprehend how TIME fits into the infinite expanse of eternity. Yet, God is infinite, His presence is an eternal presence, from everlasting to everlasting. "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." (Ps. 90:2). He is "the King of kings, and Lord of lords and He only has immortality." (1 Tim. 6:15-16)
"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen."(1 Tim 1:17)
ON THE FIRST DAY OF EARTH'S CREATION GOD ESTABLISHED TIME.
The literal day, with it's evening and morning, was the first thing created.
This event of creating the day, with it's evening and morning, was the beginning of establishing another measure of time, the first literal week. God could have created everything with one word, in one instant, but instead He chose to create the earth in six days.
God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man.
Right from the beginning of creation, God began to count days, giving to each an ordinal number for its name. The second day, the third, the fourth-- each with it's evening and morning -- Seven days -- upon each day God preformed a different activity. Thus we see that God created, in all, seven different days, and has given to each one of these days a number which indicates its exact place in the week.
So we see the creation of TIME in the first chapter of Genesis! The day, with it's evening and morning, and the seven day WEEK, in which the last day is set apart by it’s number name, as the sanctified Sabbath of rest. Thus it can never - except by sophistry - be said to mean that any of those seven days in Genesis are not really 24 hour days but indefinite time.
GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY
At the end of the sixth day the work of creating this earth was finished, but there was one more day added to that first week. Each of the six days had seen the work of the Creator’s hands; but the seventh day was different.
"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." In another text we read: "On the seventh day he rested, and was REFRESHED." (Gen.2:2; Ex.31:17)
Did God need to rest? Surely God was not weary for scripture tells us: "The everlasting God, The Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary." (Isa.40:28)
God does not need to rest to be refreshed.
Yet scripture says, "On the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." God, Himself was setting an example for us to follow. Following the example of his Creator, mankind was to rest on the seventh day, ending his own work, and delighting himself in evidences of God's goodness and love. This day of "resting" meant more than God simply finishing the creative work. Why doesn't the Biblical record simply say, "the work of creation was finished and so God stopped creating?" Many now interprete these texts to mean, that God finished creating and now is resting in an "indefinite" type of time frame. But no, scripture say that God rested on this day, the seventh day of the week. Genesis 2:2-3 mentions the seventh DAY, three times. Time was created, the day, and the week. The seventh DAY, is the last day of this seven day week.
The next verses show why God set the example. God was laying the foundation of a divine institution, the memorial of his own great work.
GOD BLESSED THE SEVENTH DAY
The second act of the Creator in instituting this memorial was to place his blessing upon the day of his rest. Once something is blessed by the Lord God it is from then on the blessed rest-day of the Lord. On this day especially blessed all will receive the blessing which the Lord of the Sabbath is waiting to bestow upon all who come to Him on His special day. He has this special blessing for every one who shows his love for God in keeping holy the Sabbath day.
GOD SANCTIFIED THE SEVENTH DAY
A third act completes the sacred institution. The day already blessed of God is now, last of all, sanctified or hallowed by him. To sanctify is "to separate, set apart, or appoint to a holy, sacred, or religious use." To hallow is "to make holy; to consecrate; to set apart for a holy or religious use."
Some seek to tell us that God did not command the keeping of the seventh day in Genesis, yet this very text shows that the Sabbath was given to Adam. For how could the Creator "set apart to a holy use" the day of his rest, when those who were to use the day knew nothing of his will concerning the matter? It was during the creation OF THIS EARTH, that God set apart for holy use the seventh day. Everything created was for the benefit of earth's inhabitants. Thus a day set apart for holy use, would be a day for humanity to fellowship with their Creator. The seventh day is unique to this earth, for it is based on the rotations of this earth. Christ Himself declared, “The Sabbath was made for man”. (Mark 2:27).
As soon as the day was, it was sanctified. The first seventh day at the end of the first six work days, was set apart by God for holy use. So obviously the first Sabbath upon a newly created earth was for the first man upon this newly created earth, for Christ said, “The Sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27) . As the first seventh day was sanctified, so must all succeeding seventh days be the Sabbath of the Lord our God holy and honourable. (Is. 58:13, Ex. 20:10) And so the Sabbath was instituted and set apart for man by God from the very beginning, and the seventh day was sanctified by Him even from the beginning of the world. When the commandments were pronounced from Sinai they were given that mankind might know what sin is-- and sin is not honouring the day that God blessed and set aside for holy use.
Thus God commanded the seventh day to be kept holy; and referred back to the ancient sanctification of the day at creation, we cannot separate the two and pretend the Sabbath was something new for the Jews, for the two (Gen. 2:1-3 and Ex. 20:11) are all one.
The fourth commandment points back to creation for the origin of its obligation; and when we go back to that point, we find the substance of the fourth commandment given to Adam: "God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it;" i.e., set it apart for a holy use. And in the commandment itself, the same fact is stated: "The Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it;" i.e., appointed it to a holy use. The one statement affirms that "God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it;" the other, that "the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." These two statements refer to the same acts.
From the Creation of this earth the Sabbath was blessed and sanctified, set apart for holy use, made for mankind, a day to stop work and delight oneself in the Creator.
(Gen. 2:1-3, Ex. 20:8-11, Is. 58:13, Mark 2:27, Hebs. 4:9,10)