Before the beginning, before anything was made that has ever been made, God existed in perfect Trinitarian communion. We cannot really comprehend this truth, but we can receive and believe God’s testimony and revelation.
He then determined to create our present universe. He could have instantaneously imagined a perfect world into existence, but he chose not to do so. Instead, day by day, he spoke, formed, ordered, and filled. It was as if he was a General Contractor who dumped the necessary raw materials on sight and then went to work as a Master Craftsman. Day after day, at the close of each day, as progress was made, he reviewed his work and uttered forth his assessment, “It is good.”
Then came the sixth day. On this day, the Father, Son, and Spirit took counsel together. A conversation took place as they determined to construct man and woman. These beings would be made in God’s image and likeness. An eternal soul would be placed within them, and they would be privileged to enjoy relational communion with God. In addition, they would spend their days lording, serving, and leading as kings and queens in God’s global garden. Under God, they would have dominion. They would would serve, rule, and reign. And like their Creator, they too would be creative beings. Part of their regal commission was to populate the earth with princes and princesses longing to enjoy and glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit . Therefore, on the sixth day, God formed man of the dust of the ground. He then formed woman of the substance of man. Then, according to custom, at the end of this day, God reviewed his handiwork and declared, “This is very good.”
Then came the seventh day:
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3)
God finished his work of creation, and then he rested. In no way was God exhausted or spent. Perhaps it is best for us to utilize a British expression, God “holidayed.” In essence, the Trinity sat back, enjoyed sweet fellowship, summoned the angels, and celebrated his masterpiece. So pleased was God with his handiwork, that he ordained the weekly rotation and blessed the seventh day. It was to a holy day in which all image-bearers “holidayed” with him. And who knows, perhaps it was on this first holiday that God met with and walked with Adam and Eve in the garden.
Friends, there are a few truths here that might encourage you this morning.
First, do we see our powerful God? Notice how easily he constructs the heavens and the earth. He brings all things into being with his mind. He forms and orders the universe with his voice. Intimately, he makes Adam and Eve with his fingers. They come to life by his breath. And every single day, he continues to hold the universe in the strong grip of his right hand. He is never weary, frustrated, or overwhelmed. He accounts for every single hair of every single person. Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from his will. He cares for eanch and every flower of the field; how much more does he care for those created in his image. Oh friends, behold afresh your Sovereign God.
Second, do we see our redeeming God? For reasons known only to himself, he seems to enjoy making a mess and then constructing something beautiful out of his formless materials. Oh friends, this is what he did, and this is what he does. Consider the mess he allows. Satan enters God’s garden and corrupts his holy space. Adam and Eve side with the devil; they become unholy rebels. They then produce sinner after sinner; it is all they can do, and we are the useless, formless, void, and unholy product of their union. And we follow in their footsteps; we pass on our depravity to our children and grandchildren. It is one ugly, chaotic, sinful mess right now as the heavens, the earth, the sea, all creatures, and all image-bearers are cursed by the thrice-holy God. However, As the Spirit formerly hovered over the formless mass, so today he hovers over depraved men and women. Then he — the sovereign and powerful God — easily does that which he desires to do. His work of re-creation is no more difficult than his work of creation. Our God is irresistible, effectual, and always successful in his forming and filling. He is completely successful in redeeming sinful men and women.
Third, do we see our identity? As redeemed, renovated, revived, reformed, revitalized, or recreated men and women, we are made children of God. Because of Adam’s choice and sin, we are born children of the devil. We have his unholy DNA and spiritual traits. However, because of the Son’s work in collaboration with the Spirit, we are reborn and adopted. We are new creations. The old is gone; the new is at hand. God describes us as adopted children. He also describes us as betrothed brides. Because of his work, we are children in whom he is well pleased. We are sweet smelling fragrances to him. We are the apple of his eye or the bride in his chamber of love. This is our identity. We are as he says we are, and this is only because of his work of recreation. He looks at us and says, “This is very good.”
Fourth, do we see our purpose? He created Adam and Eve that they mighty enjoy and glorify him. They rebelled and forsook their purpose, but he forsook them not. He redeemed them, and he redeems us. So what is our purpose? He has redeemed us that we might enjoy him, glorify him, and make disciples who do likewise. We are to his lords and ladies. We are to be his princes and princesses. All of us are to be his regal servant-leaders. Kings and queens we are, so let us walk and work as royals in our Father’s world.
Fifth, do we see how he finishes what he starts, and then he rests? This is what he did, and this is what he is doing. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He has a plan, works the plan, and completes the plan. Then, he “holidays.” So let us take confidence in this, “He who began a good work in us will complete it.” A glorious eternal sabbath holiday is over the horizon. A future rest is coming. Oh friends, let us long for the day when we physically, in our new resurrected bodies, will be privileged to walk with him in his garden of delight.
And let us weekly take advantage of his rotation. Six days we get to worship him by working. On one special day we get to worship him by not working. It is good to have a weekly holiday. Which of us could not be benefited by a vacation day with the Lord? And why would we do so by ourselves? Oh friends, the Lord’s Day is coming. Grab your Bible and your family and come join your friends. Find your local house of worship and become a part of their family. The Lord’s house is one of gladness and mirth; make plans to partake in Gospel celebration and spiritual communion each and every week. Where two or three are gathered, he is specially present.
Finally, we do not have to wait until Sunday. Because we are in Christ, and because Jesus is our shalom, we get the privilege of “holidaying” with him every day. Any day, every day, all day, we can find rest in the One who went to work for us. He is the Lord. Today is his day. Go to your closet. Go to your garden. Your Creator and Savior is ready to holiday with you.
[I am thankful for Will Spokes, the pastor of Red Mountain Church in Birmingham, Alabama. He preached from this passage at our Presbytery meeting. Some of these insights come directly from his teaching]