Dinner Bell

Genesis 2:2 “…on the seventh day He rested from all His work.” (NIV)

Observation: God’s first workweek was finished. Creation was complete, so now He rested. Gen 2:3 tells us more…that it was because He rested that the seventh day was blessed and made holy.

Application: Does God seem a bit grandfatherly in this passage, heading into the farmhouse with the setting sun at the end of the sixth day, red handkerchief in hand to mop sweat from His brow? I can imagine His destination being His favorite recliner into which He will ease His huge, aching frame, awaiting the dinner bell.

The first five days hadn’t been overly stressful; He merely spoke things into being. But the sixth day was different; it had been more “hands-on”. The creation of man had involved God getting His hands dirty, first creating a garden, then forming Adam from the dust of the ground and breathing life into his nostrils. No such exertion had been required for, say, the aardvark or the dandelion. He later was similarly involved in Eve’s creation. No wonder He rested from such unaccustomed work; getting in one day the necessary permit for just the garden must have been an enormous challenge.

Viewed through my lens of fallenness, God as a tired laborer is almost sensible. But here is what this view misses entirely: His rest was not the result of exhaustion, but of deep satisfaction. He was joy-filled with eager anticipation for fellowship with…me. The garden beckoned, a place surely filled with extravagant beauty and sensuous smells designed by the lover Himself to delight me with overflowing pleasures. His rest was satisfying precisely because He knew the previous six days fulfilled His eternal desire for a love relationship. It was in the fulness of contented delight that He declared the seventh day blessed and holy.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” He had told the Israelites (Ex. 20:8), He wasn’t simply an unfeeling taskmaster denying me needed extra income from a second job. His vision far exceeded a desire to simply control my days. I must see Him as a lover who sets the dinner-table just so…fresh linen and sparkling china with three roses as the centerpiece and strolling violinists discreetly in the background. He set aside the seventh day to enjoy me, to fulfill His longing for intimacy. When I don’t honor that, I break not merely His rules; I break His heart. He remains in the garden still, awaiting love’s fulfillment in a wholehearted bride. Entering in is my choice; He has already declared His.

Prayer: Lord, You have filled my heart with longing for fellowship, for quality time with You, even as Your heart has been filled since Your first thoughts of me. I choose to gladly turn from life’s distractions today so I can meet You in that place of intimacy.

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