BY DR ELDER MASIMBA MAVAZA
The Rhythms of Rest
_Memory Text: Genesis 2:3
Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made”
Who can imagine what the acts of Creation—light amid dark-ness, oceans brimming with life, birds suddenly taking flight—must have been like? And the supernatural creation of Adam and Eve? We can’t even begin to grasp how God did it. But then, after all of this active creating, God turned His attention to something else. At first glance, it did not seem as spectacular as leaping whales or dazzling feather displays. God simply made a day, the seventh day, and then He made it special. Even before humanity would dash off to our self-imposed stressful lives, God set a marker as a living memory aid. God wanted this day to be a time for us to stop and deliberately enjoy life—a day to be and not do, to celebrate the gift of grass; air; wildlife; water; people; and, most of all, the Creator of every good gift.
This invitation would continue even after the first couple was exiled from Eden. God wanted to make sure that the invitation could stand the test of time, and so, right from the beginning, He knit it into the very fabric of time itself.
SABBATH: Mind cannot grasp the beauty of the world when it was first launched by its Maker (God)—the world beaming with light, the birds taking their first flight, the ocean brimming with life, & the supernatural creation of man. God made a special day (the 7th day) & rested as a marker for all lives to pause & enjoy creation. This rest was & is perpetual. From start, God knit it into the fabric of time itself.
SUNDAY: God called the world into being in the beginning. He dressed it with beauty; light & darkness on the 1st day; firmament, sky, & seas on the 2nd day; plants & dry land on the 3rd day; the sun, moons, & stars on the 4th day; animals on the 5th & 6th day, & man on the 6th too (Gen. 1-31). It’s false that the sun & moon are deities. God shaped man, gave him breath of life, & blessed him with marriage (Gen. 2:7, 21-24).
MONDAY: The 7th day was made by God as a special day to crown the work of creation. It was God’s gift to man. Even in Paradise, God saw that man needed rest (Gen. 2:3). Sadly, sin marred the beauty of creation. Man lost direct contact with God, had to toil & there were painful births. Yet, the Sabbath, the memorial of creation was forever. Israel was to keep it after slavery in Egypt (Exod. 20:8-11, DA, p. 281).
TUESDAY: Accustomed to the lack of faith of their parents, the new breed of Israelites after 40 years of wandering in the desert sinned. Their parents died & they had little memories of Egypt. Yet, they were blessed to have the sanctuary. God was to them a pillar of cloud by day & a pillar of fire by night. They were reminded about the need to keep the Sabbath in the manna miracle (Exod. 16:14-31, Deut. 5:6-22).
WEDNESDAY: Repeatedly, the new generation of Israel were told that the Sinai covenant was not for only their parents but for them too. After their conquest of other nations, the Decalogue was spelt to them. They were to “observe” the Sabbath & “remember” (Exod. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-15). They’d have been slaves if God had not saved their parents in Egypt (Isa. 43:15). The Sabbath symbolizes creation & redemption.
THURSDAY: Keeping the Sabbath holy is a command. We may not have all the details on how to keep it, but what is sure is that it is a joyous celebration of Creation & Redemption in God (Ps. 92 & Isa. 58:13). It should be a delight. To keep it holy, one must plan for it from the first day of the week (Mark 15:42). The day is for; fellowship (friends & family) & worship (Lev. 19:3, 23:3, Luke 4:16, Heb. 10:25).
FRIDAY: The Sabbath as a memorial of Creation bid us to behold the handiworks of God & give glory to Him. This day is special above all other days. It is a time to reflect on the signature of God in nature. God can be felt & experienced through nature. Israel were redeemed to keep the Sabbath of the Lord. This was reiterated by Moses & Aaron to Israel (Exod. 5:5). They were not to recall Egypt & be sad but to rejoice.
—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 25, 26.
DA- The Desire of Ages
SUNDAY- Prelude To Rest
MONDAY- The Command To Rest
TUESDAY- New Circumstances
WEDNESDAY- Another Reason To Rest
THURSDAY- Keeping The Sabbath
📌 Some Christians, including even some Adventists, consider theistic evolution a viable explanation of Creation. How does the Sabbath show theistic evolution and Seventh-day Adventism to be incompatible? What purpose is there in keeping the seventh day holy in commemoration of billions of years, especially when the Word of God is explicit about its being made holy after the first six days of Creation?
📌 What do you say to the argument that the day doesn’t matter, just as long as we have one day of rest a week? Or, on the other hand, how do we respond to the claim that Jesus is our Sabbath rest, and, therefore, there is no need to keep any day as a day of rest?
📌 How can keeping the Sabbath holy be a reminder of freedom and liberation? How can we avoid making it restrictive and legalistic?
📌 Some claim that keeping the seventh-day Sabbath is an attempt to work our way to heaven. What is the logic, however, in claiming that by resting on the seventh day, we are trying to work our way to heaven?