For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. (Psalm 33:9 NIV)
God spoke the world into existence. He did it in six equal morning-and-evening divisions. His total creative activity, except for the making of mankind, occurred by simply speaking the word. God said it and it was so. In making the crown jewel of His creation, however, God got His hands dirty.
On the sixth day, after speaking into existence all the creatures that live on dry land, “the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7 NIV). Then, like every good builder, God assessed His completed work: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31 NIV).
Creator God finished the world in six days, but there was also an additional day in His creation design. It was the capstone. “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done” (Genesis 2:3 NIV). God set apart the seventh day to be a memorial of His creative power.
This day in His creation week was so important in God’s eyes that ages afterward He wrote in stone a law for it:
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work . . . . For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
(Exodus 20:8-11 NIV)
God appointed that day for humankind to purposefully acknowledge and reverence Him as Creator . . . Sustainer . . . Sovereign . . . LORD of all. And to experience Him as Benefactor.
For when Christ, straight from the heart of God, walked on earth, He clarified: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27 NIV). Creator God made it for our good–a day of rest for mind, body, and spirit. This day, the only day in His creation week that God blessed, was intended to give His image-bearers a more abundant life.