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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Once Upon a Garden: Day 4

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good… 
And 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 1:31, 2:2

On the seventh day, God, in a sense, stood back to look over Creation and pronounced it “done.” He rested from His work because there was nothing more to do. And, Creation “rested” also because it was at peace and in perfect balance within itself. Then God blessed it—“sent it forth for abundance and enrichment” and hallowed it—“set it aside for a sacred purpose.”

The purpose of God’s rest was to establish a pattern, but not only a pattern of physical rest. As He rested in a perfect Creation, we are to rest in the finished work of Christ in our lives, and remember how all who believe in Him will rest in God for all eternity.

In 1802, the English poet William Wordsworth wrote these words in a sonnet entitled, The World is too Much with Us. It begins like this:

The world is too much with us; late and soon, 
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours…

Those words, written by a man who wasn’t a Christian, are prophetic. If they were true 215 years ago, they are a stunning description of our life today. Wordsworth saw, even then, the erosion of spirit and soul that occurs when we exhaust all our energies trying to find meaning in the creation rather than the Creator; in what was never meant to last or bring us lasting fulfillment.

God hallowed the seventh day, He made it holy and set apart for a special purpose. The blessings of the creation, food, clothing shelter, are great gifts are worthy of our thankfulness.

However, on the seventh day God blessed and hallowed Creation for a more enduring purpose: to lead every member of the human race to a knowledge that there is Something greater, wiser, more beautiful and more powerful than they are. Creation is not only the universal starting point to God for all of humankind, it is the timeless reminder, the fallback for feeble faith when “the world is too much with us” and we forget where—and in Whom—true rest is found.

Nancy Shirah

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