"The First Day" - John Rice

In the book of Genesis, God, through Moses, tells us only the very bare details of the creation story. On the first day He spoke and brought forth light, on the second, the skies; on the third, the land and seas and plants with their seeds; on the fourth, the sun, moon and stars; on the fifth, fish, marine life and birds; on the sixth, land animals and finally, man and woman. On the seventh day God rested from all His work.

What must it have been like for Adam and Eve to come conscious to this amazing world that they were ushered into? They had absolutely no background information to relate anything to. They would probably have experienced the universe as a newborn baby does, full of wonder, full of questions. There was at that point no brokenness, no fracturing of the universe as would happen after sin entered the picture. How beautiful and life-giving it would have all been!

So what do you think their first full day on the planet would have been like? We can only imagine that since we have no record of their thoughts and feelings. But one thing we do know…. God took the day off to spend it with them! He set aside the seventh day, after He had finished all His work, as a day of rest, a day to give Himself entirely and without distraction to His children. He would have been showing them around, answering their questions, taking pleasure in their amazement and appreciation of the magnificence of all they saw, smelled, heard, felt and tasted around them for the first time. Imagine your first whiff of a gardenia blossom or wet fir tree, your first taste of food, your first look at a mountain or rainbow, your first touch of another human being. Adam and Eve not only would have shared those experiences with each other, but also with God their Father who was right there next to them. What a great day that must have been.

In designing the Sabbath, God invites us every single week back into that kind of time with Him and with our loved ones. He knows the dignity of work, that we need to work and to be productive. That’s part of being made in His image. He designed us to move out into the world and to be salt and light to those around us. But He never wants that without our first delighting in His presence and drawing strength from His eternal love and the pleasure He takes in us. May we prioritize this time with Him as much as He has done so with us!

-John Rice

Encouraging Words:

Then Jesus said to them,
“The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”

— Mark 2:27

“Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
Then the Lord will be your delight.
I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”

— Isaiah 58:13-14