Date: Friday, April 25
Scripture: Genesis 2:1-4
Verse: And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. (Genesis 2:2)
I remember when our congregation was designing and constructing our church building. There were days of studying the most minute details — how big the closets on either side of the platform in the sanctuary should be, whether the removable wall should divide the double room in half or a 60-40 split, what kind of lighting should be used in the nursery, and so much more. Finally, the day came to move in, holding our first worship service, and it was magnificent to move into the space and use it to the glory of God.
Today’s text seems to argue with yesterday’s. We read that God finished creating on the sixth day, then sat back and rested. In a great book called The Lost World of Genesis One, John H. Walton redefines for us what God’s resting meant to the first readers of Genesis 2. He writes:
a reader from the ancient world would know immediately what was going on and recognize the role of day seven. Without hesitation the ancient reader would conclude that this is a temple text and that day seven is the most important of the seven days…
everyone knew in the ancient world [that] Deity rests in a temple, and only in a temple. This is what temples were built for. We might even say that this is what a temple is — a place for divine rest. (Walton, loc 676 & 679)
So when the Bible tells us that on the seventh day God rested, it is actually telling us this is they day God moved in. When God created the world, he was building his temple, a place for him to live in union with what he had created, including us. As we shared yesterday, God is not distant. He is right here with us. We are living in God’s temple.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for the gift of our church building, and for your continued presence in my life. Teach me to care for your temple. Amen.
Action: In your work, school, home, etc., take note of the design of the building — where it is functional, where it is decorative, and more.
Respond: Have you ever had the privilege of being involved in the design a building, a remodel, or a similar space you later got to inhabit? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” or “1 (or more) Comment” below.
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Walton, John H. The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009. Kindle Edition.