Musing on Genesis 2
I’m surprised to discover, after all the hoopla of the first five days of creation, that we’re still just looking at dirt. I always pictured God creating this lush green earth, teeming with creatures, and then plunking man down in the middle of it. But apparently, that’s not necessarily how it happened. Without the man to work the earth, there are no plants (and maybe no animals relying on those plants for food?). God made the earth to operate in tandem with the man he was about to create.
So what happened on Day 3? Didn’t God command the earth to produce plants? Didn’t he look at it and say it was good? And weren’t the birds and sea creatures created on Day 5? My uneducated guess is that when God speaks, the thing is done. Whether we see it or not. From his perspective, he speaks and the deal is sealed. He can already see it and declare, “It is good,” even if it is decades or centuries in the making. That’s why he can rest.
God created a whole day just for rest. Nothing else. Apparently he expects us to practice that same rest, with a weekly reminder: “I got this. Now will you relax?”
I have to admit, I don’t understand why the Sabbath rest is so important, why God felt it necessary to single out this day as special and holy, and why he commands us to honor it. Of the ten commandments, it’s the only one that doesn’t seem intuitive. It’s also the one most routinely ignored without a thought.
I’m sure our bodies and minds benefit from the rhythm of weekly rest. Probably it trickles down to our relationships and everything else in our lives, too. But maybe it’s a lot more than that. Maybe it’s a rudimentary step of faith, the most basic way of saying, “I believe you, God. I believe you have my back. I believe I can let go. I believe in the things you’ve said, even when I don’t yet see it.” It’s how we can rest when everything still just looks like dirt.