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Yellow Balloons Devotional Series: Advent

Genesis 2:1-3

Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.

In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).

After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.


If Genesis chapter one is a panoramic view, Genesis chapter two is the close-up view. It provides more detail about the sixth day of creation, especially the creation of man. In it, we find we (mankind) are special to God.


God concludes the act of creation by resting on the seventh day. God blesses and sanctifies the seventh day.

 

Genesis 2:1-3 is a conclusion to all of chapter one. God had finished His work. Since He was done, it was time to rest. Later in the book of Exodus, God would set apart the day of rest and make it holy. The word used for rest here is the Hebrew word “shabath” which means to cease or to be still. God wasn’t exhausted and in need of rest from His labor. No, God declared the work to be finished. God did not just take a break from His work, He had achieved His divine plan of the universe.

Then God blessed and sanctified the seventh day: For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore, the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Exodus 20:11). The word blessed means God’s divine favor and protection was given. The word sanctified means to make holy or to set aside. The seventh day was sanctified as a special day of blessing. The Sabbath would become a reminder of two great truths, creation and redemption. God’s work is perfect and nothing can be added to it or taken away from it. Here is a good example from Scripture, I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it (Ecclesiastes 3:14a). The seventh day was set apart and proclaimed to be a holy day. God ceased from all the work He had set about to do.

Biblical Text 

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

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