“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:3 KJV).
“After resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of rest for the human family. Following the example of the Creator, they were to rest upon this sacred day, that as they should look upon the heavens and the earth, they might reflect upon God’s great work of creation; and that as they should behold the evidences of God’s wisdom and goodness, their hearts might be filled with love and reverence for their Maker.
“In Eden, God set up the memorial of His work of creation, in placing His blessing upon the seventh day. The Sabbath was committed to Adam, the father and representative of the whole human family. Its observance was to be an act of grateful acknowledgment, on the part of all who should dwell upon the earth, that God was their Creator and their rightful Sovereign; that they were the work of His hands and the subjects of His authority. Thus the institution was wholly commemorative, and given to all mankind. There was nothing in it shadowy or of restricted application to any people.
“God saw that a Sabbath was essential for mankind, even in Paradise. Human beings needed to lay aside their own interests and pursuits for one day of the seven, that they might more fully contemplate the works of God and meditate upon His power and goodness. They needed a Sabbath to remind them more vividly of God and to awaken gratitude because all that they enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator.
“God designs that the Sabbath shall direct our minds to the contemplation of His created works. Nature speaks to our senses, declaring that there is a living God, the Creator, the Supreme Ruler of all. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.’ (Psalm 19:1, 2.) The beauty that clothes the earth is a token of God’s love. We may behold it in the everlasting hills, in the lofty trees, in the opening buds and the delicate flowers. All speak to us of God. The Sabbath, ever pointing to Him who made them all, bids us open the great book of nature and trace therein the wisdom, the power, and the love of the Creator.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 47, 48.
Dear Heavenly Father, Please bless me to pause and rest in You today. Bless me to look upon the heavens and the earth that I might reflect upon Your great work of creation. And please bless me to truly see the evidences of Your wisdom and goodness, until my heart is filled with love and reverence for You. I ask this in the worthy name of Your Son Jesus. Amen.
NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed a few weeks ago (Feb 2023). Now I continue to compile and send them to anyone who wants to receive them and to her family in honor of their mom. First, I pray and look for a Bible verse or passage and find a suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song. If you agree to receive them, then this way I not only honor God but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss. My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this gift. So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone, as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.