The Sabbath in Eden
“And on the
seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh
day from all his work which he had made.”
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 47–51.
resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of
rest for man.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47.
[is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight [is] in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day
and night. And he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth
his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he
doeth shall prosper. The ungodly [are]
not so: but [are] like the chaff which the wind driveth
away. Therefore the ungodly shall not
stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord
knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the
ungodly shall perish.” Psalm 1.
1 According to the creation story as recorded in the Bible, in how
many days did God create the earth and all the life in it?
2 Were the days of creation literal days as we know them now? Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31;
note: “The Bible
recognizes no long ages in which the earth was slowly evolved from chaos. Of each successive day of creation, the
sacred record declares that it consisted of the evening and the morning, like
all other days that have followed.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 112.
erroneously drawn from facts observed in nature have, however, led to supposed
conflict between science and revelation; and in the effort to restore harmony,
interpretations of Scripture have been adopted that undermine and destroy the
force of the word of God. Geology has
been thought to contradict the literal interpretation of the Mosaic record of
the creation. Millions of years, it is
claimed, were required for the evolution of the earth from chaos; and in order
to accommodate the Bible to this supposed revelation of science, the days of
creation are assumed to have been vast, indefinite periods, covering thousands
or even millions of years.
a conclusion is wholly uncalled for. The
Bible record is in harmony with itself and with the teaching of nature. Of the first day employed in the work of
creation is given the record, ‘The evening and the morning were the first
day.’ Genesis 1:5.
And the same in substance is said of each of the first six days of
creation week. Each of these periods
Inspiration declares to have been a day consisting of evening and morning, like
every other day since that time. In
regard to the work of creation itself the divine testimony is, ‘He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood
fast.’ Psalm 33:9.
With Him who could thus call into existence unnumbered worlds, how long
a time would be required for the evolution of the earth from chaos? In order to account for His works, must we do
violence to His word?” Education, 128, 129.
3 What did God do on the seventh day of creation? Genesis 2:1, 2.
great Jehovah had laid the foundations of the earth; He had dressed the whole
world in the garb of beauty and had filled it with things useful to man; He had
created all the wonders of the land and of the sea. In six days the great work of creation had
been accomplished. And God ‘rested on
the seventh day from all His work which
He had made. And God blessed the
seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His
work which God created and made.’
[Genesis 2:2, 3.] God looked with satisfaction upon the work of
His hands. All was perfect, worthy of
its divine Author, and He rested, not as one weary, but as well pleased with
the fruits of His wisdom and goodness and the manifestations of His
glory.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 47.
4 What does it mean when the Bible records that God sanctified the
seventh day? Leviticus 20:7.
He had rested upon the Sabbath, ‘God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified
it,’—set it apart to a holy use. He gave
it to Adam as a day of rest. It was a
memorial of the work of creation, and thus a sign of God’s power and His
love. The Scripture says, ‘He hath made
His wonderful works to be remembered.’
‘The things that are made,’ declare ‘the invisible things of Him since
the creation of the world,’ ‘even His everlasting power and divinity.’ Genesis 2:3; Psalm 111:4; Romans 1:20, R. V.” The
Desire of Ages, 281.
resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of
rest for man. Following the example of
the Creator, man was to rest upon this sacred day, that as he should look upon
the heavens and the earth, he might reflect upon God’s great work of creation;
and that as he should behold the evidences of God’s wisdom and goodness, his
heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker.” Patriarchs
and Prophets, 47.
5 Of what was the Sabbath intended to remind us? Exodus 20:11; 31:16, 17.
note: “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.”
Patriarchs and Prophets, 48.
God created the earth and placed man upon it, he divided time into seven
periods. Six he gave to man for his own
use, to employ in secular business; one he reserved for himself. Having rested
on the seventh day, he blessed and sanctified it. Henceforth, the seventh day was to be
regarded as the Lord’s rest-day, and to be sacredly observed as the memorial of
his creative work. It was not the first,
second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth day that was sanctified, or set apart to
a holy use, neither was it a seventh part of time and no day in particular; but
it was the seventh day, the day upon which God had rested. We are every day to think of God and live as
in his sight; but when the six days’ work is done, we are to ‘remember the
Sabbath day to keep it holy,’ [Exodus 20:8]—to cease from labor and
devote the day exclusively to meditation and worship.” The
Signs of the Times, February 28, 1884.
6 In reminding us of creation, how does the Sabbath point to
redemption? Exodus 31:13;
note: “All things were
created by the Son of God. ‘In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God. . . . All things were made by Him; and without Him
was not anything made that was made.’
John 1:1–3. And since the Sabbath is a memorial of the
work of creation, it is a token of the love and power of Christ.” The
Desire of Ages, 281.
7 What work was given to Adam and Eve in the garden? Genesis 2:15.
note: “To Adam and Eve
was committed the care of the garden, ‘to dress it and to keep it.’ Genesis 2:15. Though rich in all that the Owner of the universe
could supply, they were not to be idle.
Useful occupation was appointed them as a blessing, to strengthen the
body, to expand the mind, and to develop the character.” Education,
8 After working six days, how can we keep the Sabbath as Adam and
note: “I [Ellen White]
was shown that the law of God would stand fast forever, and exist in the new
earth to all eternity. At the creation,
when the foundations of the earth were laid, the sons of God looked with
admiration upon the work of the Creator, and all the heavenly host shouted for
joy. It was then that the foundation of
the Sabbath was laid. At the close of
the six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day from all His work which
He had made; and He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in
it He had rested from all His work. The
Sabbath was instituted in Eden before the fall, and was observed by Adam and
Eve, and all the heavenly host. God
rested on the seventh day, and blessed and hallowed it. I saw that the Sabbath never will be done
away; but that the redeemed saints, and all the angelic host, will observe it
in honor of the great Creator to all eternity.” Early
upon God are even greater upon the Sabbath than upon other days. His people then leave their usual employment,
and spend the time in meditation and worship.
They ask more favors of Him on the Sabbath
than upon other days. They demand His
special attention. They crave His
choicest blessings. God does not wait
for the Sabbath to pass before He grants these requests. Heaven’s work never ceases, and men should
never rest from doing good. The Sabbath
is not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. The law forbids secular labor
on the rest day of the Lord; the toil that gains a livelihood must cease; no labor for worldly pleasure or profit is lawful upon that
day; but as God ceased His labor of creating, and
rested upon the Sabbath and blessed it, so man is to leave the occupations of
his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship,
and to holy deeds.” The Desire of Ages, 207.
9 When Adam and Eve sinned against the Lord, what sentence was
pronounced upon them? Were they still to
be engaged in labor?
Genesis 3:23, 24.
note: “When the Lord
placed our first parents in the garden of Eden, it was with the injunction that
they ‘dress it’ and ‘keep it.’ [Genesis 2:15.] God had finished His work of
creation, and had pronounced all things very good. Everything was adapted to the end for which
it was made. While Adam and Eve obeyed
God, their labors in the garden were a pleasure; the
earth yielded of its abundance for their wants.
But when man departed from his obedience to God, he was doomed to
wrestle with the seeds of Satan’s sowing, and to earn his bread by the sweat of
his brow. Henceforth he must battle in
toil and hardship against the power to which he had yielded his will.” Fundamentals
of Christian Education, 512, 513.
10 As a token of God’s love and care for Adam and Eve and all mankind,
what remained for them to know Him?
note: “The Sabbath was
instituted in Eden and observed by our first parents before the fall. Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command,
and ate of the forbidden fruit, they were expelled from Eden; but they observed
the Sabbath after their fall. They had
experienced the bitter fruits of disobedience, and learned what every one who
tramples upon God’s commands will sooner or later learn, that God means just
what he says, and that he will surely punish the transgressor. Those who venture to lightly esteem the day
upon which Jehovah rested, the day which he sanctified and blessed, the day
which he has commanded to be kept holy, will yet know that all the precepts of
his law are alike sacred, and that death is the penalty of the
transgression.” The Signs of the Times, February 6,
of Creation—“But when the claims of the Sabbath are presented, there are many
who ask, What difference does it make what day we keep as the Sabbath, so long
as we observe one day in seven? We
answer, It makes all possible difference whether we obey or disregard the word
of God. God has given us the Sabbath as a memorial of the great work of
creation. He says: ‘Remember the Sabbath
day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy
work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work; . . . for in six days the
Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the
seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ [Exodus 20:8–11.] He declares through Moses, ‘It is a sign
between me and the children of Israel forever.’
[Exodus 31:17.] And the children of Israel include all who
believe in Christ. For ‘if ye be
Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed.’
[Galatians 3:29.] Again, by the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord says,
‘Hallow my Sabbaths; for they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may
know that I am the Lord your God.’
[Ezekiel 20:20.] The Sabbath is a sign of God’s creative
power; it shows him to be supreme, the Maker and Upholder of the universe, the
One from whom we receive ‘life and breath and all things,’ [Acts 17:25] and hence the One to whom our allegiance is due.” The
Signs of the Times, June 12, 1893.
to God—“ ‘Wherefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.’ [Mark 2:28.] These words are full of instruction and
comfort. Because the Sabbath was made
for man, it is the Lord’s day. It
belongs to Christ. For ‘all things were
made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.’ John 1:3. Since He made all things, He made the
Sabbath. By Him it was set apart as a
memorial of the work of creation. It
points to Him as both the Creator and the Sanctifier. It declares that He who created all things in
heaven and in earth, and by whom all things hold together, is the head of the
church, and that by His power we are reconciled to God.” The
Desire of Ages, 288.