God’s Shabbat

Anne Lastman

On the seventh day God ceased from His work and drew breath Ex 31.17

What an interesting and dramatic thought.  

In the Genesis account it says that on the 7th day God had completed his labours and rested.  He also blessed the 7th day to be Kept set apart and Holy.  A day to remember.    But then in Ex 31.17 we read that He “ceased” and enjoined the sons of Israel to keep the sabbath through all generations as an everlasting covenant of Shabbat between Him and them, since the previous 6 days Yahweh had made the earth and all things within it and rested on the 7th day and “he drew breath”

There is a sense of silence.  Sighing (as a job well done) resting, joy for a job well completed.  To then stop, cease from all and contemplate and be.

We can imagine the heavenly silence, even an echo of that silence. Stillness, and yet welling up of a joy from somewhere deep within, of something new that was never before.

He ceased from His labours and drew breath.  All that had been in Yahweh’s heart and mind completed as he thought and spoke those desires.  He closed His eyes and heard the new murmur of creation.  He could hear through time an echo of all the blessings, pleadings, joy, laughter, sorrows prayers of every creature he had created and through “Adam” He would continue to generate.  He heard an echo of creation in travail, in awe, in joy.  He heard the dawn break through the darkness.  He heard the light crown the day.  He heard the winds caress the trees and waters shimmering like pearls. He heard the freshness of green and the lion and the lamb frolicking together. He heard the joy of food for the earthly and for the eternal journey. He heard the murmur of the heavens and seas, and of the beasts wild and tame.  In that moment of creation Yahweh created and was well pleased and declared that all was “very good.”

On the seventh day He ceased from his Labours and drew breath and in the silence between the inhaling and exhaling of His breath He heard the stream of creation parade through time in all its glory.  In the silence He heard the footsteps of man. “In our image and likeness” in whose reflection He was able to see His own countenance and that of His own son reflected.   In the silence of the 7th day, He heard an echo of need and said “Let there be” On the 7th day he ceased from his labours and drew breath and saw His work transformed from the palette of his heart and vision into the concrete reality.  On the 7th Day he ceased from his labours and celebrated Shabbat.Shabbat, the day to stand and even hear the stillness, and in the act of stillness to hear all creation worship Him.  On the 7th day He ceased from his labours and drew breath and returned to the centre of His being for there was no more to do.  No more originals because He had created the templates in the image of His son, whose own name among “children of Adam” would be Immanuel.  He had created the works of love and life and now rested for it was now the 7th day and …….  Shabbat.