A relationship in which two parties can “rest” in one another can conger up images of a comfortable, self-giving union in which nothing is hidden or held back. This may remind us the Catholic ideal of marriage or the idea of “covenant”, as it should. This should also remind us of this day, All Saints Day, since the saints enjoy an eternal rest with God.
I’ve never heard The Day of Rest explained so well as in the Great Adventure bible timeline during the early world sessions in Genesis. Catholics do well to treat Genesis, not as history book or a science book, but as the story of the beginning of a relationship; the relationship between God and man.
A Review of Creation:
• Day 1 and 2: Creation of time & space (see Genesis 1: 3-8)
A day is not necessarily 24 hours, but some segment of time. “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like one day.” 2 Peter 3:8. Could day 1 and day 2 be part of the first nanoseconds in the Big Bang Theory? (just my own musing here)
• Day 3: Space on the earth & the creation of life (see Genesis 1:9-13)
• Day 4 - 6: All about how the presence of God fills voids. In this case voids in the sky, sea & land
(see Genesis 1:14-31)
It is important to note that the creation of man & beast is on the same day; day 6. We should stop and contemplate why. Isn’t man set apart from animals with a soul; made in the image & likeness of God? Why don’t we get our own special day?!? We’ll get back to this.
SIDE NOTE: One of my confirmation students once asked “What about dinosaurs?” I replied, “What about dinosaurs?” She continued, “How can man & beast be made on the same day if there were no humans around when dinosaurs were around?” I restated, “A day is just some segment of time; it could be billions of years. Dinosaurs could have come and gone in the earlier part of the “day” and man at the later part. It’s really not important. Dinosaurs are just another beast.”
• Day 7: God blessed the 7th day and made it holy because he rested on that day (see Genesis 2:2-3)
God does not need physical rest. The Sabbath day is for us. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
The beasts made with man on day 6 do not know or love God. They were not given the will or the intellect to do so; it’s not what they are made for. How many people do we know who relate to God the same way an animal does? They do not know or love God, even though they were given the capacity.
Man is called to leave the beasts behind in day 6 & find “rest” with God in day 7, the kind of rest described in the opening paragraph, the kind of rest a saint has. Will we choose to “rest” with God in day 7 or remain with the beasts in day 6?
Remember too that the number 7 in scripture always represents perfection, fullness or completion. The number 6 is 1 less than 7 and always corresponds to evil, imperfection or…..…The Number of the Beast!!!
A visual is always helpful. Click upon the earth below to view all of creation!