Blessed and Sanctified Sabbath

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it … .” Genesis 2:1–3, first part

“God looked with satisfaction upon the work of His hands. All was perfect, worthy of its divine Author, and He rested … .

“After resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of rest for humankind. …

“God designs that the Sabbath shall direct the minds of all people to the contemplation of His created works. Nature speaks to their senses, declaring that there is a living God, the Creator, the Supreme Ruler of all. … 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 men and women open the great book of nature and trace therein the wisdom, the power, and the love of the Creator.” To Be Like Jesus, 134

“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. …

“God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man … that he might more fully contemplate the works of God, and meditate upon His power and goodness. He needed a Sabbath, to remind him more vividly of God, and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator.

“When the foundations of the earth were laid … then was laid the foundation of the Sabbath. Well may this institution demand our reverence: it was ordained by no human authority, and rests upon no human traditions; it was established by the Ancient of days, and commanded by His eternal word.” The Faith I Live By, 31

Our relationship with God must be a 24/7/365 relationship, but on the Sabbath, above the other six days, God means for us to empty our hearts and minds of the needs and cares of our worldly life to spend this 24 hours with Him alone. The Sabbath is a continual sign of His love and mercy, and as we rest from our labors, we give evidence of our obedience to His law.

It is during the Sabbath hours, that we are spiritually refreshed and invigorated. It is on this day that we are told to gather in His house and join with our brothers and sisters in Christ in praise and thankfulness, glorifying Him who in the beginning created us and now preserves us until His coming. The Sabbath is God’s sign and pledge that He can and will sanctify all who surrender themselves to Him as His chosen and peculiar people. And as we keep the Sabbath holy, we display to all the earth that we are His people. (See The Review and Herald, October 28, 1902)