God rested after creating the physical universe, blessing and honoring it as special each seventh day.
His rest was not due to fatigue; rather it represented completion of His work. The Hebrew term for rest (shabat) is always spoken of in the past tense.
Years later when David spoke about entering God’s rest he did not refer to the Sabbath day alone.
After six days of creating the universe from nothing, God took a day off on the seventh to survey what He had made and declare it good – this event forms the basis of why we all observe the Sabbath as a weekly day of rest and renewal.
God rested on the seventh day of creation because He was satisfied with His perfect and sinless work of creation and was at rest from exertion. Later He instituted a weekly Sabbath as an example to His people so they could model it after Himself.
God’s restful rest on the seventh day of Creation Week was an indication of His later blessing His people spiritually through Jesus. Hebrews 4:1-11 details this spiritual rest as not being the same as that experienced physically by Israel on that same day but is instead something only those in Christ can truly experience – it comes through trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior while being filled by His Holy Spirit who leads to eternal life with Him in heaven – this rest is promised to humanity in Genesis 2:1-3 by our creator.
On the seventh day, God stopped His creative work. Having achieved all His desired objectives, and found His work satisfactory, He took no further part in creating anything further and purposely stopped doing it – this wasn’t just another temporary pause in creation but an intentional cessation.
On the sixth day of creation week, God had performed astounding acts. He created light, mountains and seas; sun, moon and stars; plants and animals. On the seventh day He rested.
He rested not because He was weary, but rather to celebrate a perfect and sinless creation that He was pleased to rest upon. However, sin soon interrupted God’s rest; therefore He changed the fourth commandment to reflect this reason for resting.
As part of this change, Genesis records that God blessed and sanctified the seventh day. This phrase means He made it holy or set it apart from other days – it allowed Israel to enjoy peace and prosperity in their Promised Land, while commemorating their deliverance from Egyptian slavery by their God.
God’s rest isn’t simply a day off from activity; rather, it serves as a reminder of the special relationship that exists between him and his people, as well as between God and creation itself.
God sets an example for human work and rest through this event, encouraging his people to follow his pattern by both working hard and taking time for restful rejuvenation on every seventh day.
The seven days of creation provide us with the framework for celebrating a weekly Sabbath. “Sabbath” comes from Hebrew noun “shabat”, meaning cessation of activity or rest. God rested after six days of creating, designing it to be holy as He rested upon it after resting upon it Himself on day seven.
The Bible teaches that our weekly Sabbath celebration is an affirmation of God’s generosity towards humanity. People were created to enjoy intimate communion with their Maker and take delight in his wonderful work; but because of sinful actions work became unpleasant and frustrating. Therefore, the Sabbath was intended to restore that sense of fellowship and joy which had been lost after Adam fell.
As Creation Week came to a close on its sixth day, God completed His amazing creative power by making humanity in his image. But that didn’t signal an end of God’s plan or restful restfulness for humanity.
Scripture does not record that God continues his seventh-day rest into our present times; its reference in Genesis 2:3 uses Hebrew perfect tense verbs indicating it has already occurred and become reality.
God does not rest because He becomes tired or weary; rather, His rest comes from being all-powerful and accomplishing whatever needs to be done. Indeed, in Isaiah 40:28 it states that He does not slumber nor sleep – instead He “everlasting and His understanding unsearchable”.
As soon as God rested on the seventh day of creation, He blessed and set it apart as a special day to commemorate and remember what He had accomplished for His glory. God then ordered his people to emulate His example and keep the weekly Sabbath for physical rest and blessing as an illustration of what spiritual rest can mean in Christ for any believer today.
God completed His masterpiece during the final day of Creation Week by drawing out all aspects of heaven and earth, creating the sun and moon to rule them and creating beasts and humans as his companions – an impressive six-day achievement demonstrating His wisdom and design. On day seven He blessed and set apart this seventh day as holy by making it distinct from its predecessors.
Rabbi Nachmanides explained that the Hebrew term shavat, often translated as rest in most Bibles, actually refers to abstaining. After working hard for six days straight, God “ceased performing all His work” (Shabbat shavat mi-kol melakhto). Therefore, on the seventh day there was no creative activity or productivity at all and thus it became holy day.
God rested on the seventh day, having completed His perfect and sinless creation. If Adam and Eve hadn’t disobeyed Him, His rest would have been eternal; instead, His rest is fulfilled through Christ’s redemption of his people from slavery to sin through Sabbath worship and weekly Sabbath-keeping. Additionally, it serves as a reminder that He doesn’t tire. Isaiah 40:28 states this in its passage on rest: ‘His understanding is unsearchable.”
The seventh day in God’s creation account marks a period of inactivity from Him; He rests from working on creation of light, land and water bodies, celestial bodies, plant life and animal life as well as humans – something He had started working on previously. This was His chance for rest from all His hard work!
Nachmanides, a Jewish scholar, asserts that in Genesis 2:2, the Hebrew word for “rest” (shabat) appears in its perfect tense to emphasize God was not fatigued when creating on Day Seven – rather, He simply completed His task of creating.
The Bible teaches us that spiritual rest is a gift from God for all those who trust Christ, described by Hebrews’ author as entering this rest. Christians celebrate this true Sabbath each week to honor its example during Creation Week when God rested after creating us on Day 7. When remembering God’s rest we are reminded of His great and powerful love; therefore this day serves as an “moment of grace” within daily lives as it gives us time to remember and praise the Lord.
The Bible states that on the seventh day, God concluded His work. This means He did not continue any creative activity – this concept underlies Jewish observance of Sabbath as a weekly reminder that He completed His tasks and rested, much as we should do ourselves each week.
The biblical passage does not specify whether or not God was exhausted, but Isaiah 40:28 makes clear that He never tires himself out, indicating that His rest on the seventh day had nothing to do with exhaustion; rather it demonstrated His great omnipotence.
The seventh day is especially significant as it marks the culmination of creation rather than its start, so this day was considered extra special by God and man alike. On this particular day He blessed and sanctified it separately from all six creation days as He demonstrated to mankind that His blessings come not through merit but grace alone.