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Our modern timepieces are the culminating result of mankind’s desire to understand and predict the movement of the creation. The unintended consequence of vibrating quartz crystals with digital displays is the insidious temptation to measure our lives with the work of our own hands instead of doing the dance of life to the rhythm of the Creator’s clockwork. We look at LED screens instead of the rising sun.

Genesis 1:2-5
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. KJV

The day is God’s established primary unit of time. It is the full accounting of the division and difference between light and darkness, Day and Night. It is the number Moses asked the Wonderful Numberer to teach us to count. God’s introduction of light into the darkness of the deep was the dawn of redemption. The full measure of the day—light’s division from darkness—resonates with the rhythm of righteousness; with knowing the difference between the clean and the unclean, choosing good over evil, blessing not cursing, life instead of death.

Genesis 1:14-16
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. KJV

What God spoke on day one, He gave physical form to on the fourth day. This prophetic pattern was fulfilled when the Word became flesh. On day one, God called the darkness Night. On the fourth day, He lit the Sun, hung the Moon, and scattered the stars. The Lord made the light to shine in the darkness to rule it.

The lights were given “for signs, and for seasons.” Rightly read, the heavenly luminaries are signposts proclaiming the Redeemer’s character and glory.[1] They mark the seasons, the appointed times of meeting with God.[2]

Genesis 2:1-3
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 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.
3 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. KJV

Earth’s rotation marks the days, its orbit around the Sun the years. The phases of the moon determine the month. The seven-day week is a matter of faith, the Sabbath its sanctified rest in life’s symphony. The Lord gave no greater or lesser physical light to announce the Sabbath. We have to number our days—count their course—to keep in step with the Creator’s work/rest cycle.

Exodus 20:8-11
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. ESV

We lose track of many blessings due to memory failure or neglect. “Remember” in verse eight above is in the Hebrew the word zakar. Its significance goes beyond simple recalling. It means to retain in thought in order to tell someone who can take action.[3]

Psalm 20:7
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember [zakar] the name of the Lord our God. KJV

God is omnipotent. He doesn’t get tired. His resting on and blessing of the seventh day was a time sanctuary established through His command to commemorate the creation and commune with man. In the Fourth Commandment, He invites us to rest from our labors and hold in our minds His mighty works and call upon Him to act in our lives.

When Jesus healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath, his contemporaries wanted him crucified.[4] His intentional penchant for demonstrating the goodness of God on the seventh day was the bone of contention He used to make the spirit of the Law known. Jesus brought an end—a rest—to the man’s infirmity and invited him to live a life of repentance, a restful life of ceasing from sin.

John 5:14
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” NKJV

Jesus singled out a lame man in a crowd of the crippled and decrepit. He later located him in the teaming throng of the temple. The Good Shepherd’s care for the one while living life to die for all is evidence of the intimately-wide breadth of His love.

John 5:17
Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” NIV

The Lord labors to this very day, breathing loving redemption into His creatures who humbly call upon Him. May He teach us to number our days so that we do not foolishly miss our appointed times of encountering His love.

[1] Ps. 19:1-6.
[2] The Hebrew word translated “seasons” in Gen. 1:14 is mo’ed, Strong’s # OT:4150. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words defines it as the “appointed place of meeting.” It I used frequently in the context of the “appointed times” of the feasts instituted by the Lord.
[3] Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words, s.v. “to remember.”
[4] John 5:1-16.