Richard Agee

Genesis 1:26-2:8: Purpose of Shabbat and creation; two creation accounts or one?

The last two things God created was the Shabbat/Sabbath and the Garden of Eden. God did not create the Shabbat because He was exhausted or tired. Rather, He wanted to set aside a day for mankind to have a special time with Him. Also some are confused about the creation narratives of Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 but a careful reading of each shows us that Gen. 2 focuses specifically on the creation of mankind and the special Garden called Eden that was made by God as mankind’s primary residence.

Gen 2:3 says that when God completed His creative work, He “blessed” the seventh day, the שבת Shabbat. The Hebrew word is בָּרַךְ barak (Strong’s lexicon No. H1288). The literal meaning of this word is “to kneel.” 

What is the Shabbat to you? How is it a blessing to you? How do you delight in the Shabbat? Why did He create it?

The struggle for some people is not the command not to work, but the command not to do our own thing. It’s a time to sanctify our minds, our thoughts and our belief systems. 

He put us aside as a peculiar people and the Shabbat is a mark of our peculiarity. He pulled us out of the world. The Shabbat is to be a peculiar day, a day that we spend in a totally different way than the other six days. 

One peculiar thing about the seventh day is that it does not say “evening and morning, the seventh day.” God did not create the Shabbat because He was exhausted or tired. Rather, He wanted to set aside a day for mankind to have a special time with Him. 

The Shabbat is a holy convocation — a set-apart formal assembly at a special time — and we are to come into communion with Him. Yeshua said that God did not need to rest (John 5:14–17). God created it for mankind. That is why Yeshua had to remind the Pharisees that the Shabbat was made for man, not man for the Shabbat (Mark 2:25–28).

Gen. 2:4 begins a record of the creation of the earth and the plant life, but it emphasizes the creating of mankind. This is also the first record of God’s personal name, יהוה YHWH (H3068). 

Some find a contradiction between chapters one and two. Chapter 2 says there were no plants in the land because there was no man to cultivate it (Gen. 2:5). Chapter 1 said the dry ground sprouted vegetation before God formed mankind (Gen. 1:9–13). Why would it matter? Why would mankind have to have been created before the plants were completed?

The answer is this: God created the world (אָרֶץ eretz, H776) and everything in it just as He said in Chapter 1. What is being created in Chapter 2 is not the entire world but the Garden of Eden (גַּן עֵדֶן gan ’eyden, H1588 + H5731). The Garden of Eden was created for man, after mankind was formed (Gen. 2:8).

In Chapter 2, we see that God is preparing the ground (אֲדָמָה ’adama, H127) and preparing the Garden of Eden as a place for mankind to live. 

Why did God create man? Why did He give mankind His breath, that He did not give to the animals? The Bible says that He created man in His image (Gen. 1:26–27). He is still forming His image in mind, including His own life. Animals have light in their blood, but they do not have God’s breath of life in them. Only human beings have God’s breath in them.

The book of Hebrews mentions a special sword, a sword that could separate bone from marrow and soul from spirit (Heb. 4:9–13). That is a very powerful sword. Flesh and blood can’t enter the Kingdom of God. 

We are created to be like God, not like a dog or a cat. 

After we are dead and buried, there will come a time when God will call our name and we will be resurrected but we will not receive a corrupted body but a perfect body. 

After the resurrection of mankind, God is going to destroy the heavens and earth and recreate them (Isa. 66:22–23; Rev. 21:1). God did not create man for the sake of the Earth but the earth for the sake of man. When He gives us our perfected bodies, He will also give us a better, perfected earth.

Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.

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