Commentary

Cliff Goldstein

is editor of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. His next book, Baptizing the Devil: Evolution and the Seduction of Christianity has just been released by Pacific Press.

Cliff's Edge-Every Seventh Sunset

Who, and with what machinations, can void the seventh-day Sabbath?

Of all that we believe, what’s foundational? The teaching that bankrolls all others? That which if falsified or rejected would dissolve our faith into less than air?

Creation, what else? I know because God commands us to spend one-seventh of our lives, every week (without exception) to remember it—something that He commands for no other doctrine because no other doctrine makes sense apart from creation.

And not just creation but the seven-day creation. Otherwise, we would have no Adam, who brought us sin and death (Gen. 1-3; Rom. 5:12). And without sin and death who needs Jesus on the cross to undo what Adam did to us (Rom. 5:17-21)? And with no Jesus on the cross there’s no redemption, resurrection, Second Coming, or eternal life. No wonder God commands us to spend one-seventh of our lives as a reminder of the seven-day creation. Without it, we have nothing.

This reminder is so important that instead of us going to it, it comes to us. Every week at 1,000 miles per hour (near the equator) the Sabbath washes over the world and into every corner and crevice of our lives because time reaches into every corner and crevice of our lives. Nothing escapes it.

I have a desktop App, Living Earth, a real-time view of the planet from space, and on Friday afternoons I can actually watch the Sabbath slowly approach, unstoppable in its tracks.

Unstoppable, and indestructible, too. Men can demolish shrines, ban pilgrimages, proscribe religions. But who, and with what machinations, can void the seventh-day Sabbath? They might as well try to void the sunset.

People can hate the Sabbath, reject it, defile it, even try to change it—“And he shall intend to change times and law” (Dan. 7:25, NKJV)—but God protected His memorial to the creation of things, which are vulnerable to mankind, by placing it in time, which is not. How could it be? Matter is composed of smaller and smaller incantations: chemicals, molecules, atoms, quarks, and leptons, even quantum fields. But time? What is it reduced to?

Skipping over no one, but beyond the destructive reach of everyone, the seventh-day Sabbath remains the universal symbol of the Lord’s seven-day creation, the foundation of all that’s of the earth and of humanity.

“In my beginning,” wrote T.S. Eliot, “is my end.” And because our beginning was in Christ (John 1:1-3), so shall our end be (2 Peter 3:13). Here’s a truth so crucial that God commands one-seventh of our lives to remember it; this unstoppable and indestructible reminder, which quietly and gently engulfs us every seventh sunset, and has done so from the six days when “the Lord God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen. 2:4), and then rested on the seventh.

Clifford Goldstein is editor of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide. His latest book, Baptizing the Devil: Evolution and the Seduction of Christianity, has recently been released by Pacific Press.

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