On the seventh day he rested? Really?

I think most of us are familiar with the book of Genesis and the Christian story of how God created the earth in six days and then rested on seventh. I have two problems with this.

First is the time frame. It took God, an omnipotent being, six days to create the earth? If God is omnipotent, why wasn’t the creation instantaneous? It doesn’t seem to be outside of the realm of God’s powers. After all, he said. “Let there be light” and bam, there it was, instantly. But it takes an omnipotent being the better part of a week to create one planet? Hmm.

And then he rested. Again, I have to question why an omnipotent being would need to rest at all. God gets tired? How is that even possible? Does God sleep? Why would an omnipotent being that exists beyond time and space need to rest?

This is just something that’s occurred to me as of late. I don’t really know where I’m going with this, other than to say religion is full of crap. Just tossing it out there into the ether, I guess.

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16 thoughts on “On the seventh day he rested? Really?

  1. You aren’t supposed to ask questions silly. You are just supposed to believe it cuz, they say so.

    Go ahead…you know you want to. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just let them tell you what to think, how to dress, how to behave, and show you how to be a smug pious fuck?… and how to be a saint on Sunday and a total booze drinking, wife beating, cussing, dog kicking, tax evading, brown people hating, reality denying,…wait, what was my point?

  2. The answer to this question can be found throughout Scripture. God certainly could have created everything instantaneously; after all, he is omnipotent. The reason he took six days was meant to benefit us. That’s the simple answer. It was the basis of a seven day week, and was meant to provide a Sabbath day’s rest. He rested as an example for us to follow. He didn’t want us to have to work seven days a week. He expected us to work six days, and then take a day of rest to recover and become refreshed. He knew this was good for our bodies that he created. God obviously didn’t need to rest or recover because he’s a spirit, not flesh and blood. Notice when it says that God rested, it doesn’t say he did so because he was tired or weary. It just says that he did so because he finished his work, and that’s why he rested. He had nothing else left to do as far as creation is concerned. Lastly he blessed the seventh day and made it holy.

    In order to understand and answer questions like this we just need to search Scripture and get to know God and his nature. Everything he does is ultimately for our benefit. Just because one doesn’t know why an omnipotent God would take his time creating or rest from his creation doesn’t mean that there’s not a logical reason, or that incredulity or a lack of understanding is evidence that religion is full of crap. I’ve always been able to find common sense reasons for what God is doing, even if we’re not given precise details.

    1. Objectively, that doesn’t make much sense. He could have created everything instantaneously and a week still would be seven days. He’s god, after all. Why not create everything in the blink of an eye and then just lay down how everything is? God always seems to choose the most human or least omnipotent way to get things done.

  3. I think it makes perfect sense. Of course God could do anything. That’s not in dispute. You were asking why he did it the way he did, and I provided a sound explanation based on Scripture. Just because he could have done it a different way- or in a way you would approve of- doesn’t mean that he’s not allowed to complete his creation so as to set for us an example to follow. He’s free to do so however he sees fit, and that’s exactly what he did. In fact God has always intended to set an example for us. He didn’t set things in motion so that he could rule over us. He was perfectly willing to subject himself to everything he expected us to be subject to, and that’s why he became a man and suffered and died on the cross. He wasn’t going to subject us to pain, death, disease and suffering without enduring it himself. So that’s why he didn’t do it another way- if he created everything in the blink of an eye, then he wouldn’t have set the example for us to follow. It’s kind of like a parent teaching their child something new- they do it by example. I think that makes perfect sense.

    You’re last statement doesn’t make sense because that’s simply a personal opinion that doesn’t have any merit. What is human about creating everything out of nothing in six days? I don’t know any humans that could do that. Scientists can’t even create life from non-living material. The fact that God can speak things into existence seems extremely omnipotent to me. He created the sun, moon and stars just by his authority alone.

    1. My last point, and my overall point, is that there’s no logic to doing anything the hard way for God. I get that God can do anything he wants; an omnipotent being literally can do anything it wants. But there’s a gap in logic to me as to why a being with unlimited power would choose not to use it. How does instantaneously creating the world and everything in it detract from the fact that a week is seven days? If God created everything in the universe, including the sun and earth’s orbit around it, then our year and our seasons would be the same regardless.

      I feel like I should clarify that I make these posts not because I don’t believe in God, but rather because I’ve never understood how anthropomorphic religion makes God. I can’t prove whether or not God exists, and that’s not my goal. I’m questioning what I perceive to be gaps of logic in religion, something which to me is not mutually exclusive with the idea of a supreme being. I really do appreciate your replies to these posts.

    1. I’m still having trouble understanding why it wouldn’t be logical if God decided, for whatever reason, to do something “the hard way”. I’d suggest that the only way it wouldn’t be logical is if God’s character were completely different than what it is. If he were selfish, greedy, egotistical, and only interested his own pleasure and well-being, then I’d agree with you. But being that he is unselfish, loving, kind, and wants what’s best for us, then he’s more than willing to do things “the hard way”. Further, there’s nothing that’s hard or harder for God to do, so it simply comes down to him deciding what’s in our best interest.

      Here’s another way to look at it; if you watch movies where the hero has “super powers” (Superman, Spider Man, Jedi, etc.), they’re often instructed by their mentor not to use their powers. Why? Well, the mentor usually explains that there’s a time and place to use their powers, but there’s also a time to do things the “hard way” and not use their super powers at all. They’re taught to refrain from using their powers for selfish gain, and they’re taught discipline and self control (but the villains never abide by those silly rules). So do you find that there’s no logic in these fictional examples where the super hero does things “the hard way”, or do you agree there’s logic to it? I find that it makes sense. Further, what if you had God-like powers- would you always do everything “the easy way”, or would you ever decide to do something “the hard way”, for whatever reason, even though someone without God-like powers might consider it illogical? I think it would be perfectly logical for you to choose to do something the hard way if you wanted to.

      Here’s a more down-to-earth way to look at it. Say you were an Olympic athlete (perhaps the best ever!), and you were expected to compete in a number of events. Knowing that you were the best Olympic athlete ever, would you decide that you didn’t have to work as hard as all the other athletes and just party all night and have fun until the events? Or would you do things the hard way- bust your butt, practice, eat right, get the right amount of rest, etc. to ensure that you won gold in each event? I think it would be most logical to take the second option and work hard.

      I’ll even go back to my previous example of a father teaching his son. What if a father wanted to teach his son how to add and subtract? The father has a calculator, smart phone, computer, i-pad, and a bunch of other gizmos that he could use to add and subtract with. Should he use those to teach his son how to add and subtract, or would it make more sense to teach him how to add and subtract by first using a pencil and paper (which would be a lot harder and take longer)? I think it would be more logical to use pencil and paper and show him how to do it one step at a time, and then, after he grasped the concept and mastered it by hand, teach him how to use those other devices.

      I can think of a lot of other examples, but I hope these help (even though they’re not perfect examples). It’s important to realize that God isn’t limited to any set of rules that he must follow. He’s the authority, so he does whatever is in our best interest.

      1. Well, I suppose that the superhero analogy you provided does make sense, but only insofar as it makes sense for human beings. In said movies or stories, the mentor usually provides such a lesson because the protagonist still has something to learn. But I struggle to find how that would apply to God, an omniscient being who I would assume has nothing to really learn from experience.

        I guess I can relate more to the whole father-son argument, although I still have trouble applying that to the creation of the world. I would buy the whole teach-a-man-to-fish thing if we were talking about something more practical. I don’t see how creating the world in 6 days and then resting really teaches human beings anything or makes them think harder about it, as the math example with the son you provided would.

        I really do appreciate the examples that you’ve given me, and the athlete one really makes me think. Just because we can do something doesn’t always mean that we should. But even as I’m writing this, I can’t help but note my use of the word *we* as in human beings, who are imperfect. What I really have the most trouble reconciling is that if God is a perfect being, then everything He does should be perfect, and NOT doing something in the most efficient way would seem to me to be an imperfection. Would that imply that God is not perfect or not omnipotent? To me that implies that we humans have built an understanding or idea of God based upon our own imperfections.

  4. None of the analogies I provided were meant to be a perfect explanation, but were meant to demonstrate that there are real reasons as to why God does what he does, and that it’s not arbitrary or illogical. We may not be able to ascertain the exact details surrounding God’s decisions, understand his specific thought process, or the various factors that went into his decisions, but we don’t need any of that in order to get a practical understanding of his actions. Although the book of Genesis doesn’t provide a thorough explanation as to why God worked six days and rested on the seventh, it does explain that he blessed the seventh day and made it holy, so we know there was something very significant and intentional about each of the six days of creation- and especially the seventh day in which he rested from his work. But Exodus 20 elaborates on this and further explains how he was setting an example for us to follow. It’s also interesting that of all the Commandments it’s this one that he provides the most detailed explanation. Elsewhere in Scripture it describes the Sabbath as a sign and a lasting covenant, and it even applies to their animals and the land they were farming; it was meant for us to enjoy and delight in, and God promised blessings for those who honored the Sabbath. Jesus even told us that he is the Lord of the Sabbath, and that the Sabbath was made for man. It’s very interesting to see how the Sabbath is woven throughout all of Scripture. So it should be clear that it was very intentional that God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh.

    In the superhero analogy, as you stated, God wouldn’t have anything to learn, but his restraint was for us to learn from his example. The same thing with the father and son; by showing restraint and not using a calculator to teach math, the father patiently uses a paper and pencil for the benefit of his son.

    I do appreciate how you connect God to doing things in the most efficient way as part of his perfection, and I would agree. However I think what we’d consider to be “the most efficient way” may not be the same as what God would consider to be “the most efficient way” simply because he’s omniscient and knows how all of history will be affected. So I agree with you that we tend to build our understandings of God based upon our own imperfections. And that’s why I’d suggest that, in the long run, the way God did it is most efficient because it actually demonstrates what he expects from us. What better way to set an example but to show others by doing it for them to see. And although none of us were there to witness God’s creation, he boldly tells us about it with unambiguous terms and explains its significance so that we could benefit from it. It certainly wouldn’t have the same impact or significance if he had created everything in the blink-of-an-eye, and then tell us to work for six days and rest on the seventh. I find it humbling that if God thinks the pattern is good for us, then it’s also good for him as well, rather than looking down on us as if he’s too good to subject himself to our level (even though all glory and honor belong to him).

    1. You make some very interesting points. I very much appreciate your insight into such matters. I have plenty of friends who consider themselves religious,but they generally don’t like to discuss such matters (which is fine with me since faith is a personal matter). I’ll have to digest this. Thank you for the reply!

      1. Thankfully there are perfectly sane, rational religious people (like Jonathan above) who are capable of fruitful and substantive discourse :-).

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