The Creation Covenant
Various sources have attacked Gods Word from the earliest times. The serpent questioned what God said in its deceptive conversation with Eve. These attacks range from out right disputation of what God said to cynical refutation. When we studied the history and sources of Gods Word at the New York Theological Seminary, we learned that the internal unity of the Bible could only be described as astounding. We learned that apparent contradictions that stray from its unity resulted from improper translation due to faulty understanding of Greek or Hebrew or preconceived notions from outside sources, other than the Bible. God says that He never lies, His Word is True, and therefore, He can never contradict Himself. Furthermore, if the Almighty God can create the world, He has the power to keep His Word inviolate. Unity and consistency define the Bible.
We also examined various modern criticisms of the Bible from science to historians and found their arguments to be wanting. Lately, scientists such as Gerard Schroeder (Genesis and the Big Bang) have proved that the Bible and science have no disagreement.
A nagging confrontation comes from groups who disagree with Gods being a Single Person and His instituted Holy Day of Rest, the Sabbath. They base their arguments on their misunderstanding of the Old Covenants relation to the New Covenant and Israels obligation to the Law against the Gentiles being freed from the Covenant of Sinai, i.e., the Ten Commandments, well from two of the Ten: the first and fourth. They have no problem with not murdering, committing adultery, stealing, lying and coveting. Why do they single out God being One Person and keeping the day He made holy by resting on the first Sabbath?
When did all the covenants come into existence? In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth; since He created everything, everything has His imprint on it. Since God is love, His creation exudes His love. That love created a world to bring forth life. Some can see God in the creation, as Abraham did, but all need revelation to understand what life is all about. For, the creation is all about life and life more abundantly. To obtain the life God intended, He gave man covenants to establish loving relationships between God and man and man and man. The creation demands love as demonstrated by Gods adjuration to love in the Words of the Covenant.
Creation Is the Covenant
So close is the relationship of creation and covenant that one root sound in the Hebrew contains both the meaning of creation and covenant.
Hosea 6:7 says Adam transgressed covenant; however, Genesis says nothing about a covenant with Adam. Indeed, the Hebrew words for covenant and creation have the same root sound, which makes the connection Hosea alluded to. In the beginning God created... The Hebrew for created is bara, which means, of course, to create and has additional meanings of to cut down and select. Scientists know that all matter and energy came from a tiny mass, and whoever made or created this mass had to select the energy and matter. We may also consider that some kind of cutting or slicing must have been involved, because the word bara, suggests this. Bara also means cleanness, pureness with a sense of selection as in deciding what to make clean. Furthermore, bara means lightening, and a gleam as people may be enlightened by, say, Gods Word. Additionally, after Gods ruach, expanded this tiny mass of the universe, He spoke or commanded light into existence, and science will say that light had to be created at the precise moment in time for it to come into existence.
1254. bara}, baw-raw´; a primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes
1262. barah, baw-raw´; a primitive root; to select; also (as denominative from 1250) to feed; also (as equivalent to 1305) to render clear (Eccl. 3:18):
1305. barar, baw-rar´; a primitive root; to clarify (i.e. brighten), examine, select:
1252. bor, bore; from 1305; purify:
1253. bor, bore; the same as 1252; vegetable lye (from its cleansing); used as a soap for washing, or a flux for metals:
1299. baraq, baw-rak´; a primitive root; to lighten (lightning)
1300. baraq, baw-rawk´; from 1299; lightning; by analogy, a gleam; concretely, a flashing sword:
Of course, the Bible knows who created this tiny mass of matter and energy, the Almighty God. Furthermore, the Almighty God made covenants with mankind; the Hebrew word for covenant has the same sound as the Hebrew for creation. The Hebrew for covenant is briyth, which means a compact, in the sense of cutting and passing between the flesh, which was cut. Immediately, we see the root sound connection with bara, and briyth, because both root sounds have the sense of cutting. Barah, a root sound connecting both bara and briyth, as the meaning of selecting and rendering clear. God selected the matter and energy in place in the tiny mass of the original universe, which became clear as the universe expanded. God selected words and people to whom he would make his covenants clear. Additionally, the root sound, barak, means, by implication, to choose to bless and worship the Creator. Indeed, the act of creating the universe demands covenants with people. The creation in all its permutations, finally leads to the formation of Adam and Eve; the Hebrew bar shows this connection.
Furthermore, bar, the Son God had in mind in the beginning further connects the creation with covenants. In this case, we know from other scriptures that God intended to will His creation to His Son and His other adopted children under the New Covenant.
1285. briyth, ber-eeth´; from 1262 (in the sense of cutting (like 1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh):
1288. barak, baw-rak´; a primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason):
1247. bar, bar; (Aramaic) corresponding to 1121; a son, grandson, etc.:x old, son.
1248. bar, bar; borrowed (as a title) from 1247; the heir (apparent to the throne):son.
Covenant of Creation, the Covenant of Life
Many scriptures refer to the Creator as the Living God; in Gods circumstance, life is intrinsic in Him and comes from Him. The planet, of course, teams with life, and it is hard to find any place from sea bottom to poles where there is no life. However, the life from God is mostly concerned with is the life of man. Unlike all other living creatures, God breathed into Adam the breath of life, a power beyond just getting oxygen, a power at work within to enable man to learn and understand language, to communicate, to think and reason. Furthermore, God intended mankind to grow beyond physical life to having a form of life not unlike His. The creation was an eternal covenant of life, and life eternal because of Gods plan for mankind.
Yet, just as God did not create the Earth as is, He began the creation by exploding the tiny mass of the universe outward by the power of His ruach. He then spent six days (real six days, see later) bringing all the matter and power to the point at which He formed Adam from the clay of the earth and, of course then, breathed into him the breath of life. Systematically, God made the material universe, and step-by-step God formed the covenants on the His Covenant of Creation. The origin of all is the Creation Covenant.
People have to understand that just as the Earth changes, the people on the Earth change as well. As the covenants progressed, so did the people willing to abide by them. At a certain point, when the latest upgrade to the covenant occurred, God through His Son upgraded the human being with a New Spirit, the Holy Spirit. As we can see, through the Creation Covenant, God upgraded the eternal covenant to launch eternal life.
Creation Covenant and the Sabbath Covenant
During the creation, God commanded that the lights in the sky, the sun and the moon, be used also as signs for festivals. God not only created the Earth to give man life, but also to give man a time to devote to God. Leviticus 23 says that these are the Feast Days of the Lord. Certainly, they are because created the sun and moon, in part, to tell people when to have the Feast Days. The first Feast Day mentioned in Leviticus 23 is the Sabbath.
Lev. 23:3 ¶ For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest, a sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; it is a Sabbath to the LORD wherever you live.
These Holy Days were created for man before there were any commandments or nation of Israel. In Leviticus, God lists the complete array of Feast Days beginning with the Sabbath. So God built into the solar system the way of determining the Sabbath and Holy Days. At the end of six days, from sunset to sunset, a person can watch the sunset and see the sun go below the horizon to show the Sabbath beginning. Only the Creator would make His Sabbath so easy to determine. Anyone could count the six sunsets to the beginning of the Sabbath. The Creation Covenant has the Sabbath Covenant built into it.
Gen. 1:14 ¶ Then God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for festivals and for days and years.
Genesis 1 describes the work God did in the Creation, and it further names the days on which He worked and created the various aspects of the universe, ultimately providing the Earth, including the atmosphere, an environment suitable for life. Additionally, the Creator provided all the necessities to provide life.
In the beginning, God created
and all that He created was good; obviously because His creation must reflect His goodness. Therefore, the creation, in turn, demonstrates Gods goodness for all to see. For example, God created all manner of food, which provides, at once, pleasant taste, energy and nourishment; it is a good thing. All mans necessities that God created provide good as well.
We must note that God completed His Creation in those six days. (Six actual twenty-four hours days. See Genesis and the Big Bang by Gerald Schroeder.) There was nothing else to add or subtract from the creation. God completed the material universe, and He completed the creation of human beings. From the discussion above, we note that God created the signs for Holy Days, including the Sabbath. The Sabbath turns out to be a part of the Commandments God revealed to Israel, but not only for them exclusively because everyone can see the sunset starting Gods Holy Day of Rest. Therefore, the Sabbath Covenant and the Covenant of Words, which I will discuss later, grow out of the Creation Covenant.
After God finished His creation, He rested and made that day of rest a Holy Day. Without Gods six days of creation, there would be no need for a seventh Day of Rest. Just as the week has seven days, the creation has seven days, the first six for working and the seventh a rest from the working. The Hebrew for rest and seventh have the same root sounds as Sabbath. Therefore, the words rest and seventh have the same meaning as Sabbath.
After all was completed, God rested, took a sabbatical. When some-thing is completed, there is nothing else to do job finished. Obviously, the job that God completed was the creation and the Covenants implicit in the creation. Of course, God continued to do things but only things that built on the foundation of the creation. We must remember that God did not create a static world or people living as automatons on a dark planet in the Wrinkle in Time. No, God gave people the opportunity to live and grow, to choose and decide. Of course, people usually chose wrongly, but God knew that would happen. However, the bara (creation) amounted to a bar (Son). With His Son integrated into the creation, God determined that those made in His image would live up to their formation. When the time was right, God begot a Son, a human Son descended in part from Adam and in part from the power of the ruach.
This Son, among other things, became the Lord of the Sabbath, Gods Holy Day of rest. Furthermore, the Son articulated what God wanted mankind to know from the beginning, that He decreed the Sabbath rest be for mans benefit. What benefit?
When humans also rest on Gods Holy Day as He did, they, by imitation, learn whom the Lord our God is, who brought us out of the land of bondage. After working six days as God did, in imitation of Him, they also rest like Him. There is no better way to know God than imitating Him in working hard six days and resting on His Holy Day.
Resting on Gods Holy Day teaches people more about God in addition to imitating Him. On His Day of Rest, people have extra time to read about Him and learn of His love and creation, to respect His Name, to worship Him on His Holy Day, and to keep oneself from idolatrous evils.
By working hard six days a week, a person learns to earn his own way instead of stealing or coveting, to respect others, such as his parents, wife, children and neighbors, by not murdering or lying about them. People also derive that inner satisfaction from hard work. As noted above, resting on Gods Holy Day gives a person an opportunity to grow into Gods Nature.
Gen. 2:1 ¶ So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed.
Gen. 2:2 By the seventh day, God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done.
Gen. 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.
Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Mark 2:28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
The Words of the Covenant
The creation covenant leads directly to the words of the covenant. God made man in his likeness; therefore, for example, a murderer kills a person made in Gods image or a thief steals from a person made in Gods image. Furthermore, God created the universe for the purpose of giving life, particularly, to human beings. A murderer takes life away and a thief steals not only a persons material goods but also that part of his life used in obtaining these goods.
There is nothing intrinsically bad or evil in Gods creation. (Aside: Satan turned away from its goodness God gave it, just as man did.)
God created man, male and female, and told them procreate, which they joyfully did. Over time, mankind grew in numbers. In order for mankind to live with others, hopefully peaceably, God made laws to keep mankind safe, prosperous and alive. These laws, which grew out of Gods goodness, make up the Covenant Words, the Ten Commandments. The creation of humans necessitates the Covenant of Creation, the Ten Commandments. Furthermore, God being the Creator not only made the laws of physics and chemistry, but of life: the relationship of humans to God and humans to human.
The first four Commandments of the Covenant teach people how God wants them to relate to Him and to know Him. The first tells humans who God is and what He did for Israel. The second warns against having anyone or anything come between God and His children, such as idols both the physical and moral (e.g., stubbornness). The third reinforces the Nature of God, His Almighty Love and Honor by not using His Name in vain. The fourth, the foundation Commandment, and the only Commandment to have its own Covenant, tells us how to imitate God by working hard for six days and resting on the day He made Holy.
The second six Commandments explain how to live peaceably with other humans. First, children must honor their parents. Second, no human may murder another. Third, husbands and wives must honor their wedding vows. Fourth, no human may steal from another. Fifth, no human may give false testimony against another. Sixth, no human may covet what another has. God tells people how to love one another in these Covenant Commandments.
All other Covenants grow out of the Covenant of Creation, the foundational Covenant.
Gen. 5:2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.
Hos. 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant;
There they have dealt treacherously against Me.
Mal. 2:10 ¶ Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?
The Hebrew root sounds of creation and covenant show that they come from the same source, not only linguistically but also biblically. The whole creation is a covenant with man. The whole creation shows Gods purpose to give life to mankind through not only his creation, but also by His revelation. His revealed covenants with man show how life may be lived fully and hopefully eternally. As the created world continues toward its destiny, the covenants light mankinds way to choosing or selecting his destiny: resurrected sons and daughters, who will live with Our Father in Heaven forever.
Sabbath Christian Church