It was Robert Brinsmead, a former Adventist theologian who said, “Dogmatic assertion requires better support than inference”. There were no mention of Sabbath in Genesis, more so in creation. There were no mention how Adam and Eve observed the Sabbath, if there was. So, asserting that Sabbath was established on creation requires a better proof than just merely assuming it is. (In the first place, common sense may ask, how will Adam and Eve observe the same kind of Sabbath that the Israelites observed when they have not sinned yet at that time — no work, all worship)
There is in fact, I believe, more in creation than the Sabbath given at Sinai. Notice this. Each of the six days of creation are said to have a beginning and an ending:
1. And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.—Gen. 1:5.
2. And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.—Gen. 18.
3. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.—Gen. 113.
4. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.—Gen. 1 19
5. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.—Gen 1:23
6. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.—Gen. 1:31
Why is not the same said about the seventh day? Why is every day said to end except the seventh? The work of creation was absolutely finished on the sixth day (Gen. 2:1). And because God’s work was designed to endure forever, might not the rest also have been designed to endure forever?
I believe that the Sabbath established by God at creation is not the same sabbath observed by the Jews, moreso the kind of sabbath being observed by sabbatarians in our times. The Sabbath that God established at creation is the rest that lasts forever. It is the kind of rest that Adam and Eve observed — the unending close relationship with the Creator.
After the fall, God gave the Israelites a “reflection” of the Sabbath he established at creation. That’s the reason why there was a mention of creation in the forth commandment. (Interestingly, the rewritten 10 Commandments at Deut 5 does not mention creation as part of the fourth commandment (v. 12) ). It is actually pointing backwards to creation (the real rest) and pointing forward to the cross (the rest restored). That’s why it is called a “shadow of the things to come. but the reality is found in Jesus Christ” (Col. 2:16,17).
(By Arnold Gamboa, 08-02-2005)