And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God had created and made.
Book of Genesis Chapter 2:1-2
-Standard King James Version
How would God bless and sanctify this day? On day seven, religious bureaucracies, officers, and clergy were nonexistent. No one was authorized to witness, accurately record, interpret, and administer these holy acts. Adam and Eve (as images created in the likeness of God) are about a day old. Right now they know shit; especially as they have not yet eaten from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Similarly, the Word has not yet been created. Communication must have been tenuous if not impossible. These were acts that must have carried no meaning for them. They were still reeling from the events of the past few hours, unaware of thought; existing without self-awareness and only receiving perceptual stimulus. I suspect that Adam and Eve missed the events of day seven but, if they were present, they would have had no context by which they could comprehend what God enacted.
On day seven, God’s energy expenditure would be more casual, less forceful; an afterthought or add-on at the end of a busy week. The sort of energy required to bless and sanctify must require less effort than bringing physical reality into being. As God needs rest, he cannot be omnipotent. There may have been gaps in the plan. One can’t predict every contingency; any introductory course in project management and implementation would clearly demonstrate this. Blessing and sanctification are more traditional religious events that appear at the end of God’s project. Here, the spiritual follows the physical. Adam and Eve may have been created in the image and likeness of God but they had yet to receive a proper religious education. There is no mention of prayer, fasting, service or whether the first couple was interested in ‘spiritual’ pursuits. The practical acts of blessing and making holy must have been met with bewilderment or indifference.
I suspect that God’s labour on day seven may not have taken all day. What was a full day’s work in those early moments in Judeo-Christian history? My grandparents worked much longer hours than I ever did and that was only several decades ago. Day seven’s efforts did not require twenty-four hours, did they? That’s not rest. If God needed to rest, he set the precedent for active rest as he was engaged in some activities. Once completed, what did he do? How much time did he have left before the beginning of his next work week? What does a less than omnipotent spiritual being do to rest? As rest is recovery from energy expenditure, I wonder what kind of energy God utilized. Consider the forces required to create the earth and heavens and all therein. That’s got to be exhausting. He laboured for six days and, given the scope of the project, he didn’t give himself much time for recovery. How was his energy replenished? That is, what is restorative for a god of his status?
Maybe he was engaged in quiet prideful reflection on the events of the past week. Though, I don’t see how thinking about work on a day off is restful. We learn later that God is proud and vengeful so he is subject to more flaws than a basic lack of power would suggest. Active rest is important so maybe he also took a walk in the garden, went flying or spent time at the beach and ate mangoes. As he was near omnipotent he could do just about anything he wanted. Unfortunately there is no record of his time out of the office. Maybe he just sat on a deck, beer in hand, and watched the world go by. That is time well spent, indeed.