Of all the Ten Commandments, only the fourth begins with the verb “Remember.” It’s not, “Remember, you shall not steal,” or “Remember, you shall not covet.” There is only “Remember the Sabbath day. …”
The idea of “remembering” presupposes history, presupposes that something happened in the past that we need to, well, remember. When we remember, we make connections with the past, and “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” marks a straight line back to the Creation week itself.
Read Genesis 1.26-27 and Genesis 9:6. What do these verses teach us about how special we as human beings are, and how radically different we are from the rest of God’s earthly creation? And, too, why is it so important that we understand this distinction?
When we remember creation, we remember that we are created in God’s image, something that is not said about anything else depicted in the Creation account. It’s obvious that, as human beings, we are radically different from any other creature on the planet, regardless of how much DNA we share in common with some other animals. And, contrary to popular mythology, we are not mere advanced apes or more highly evolved versions of some primeval primate. As humans, made in the image of God, we are unique among all that God created on this world.
How does the Creation story remind us of our relationship to creation? Genesis 2:15, Genesis 2:19.
Realizing that God also created our world reminds us of our responsibility to creation. We are to “have dominion” over creation. Having dominion does not mean exploiting it. We are to rule as God’s regents. We are to interact with the natural world as God would.
Yes, sin has marred and messed up everything, but this earth is still God’s creation, and nothing gives us the right to exploit it, especially to the detriment of other human beings, which is so often the case.
|Besides honoring a memorial of God as the Creator, in what ways can Sabbath keeping help us to be more conscious of our need to be good environmental stewards?|