Why Yahweh Cannot “Rest”?
Earlier in this blog we have urged Christians to reconsider their belief especially with regards to God’s divine attributes. In it, the traits of God are unique and cannot be shared with His creatures; on the same lines, since the attributes of mortals are created, bounded and limited, they cannot be vested upon God! Nevertheless, sadly, many of those who identify themselves as “monotheists” breach monotheism exactly in this area. They would either believe in a “God” with humanly traits or give humans the attributes of God. And both these situations are deadly.
Nevertheless, rooted in monotheism, pure belief does get reflected sporadically in Christian thinking. Consider, for instance, a particular biblical incident. We read in the Book of Genesis that God sanctified the seventh day because “in it he had rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:3, King James Version).
Christians would never allow any misinterpretation of the preceding verse, especially the usage of the word “rested” in it. They would explain that to rest here means that God completed His work of creation and therefore “ceased” working on the seventh day. And thus, “rested” is not to be understood with its general import that God became tired of long six days of work, and consequently “rested” on the seventh day!
As monotheists we should not have any objections to this exegesis. God is perfect and so is His attributes and therefore, nothing imperfect can be associated with Him. We must have a conciliatory approach because it does not behoove the God of Abraham (peace be upon him) to rest out of exhaustion; and it is rightly deemed as blasphemous in Christian circles to interpret that God was tired of work. At the same time the exegesis also entails that God’s attributes are immutable – they cannot change with time and space. If God did not exhaust when He was creating everything that exists, then He would never exhaust out of any work that He does.
Nevertheless, Christian thinking takes a U-turn when it comes to Christology. Christians would not apply same principles when considering the deity of Christ (peace be upon him). Although the Yahweh of Genesis is exegetically not allowed merely to “rest”; in the New Testament we have a complete “God” being killed, let alone the incarnation and everything earthly, non-divine entailing with it! Christians should scruple that if Yahweh cannot “rest” then “God” certainly cannot “die”!