This way of looking at the days of creation illuminates the beauty of the very structure of that week. The first three days create containers for the things that are created in the second group of three days. The time cycle of light and dark created on day one gets filled with the sun, moon, and stars on day four. The sea and sky from day two get filled with fish and birds. And the land from day three get filled with land animals and humans on day six. Also, there is a bonus at the end of each group of three days: at the end of day three, life is first created; at the end of day six, mind is created in humans.
Finally, of course, the Sabbath day of rest finishes the cycle and is an unusual break from the patterns of threes before. God chose to make a day that wasn’t about working, about creating, but rather was about relating, about loving, about savoring the Creation and the Creator.
And it’s fascinating that the first man and woman experienced their first Sabbath as their first full day of life. They were created during the sixth day and then went straight into the Sabbath. And that makes sense, because they had just met their Creator and would want to spend a lot of time right away getting to know Him. And by creating the Sabbath right after creating humans, God shows that spending time with Him is our first priority that allows all our other activities to be possible.
(Praise Team Leader at New Horizons SDA Church in Republic, MO)
(The relations of the various days of Creation to each other are mentioned in the January 14 bible study lesson at http://ssnet.org/lessons/13a/less03.html.)