Continuing the discussion from Timeout: “The Smoke of Their Torment”:
Dear Professor Tonstad,
I truly appreciate your intelligent and thoughtful treatment of these subjects, and your impeccable reasoning in regard to the futility of a theodicy defending God against 0arbitrary despotism–by using an argument of an arbitrary law! (I always did question the appeal of that line of reasoning; and thanks to you now its logic too as touches SDA theology.)
In my lay person’s opinion, here’s where the Deuteronomic repetition of the Sabbath commandment comes in to clarify and enhance the meaning. God-with-us rejoicing in the creation when “it is finished” --becomes God our Redeemer rejoicing in liberating His enslaved people from Egypt and giving them rest in the wilderness (Jer.31)–becomes Jesus Christ God Incarnate rejoicing in liberating the prisoners of sin and freeing the humans He touched from every bodily restriction and ailment, including, as you mentioned, in particular deliberately on the Sabbath–becomes the Godhead rejoicing at the Second Coming in delivering their own who are faithful like Jesus to their trust in God–becomes God-with-us again rejoicing fully when the tabernacle of God is again with men in the heavenly feast of jubilee, in the eternal Sabbath ‘rest.’
That is why we have this most blessed Sabbath message of freedom. We are free to spend time with Deity all day on the Sabbath because our work week “is finished;” free to contemplate the wonders of Creation and the marvels of Redemption; free for God to “restore our soul;” freed for fellowship with family, friends, church family; freed from all the mundane cares of this secular world in the knowledge that God “has performed for us all our works.” The Sabbath is indeed time carved out by the Creator in His wisdom; but its meaning is far from arbitrary. Far from being a painful restriction or an onerous burden, the Sabbath is a high privilege and a great blessing. The Sabbath is very good news! and part of eternal gospel-rejoicing. Hallelujah!