In the Beginning:
Throughout the word of God, we find reference to the “Day of the Lord”. God works in a timeframe of days. When he readied Noah to go into the ark, He chose a specific number of days prior, to notify him:
[Gen 7:4 KJV] 4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
You can ask the Father “how long” and the answer is always the same. Seven days. This is more than a chronological span of time. Seven speaks of perfection. It is about God’s Kairos timing moving into Chronos reality or manifestation. Seven days. Is this some random number of days that just so happened to be the time that God tells Noah that the rains were coming? Looking back at creation in Gen. 1:1 to Gen. 2:3, we find that God chose seven days in which to create the earth. God being God, we know that He could have simply made all things in the blink of an eye, including man, but He did not. He took seven specific time frames in which He acted in an exact manner and in an order that has meaning for us, if we will take time to study it.
The Significance of the Number Seven:
The term “seven days” appears 92 times in the scriptures, compassing both the Old and the New testaments. The majority of these references are contained in the law of Moses, giving specific requirements regarding the statutes and commandments. God apparently intended to impress upon the ancient Hebrews the importance and weight He places on the number seven. What does this mean to us? Paul taught that the Old Testament comprises for us a shadow that point to the substance of New Testament reality you and I can discern about spiritual things, and how to cooperate with the mandates of the kingdom in our lives:
[1Co 10:11 KJV] 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
If the concept of seven days is so prominently displayed in the scriptures, then God is telling us something we need to pay attention to. What can we learn from the number seven itself? Again, the number seven is a number that is generally believed to have a spiritual meaning connected with perfection. The number seven appears 735 times in the bible, 54 times alone in the book of Revelation. There are Hebrew traditions that maintain that Adam was created on the seventh month on the seventh day, 5777 years ago. The word “created” is used seven times in the creation account of Gen. 1:1 – 2:4 (specifically Genesis 1:1, 21, 27 three times; 2:3; 2:4). The number seven, therefore, is not only connected with perfection, but also with creation or “to create”. Creation is both cosmic and universal, as well as personal and intimate to our lives. God is still creating. Everything God does in our life is creative in nature. If the number seven and creation ARE linked, then we would be benefited by discovering this linkage and posturing ourselves, in faith and action, to the process revealed thereby.
The Hebrew word for “seventh” or “seven” means “vow or oath” or “to cut”. In employing this number in connection with creation, God was foreshadowing His own foreknowledge that man would fall, and a separation would be the result that would then be ameliorated by the covenantal “cutting” or outpouring of the life of Jesus upon the cross. In looking at the number seven, we are not attempting to install in your life some convoluted mystical process by which you can leverage God to move in your behalf. In looking at God’s process, we are seeking to understand how, in our commitment to Christ, we might position ourselves directly in front of the cross of Christ. We want to press ourselves out of a human experience of performance and humanism, into the reality and fullness of all that Jesus has paid for in our stead. The claims of Christ applied to your life are not instantaneous. They are conditional and provisional. They involve process and initiation on God’s part, and humility and cooperation on your part. God has already done what He is going to do in Christ. Now the door stands open to us to step in, by cooperative acts of humility and yieldedness, to see the miraculous become the norm and not the exception in our lives.
[Mat 5:33 KJV] 33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
Again, the number seven relates to covenant, cutting and the idea of vows or oaths. When the scripture says that we should perform our vows or oaths unto the Lord, it is literally taken that unto the Lord we should perform our “sevens”. Being that seven relates to the living out of our days then, from God’s perspective, your days are your oath before Him (just as we believe, on a human level, that a man’s word is his bond). In other words, Jesus is saying in Matt. 5:33, that you should not take an oath, for YOUR LIFE is an oath lived out before God, as far as God originally intended and is concerned. To take an oath beyond this is to cheapen your own life and give yourself an opportunity or option, to reflect something other than God’s innate character in your person.
Jesus is saying that an oath is not something you merely take as an occasional protestation of your veracity or intention. An oath is something you live out. Your life is an oath to God and every breath a vow. Your life is intended by God to be as solemn as the most dread vow you could ever take. The days of our lives lived out before the Lord, are in some sense, as sacramental in the eyes of God as the most solemn oath that one might take