We need to be reminded that whenever we cease to offer resistance, to compromise with the world, then we are the victims of the world. The only way for us, is to be summoned again and again, and to summon ourselves again and again!, to the unchanging and unalterable norms of behavior, established by God and therefore regulated of life, in all circumstances and conditions.
John Murray The Lord’s Day – It’s Blessing, Sanctity Sermon on Genesis 2:2
From his Principles of Conduct, Murray discusses the importance of Sabbath principles. In his discussion, Murray’s language struck my ears (eyes?) as sounding similar to the language often employed when defending the analogical day view of Creation. He says:
The seventh day referred to here [Gen 2:2-BJL] is unquestionably the seventh day in sequence with the six days of creative activity, the seventh day in the sphere of God’s action, not the seventh day in our weekly cycle. In the realm of God’s activity in creating the heavens and the earth there were six days of creative action and one day of rest. There is the strongest presumption in favour of the interpretation that this seventh day is not one that terminated at a certain point in history, but that the whole period of time subsequent to the end of the sixth day is the sabbath of rest alluded to in Genesis 2:2 …. God’s week, if we may use that term, is not a cycle, it is a once-for-all accomplishment… Does this [Gen 2:3-BJL] refer simply to God’s sabbath, or does it refer to a weekly day of rest in the cycle and sequences of our time?… Even in Exodus 20:11 it is difficult to ascertain whether the sabbath referred to is expressly the seventh day in the realm of God’s activity or the seventh day in man’s weekly cycle. But the significant feature of this verse is that, whichever interpretation we adopt, the sabbath of God’s rest is the reason given for the sabbath of man’s rest, the recurring seventh day of the week. And this would carry with it the inevitable inference that God blessed and sanctified the seventh day of our week precisely because he sanctified the seventh day in the realm of his own creative activity… In the transcendent realm of God’s opera ad extra, on the grand plane of his creative action, he rested on the seventh day. God’s mode of operation is the exemplar on the basis of which the sequence for man is patterned… there is strong presumption in favour of the view that it refers specifically and directly to the sabbath instituted for man.
(emphasis original) pp. 30-32
Now, I don’t claim to know which position Murray maintained when it comes to the Creation debate. (A quick glance at his Collected Works and Principles didn’t turn up any answers. Does anybody know? Which groups generally claim him? I was assuming he would be fairly “vanilla” on this subject.) And I’m not saying that his language here necessitates that Murray held to an Analogical Day view. But differentiating between “the sphere of God’s action” and “our weekly cycle,” and “God’s week” being a once-for-all accomplishment as opposed to the cyclical nature of “our time” does seem to put Murray as holding that the Creation Week was archetypal and our weeks are antitypical. He acknowledges the difficulty of discerning between “the realm of God’s activity” and “man’s weekly cycle” in the 4th Commandment, which would imply that the Creation Week is on another register from creaturely experience.
Again, I’m sure this language doesn’t pigeonhole Murray. In fact, he may be purposefully distancing himself from an Analogical view when he concludes that the blessed sabbath of Gen 2:3 is in fact the sabbath that humans participate in.
Is Murray a supporter of the Analogical Days view? What other position might his language support? If you find another reference, be sure to leave work and page number in the comments below!