Digital & Church Partnerships Coordinator
When the Creator of the Universe sets an example for us to follow, it makes sense that we do! When He finished creating the world He wanted us to inherit, cultivate, and rule, we’re told, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3 NIV, emphasis added).
Okay, so, the Mighty, Eternal, All-Powerful Creator of the Universe, who doesn’t need to rest, chooses to rest. Not only that, but He made the place of rest holy, which means ‘set apart’ and He made it a place of blessing. Hebrews 4:3 tells us, “And yet His works have been finished since the creation of the world.” Meaning God never left this place of rest.
So, wherever this place of rest is, is a place for us to be set apart from the normality of work, to abide in blessing, and to encounter the very presence of God Himself! I don’t know about you, but that’s a place I want to be!
Fast forward a considerable number of years and we meet the nation Israel, through which God wants to restore His blessing back to the world. He commands them to observe the Sabbath, the 7th day of rest. Why? Because He’d taken them out of slavery in Egypt where they never stopped working.
He commands them to observe the Sabbath, the 7th day of rest. Why? Because He’d taken them out of slavery in Egypt where they never stopped working.
So, to remember God’s act of love, to show the other nations what He had done, and to enjoy a glimpse of the eternal rest they were destined for, they stopped. They rested. Fast forward another considerable number of years and Jesus Christ enters the scene, through whom the blessing is actually restored back to the world!
Through Him, we, enslaved to sin, are rescued and set free from sin, not by our works and effort, but by His grace and mercy. To do what? To enter into an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ through whom we find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30) and enter into His blessing (Galatians 3:14). We are then commissioned by Jesus Himself to go into the world and not only tell the world of this rest (“…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-20), which is available for them, but to show the world what this rest looks like.
Rest is a place to be set free from hard work and effort. A place to enjoy the freedom we could never provide for ourselves. A place set apart and marked by blessing. A place to highlight the mighty works of our Creator, to show the world a better way, and ultimately to live within the very presence of God Himself.
Rest is too valuable for us to treat it as a nice idea. It’s a gift, it’s a necessity, and the world desperately needs it.
I pray you’ve been inspired to see the beauty of rest. Tomorrow we will look at “Rest & Control”.