Rest Doesn’t Come Without Labor
God rested on the 7th day because His work was complete. His rest was not Him taking a break from being God, He has no off days, and He never sleeps; He is God. He stopped creating the universe because He completed creation for us. “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:1-2). The Creator was able to find comfort in His labor that He ceased from speaking after He spoke us into existence. Every word underlined is rooted in the Hebrew word for rest.
Our God is the Master teacher. Within the Law of Moses were the Ten Commandments that helped His people maintain holiness and learn respect for God. My focus for this article is the commandment “ Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). In the Law of Moses, God designated the 7th day for his people to stop and reflect on God’s creative power and His rest. A practicing Hebrew would have looked forward to a day of rest after engaging in labor for six straight days trying to survive. Who would not want to enjoy that day of rest? We have read the penalty for not accepting that rest was permanent rest (death). The Hebrew people observed this Sabbath Day rest while turmoil, war, plagues, death, and illness were in their land. Ask yourself, was that rest?
The Old Covenant has ended, Jesus has established a New Covenant in which the rest God has prepared us for has become more transparent. Our rest is eternal in Heaven. Hebrews 4:1 says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” Then again in Hebrews 4:8-10, “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”
Jesus said on the cross, it finished. For the child of God, one of these days, our work will be completed. We will be able to stop, cease from speaking and find comfort in our labor as our life passes before our eyes. The foolishness of this world will not disturb our rest. Who can neglect such salvation and rest? Until then, my friends, labor until Jesus comes. Remember, the Patriarchs of old rested with their fathers.
Published March 5, 2022