January 12, 2021 — Rest For God And His People

Ah, Saturday! But God didn’t need to take a break from work—what’s it’s REAL reason?

Genesis 2 begins this way: “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. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (vv 1-3). Ah, rest! Isn’t it great after a hard day? But wait! Was God so tired after creating the universe that He had to take a break? Hardly! God’s rest was not recovery from exhaustion but satisfaction in a perfectly completed work. By creating the world in six days, then resting on the seventh, He gave a pattern to humanity. In fact, Jesus, when explaining that the sabbath was not to be a heavy burden but a happy blessing, said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27). Of course the sabbath that the Jews celebrated we now call Saturday. Christians usually gather on the first day of the week, the day of the Lord’s resurrection and of Pentecost, the birthday of the church. But the principle is the same. God was thinking of us when He set apart one day in seven. He wants us to pause from our busy lives and consider God’s perfect work—not just the precision and beauty in this amazing creation, but God’s gracious daily kindness for us and our loved ones. Especially, though, we should think about His greatest work ever, when Christ through His death at Calvary made peace for us with God. This is the true sabbath for the soul as Hebrews 4:9 says: “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” Where can such inner rest be found? Jesus offers it as a free gift in Matthew 11:28 – “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”