Just Rest (Originally Published on 10/19/2006)
Whose Seventh Day was it: God's or Adam's? Adam was created the sixth day. Some believe he was created in the afternoon, and that Eve was created maybe a little after that. So they spent Sabbath together. Sabbath was their first day. Sabbath was God's seventh day. God was around for the whole week – all seven days. Adam and Eve appeared in the scene just before the sunset of the sixth day. So, again, Sabbath was Adam and Eve's 1 st day.
What are the implications of this? For starters, time should always be measured from God's perspective not ours. This is true for all reality. We are at best subjective creatures. We always see things from where we stand and filter all that we perceive through our own experience and autobiography. One event always has different accounts and explanations as to what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. But, God being the all knowing, all powerful, and Supreme Being that He is, can see things as they truly are.
Another implication is the relationship of work and rest. By this I mean when should we rest, before or after we work? Many will say that it should be after we work, because it is when we would be tired. What could have Adam and Eve been resting from on the Seventh day? They had existed only a few hours. God wanted them to share His rest with them, even if they had not done anything to finish or desist from exertion. So, God works first then He rests. And, man rests first than he works. Spiritually this is true for all men. When we come to Christ we find rest in Him; then as we rest in Him, the works of love - agape - flow out of us. During the creation week God's work of agape came first than He rested. So, God rests because He's done. We rest because we start in Him.
When God finished His work there was nothing else to add. Genesis 1: 31 says, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day." So God celebrated by resting the Seventh Day. Adam and Eve celebrated with God. So, the Sabbath was a reward for God, but a gift to Adam and Eve. All that God gives to us is a gift - the Sabbath included. Salvation is by grace - unmerited favor, or an undeserved gift. Responding with gratitude for all things God gives us, including the Sabbath, is Faith. Without Faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6).
If it is God's seventh day, then keep it as He wants it kept. After all we cannot enter the Sabbath rest until we enter the rest in Christ. We read about this in Hebrews 4: 1-10:
Hebrews 4: 1Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
Hebrews 4: 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
Hebrews 4: 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' " And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world.
Hebrews 4: 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work."
Hebrews 4: 5And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest."
Hebrews 4: 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.
Hebrews 4: 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."
Hebrews 4: 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.
Hebrews 4: 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
Hebrews 4: 10 for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.
Resting on the Sabbath, without entering first Christ's rest is not only worthless, it is impossible. However, we have then no excuse to not enter Christ's rest before we attempt to enter the Sabbath rest. Christ gives us His invitation in Matthew 11:28,"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Has God not finish His work of legal, corporate and objective redemption already. Revelation 13: 8 says that the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Hebrews 4:3confirms it, "his work has been finished since the creation of the world." Did Jesus not say the Words just before he died on the cross, "It is finished" (John 19:30)? What else can we add? For if His creation was "very good", then so should have been His redemption work. For it was done through the same love and power. There is nothing for us to add. Give to Jesus your fears and burdens, then take His rest with you. Only then will you be able to rest on His Seventh Day.