The book of Genesis recounts that God created the world in 6 days, and then on the seventh day, God rested. Reading in Hebrews this morning, I saw an important connection between the story of creation and the invitation that we have into God’s rest.
So if we say that God rested, what are we referring to? There are at least a couple of things that we can talk about on this front:
First, we see that God rested on the seventh day from His work of creation. There was a specific time that was set out for rest from the work. In each of the previous six days, we see that they are each described as finishing with an evening and then a morning, and then the day would be ennumerated. So, for example, if we refer to the first day of creation, Genesis says it this way:
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.Genesis 1:5
Each of the days go like this. It is a pattern of the day happening with God creating through His word in the course of that day, then evening to bring the day to a close, followed by morning to open a new day.
But then we arrive to the seventh day and we see that there is no end. There is no evening and there is no morning. The seventh day never ends.
Well, maybe the author just didn’t close off the day and moved on to the next thought.
Or maybe instead it was intentional.
So now we arrive back to Hebrews 4 where I was reading this morning and it speaks of God’s day of rest being called Today. Here is the breadth of the passage:
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,Hebrews 4:3-7
do not harden your hearts.”
So I think that what we are seeing here is that God rested from his word on the seventh day, but that day, from God’s perspective, never ended. And he calls that day Today.
So God has rested and is continuing to rest, and He is calling us into His rest. If we will believe what He has said, then we also can enter His rest.
What has He said that would allow us to enter His rest? God has sent Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life to come back to the Father. Jesus came into the world to reestablish God’s Kingdom here on earth and call His people to Himself, purchasing them away from the kingdom of darkness to come into the Kingdom of God.
And Today is the day. Today is the day that we are called to enter God’s rest, which we can do if we will put our faith in Christ. If we will believe and we will give our lives to Christ. If we place Him as the Head over our lives. If we submit to Him. This is the only way, but it is the way of rest. God gives us an invitation to enter into His rest, the rest that God has been in since the very first Sabbath day, the 7th day, the day that He calls Today.
I pray that we would all enter into God’s rest. That instead of doing as the Israelites did and not trust Him, instead rebelling against Him, that we would put our faith in Christ and enter into God’s rest.