This week on the blog I have been exploring some thoughts and musings over the idea of rest as in the Sabbath Rest God spoke of in Genesis 2: 1-3. He established the pattern for His people to work six days and rest on the seventh when He completed creation and, as Eugene Peterson puts it, sat back and let out a deep breath.
He was finished with His work of creation. Every detail was completed perfectly and so He ceased working on it. And in Exodus 31: 12-18 He outlined a law to His people to do likewise. Further digging took me to Hebrews 4: 1-10 where this idea of Sabbath rest is combined with the grace given to us through Christ.
So the rest is still expected to be entered into post-resurrection, however as I read through my notes it is in Christ that entire idea of Sabbath rest is brought to fullness.
Those who disobeyed God’s call to rest on the Sabbath and set it apart as holy, were not able to enter into what He had intended for Him. They wouldn’t trust Him for that day set aside and continued to feel that they needed to work.
We see it in the way some went out to look for manna on the Sabbath, even though He had told them to gather a double portion the day before. He sent enough the morning before the Sabbath so they could have plenty for two days sustenance.
They also disobeyed by gathering more on other days so they could just have leftovers the next day. But this excess spoiled.
However, the double portion gathered before the Sabbath remained in good form for eating.
The notes in the study Bible I used for the Hebrews passage talks about how when we enter into “rest” that God is talking about, we are resting from our works as He rested from His works. But post-resurrection, we need to read this in a much deeper way.
Yes, we need to set a day apart for corporate worship with other believers because our spirits need to be fueled with gathering together. And yes, we don’t need to work seven days a week without pausing to enjoy some time with family and friends. But the “works” we are to rest from and to enter into are our strivings to be found … well, savable.
As someone who grew up in a somewhat works-based mindset of salvation, this is so easy to fall back into. It rears up when I make a mistake and the old fear of losing God’s love for me starts whispering in my ear. But I was freed over two decades ago from thinking that there is a huge score board looming next to the judgment seat. I know the truth … big T – Truth for you FCC attenders..and it says that nothing can separate me from the love of God.
It says that when I confess my sins they are cast as far as the east is from the west…that’s a long way people cause the east never ever meets the west, you know.
And so the “rest” that I am called to enter is the adding of faith to the promises I have been given. The “rest” that is promised is found in obedience to His word and living under His grace.
The promises are not hard to find in Scripture.
There are so many and each one is secure, not in what I do, but in who He is.
I can’t help but close with a verse from one of my favorite worship songs:
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all,
Here, in the love of Christ, I standIn Christ Alone by Adrienne Camp
Here, in the love of Christ, I not only stand…but also rest.
May God bless you with the peace that comes when we finally lean back into all that He is and truly find rest <3