I've always been fascinated by the Creation account of the fact that God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3).

Was God tired? Did creation wear God out? Did He need a nap after a long, hard week at work?

Of course not. Never mind the fact that God doesn't get tired (Isaiah 40:8), Genesis says that God simply spoke things into existence. He didn't exactly tax  Himself creating the universe.

So why did He rest?

Not because He was tired; because He was satisfied. God was able to rest because He was satisfied with the work He had done. It was very good (Genesis 1:31). He was done.

Which makes it all the more interesting that humanity is later called to follow God's model of resting (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:8-11).

I don't think God was calling the Israelites to rest because their bodies needed the break. He wasn't establishing (much to my dismay) an unusually high value on naps. The motivation for God's rest wasn't fatigue, it was satisfaction. I think He calls people to do the same thing.

That's the point the Pharisees missed (Matthew 12:1-8). They thought the point was simply rest from something. Jesus pointed out that the Sabbath principle was more about resting in something... or rather in Someone.

See, our work is never done like God's was. Whatever work we do, there is no way to completely rest because we have everything like we want it.

To use myself as an example: I am never satisfied that a sermon is ready to preach. Preaching always feels premature. But every week I pick one day (usually Saturday) that I do everything within my power to not think about a sermon. It's a discipline of worship for me where every week I knowingly, willingly, consciously remind myself that I can be satisfied in the God of creation. If He doesn't go before me on Sunday, the message will fail whether or not I work on it Saturday or not.

I'm never satisfied with my "creation," but choose to rest from my work on Saturday because (thanks to Jesus) God is satisfied in His. My rest is a reflection of the fact that I'm satisfied in Him.

What about you? What do you need to rest from so you can rest in the Creator God?


The Kinley's said...

for our family, it's recharging, being together, doing things that remind us what a blessing it is to have one another and talking about what we are grateful for or what we are struggling with. Most times this really helps our 3 yr old talk about the feelings that he starting to recognize he's having. It's a season that we can enjoy right now, soon we'll have to adjust it so that it doesn't become something mommy worships.

Thanks for posting that. sometimes I have a hard time explaining resting to others.....just as God gave Moses Aaron, I think He gave some of us Freeland. ;-)