Rest in God

July 26, 2018

Hebrews 4:9… So, then there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His.

            Sabbath is a word that speaks of multiple things. God worked for 6 days creating all things and then rested on the 7th day. We have been instructed to do the same. If you read through the gospels, as we recently did with Matthew, it is alarming to notice how often the Pharisees accused Jesus of not honoring the Sabbath. Since Jesus was without sin, something else must have been in view. At one point, Jesus said to them, “I am the lord of the Sabbath.” That may not mean much to us who don’t live with Lords and kings. To those who knew about lords, it meant that the Lord of the Sabbath was more important than the Sabbath itself. That would have been a good time to ask Jesus what the Sabbath was really about. They had rules governing the actions that could happen on the Sabbath. Some of the rules, they had made up on their own, some of them, were from the Law when God gave it to the Israelites. Some humans honor Saturday as the Sabbath; some honor Sunday; most honor neither. If you honor a particular day, what does that mean to you? My dad honored Sunday and did not go to work on Sunday. But, mom still cooked dinner. And then, when I was 6, we moved to a farm and during harvest, dad worked on Sunday as necessary. I grew up a little confused about Sabbath Day, and I wonder if most of us didn’t.

So far, I have written about the 7th day and how we act on that day, but there is more: the verse I am writing about today speaks of God’s rest which He gives. It speaks of it as something that we enter. That is different than how we ought to act on a particular day. When we enter God’s rest, we cease from our labors… What does that mean? Well, it does not mean we all don’t go to work after a certain point. That would be chaos. You would not be able to travel by air if the pilots didn’t show up. So, what does it mean?

            We cease from our own efforts to get to God. Jesus did it all. We rest in Him. One of the great failures of the church has been to teach what we must do to be saved. Each brand of church has a list. If we combine all the lists, it is long .