The Day God Rested ~ Genesis 2
Genesis to Revelations Series

Scripture Readings
:  Genesis 2:1-3; Isaiah 40:28, Hebrews 4:1-10

Gen 2:1-3 "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and HE RESTED on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made."

Word Study

1.  FINISHED (Hebrew word = kalah, pronounced 'kaw-law') means to end, to cease, be finished, to complete, accomplish.
2.  RESTED (Hebrew word = shabath, pronounced 'shaw-bath') means to place something, esp. one's confidence or trust, in, repose, desist, cease, celebrate, keep, to still.
3.  BLESSED (Hebrew word = barak, pronounced 'baw-rak') means to kneel, congratulate, praise, salute.
4.  SANCTIFIED (Hebrew word = qadash, pronounced 'kaw-dash') means to be clean (ceremonially or morally), appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, hallow, keep, prepare, proclaim, purify.

In these first three verses of Genesis chapter two we find out what God did on the 7th day of creation.  It is interesting to note that the Bible refers to the time period for creation as 7 days and not 6 days.  The seventh day was very important to God and He carries this over into various areas of the Bible.  The seventh day of creation is the day that God looked over everything He had made in the heavens and the earth and determined that He was quite happy with it.  To God, it was good, just as He had intended for it to be.  Everything was perfect on the seventh day.  For God this was cause for celebration and the celebration He chose was to cease from His work and dedicate a day of rest in honor of what He had done.  God's work is always perfect.  What He sanctifies He makes perfect.  The word Sabbath has come from the Hebrew word, Shabath, which is what we have used in our English translation as rest, or 'rested'.  It is good to remember that God never grows weary.  Isaiah 40:28 says, "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?"  He didn't wear Himself out making the Heavens and Earth and suddenly pass out on the seventh day from exertion.  He did however begin to set in motion the first illustration of His Will in both what He created and how He viewed it, as perfect.  God blessed that seventh day and set it apart with a blessing to be honored forever because until an endeavor is finished or has come to fullness of purpose it is not yet time to cease from it, but when it has come to completion, then it is most definitely time to accept it and let it be.  It is done.  It is like the old saying, "Don't try to fix what isn't broken."  There is so much for us to learn from these three verses about how we are to work and how to know when it is time to rest.  This may sound silly, but some people never rest.  They just will not slow down and refuel and restore.  Now, God didn't need refueling or restoration, but man does.  We are to work until we can look at what we have done and say, "It is good, it is done."  When something is finished, we are to accept it and cease from messing with it until something else really needs to be done and most importantly, until something is done, we are to press forward with it until we can say it has come to its completion.  This makes sense to you I am sure, but let me ask.  Why do so many become complacent knowing they are not where they should be in their walk with the Lord but accepting that where they are in good enough.  We should not grow weary in well doing and until we stand before the Lord we should always be pressing forward.  God sanctifies us daily as we walk with Him and learn from Him. 

Rest should never be viewed as laziness or weakness.  I know sometimes people can become lazy and use rest as an excuse, but not always.  God blessed the day He accomplished His mission and even set that moment of realizing that a mission had been accomplished apart by celebration.  His choice for celebration was a calm, quiet, peaceful and satisfied rest.  Remember that each of us are only human and at times we need to step back and rest and refuel and take time with the Lord so that as He pours us out to draw the world to Him He can also refill us again.  If we become too busy to take time away for God, just as Jesus did many times, then we have simply become too busy.  When we enter into new areas in the Old Testament we will see that God even commanded His people to rest and not work at all on the Sabbath and one of the 10 commandments brought down by Moses commanded His people to REMEMBER THE SABBATH AND KEEP IT HOLY.  This has been used in right and wrong ways. 

In the past it literally meant that no Israelite would toil or work on that specific day.  Under the New Covenant the reality of what the old covenant merely shadowed, while meaning the same thing, applies differently.  God was illustrating to them that a day would come when no man would have to toil or work for His own righteousness but we would all enter into a lasting peace when the Messiah was to come.  In Christ Jesus our souls have entered into this peace with God and God is sanctifying and blessing that rest daily.  In the New Testament, Christ fulfills this law of the day of rest in the spirit of our hearts and now every day we are at rest with the Lord.  Jesus addressed the issue while picking grain and eating on the Sabbath and healing on the Sabbath.  Jesus was a Jew under the law and knew no sin.  He kept the law which no man has been able to do, but He kept it according to God, not according to the religious leaders.  Who is to say what is holy and right, but God Himself, which is Christ Jesus?  This is why He was the fitting sacrifice for our new birth, the second and last Adam, by which we are born again.  Paul further taught on the fulfillment of the Sabbath later on in Hebrews. (Read Hebrews 4:1-10) As God ceased from His work when His work was complete, man enters into God's rest when He accepts Christ as Savior and ceases from the works of the law for righteousness sake.  No one can be saved by works.  It didn't work for the Israelite and Jew and it will not work now.  There is no way but through Christ.  The good we do now is the fruit of heart felt, Spirit led obedience, but it must begin in the heart to be a true evidence of holiness.  And only God can write on the heart of man.  If a person tries to be GOOD by BEING good, then He has missed the point.  Goodness begins within and works its way out.  Jesus takes residence within us and shines His light out.  Our simple job is to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit who leads us, to simply follow and let the Lord lead.  Stay with the series and eventually all of this will come to you.  It takes time to fully understand and even then God will reteach it to us every day.  Until then, take time to rest in the Lord, knowing Him and trusting Him and allowing HIM to bring your steps to you as you take them!  God bless you as you walk and learn.