Take a Rest

God created the universe and everything in it in six “days” and He rested on the seventh day (Gen.2:2). God did not take a rest because He was tired but rested because He had completed the work of creation (Gen. 2:1-3). Each of the six days of creation came to an end and are described as having an evening and a morning (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). The seventh day is not so described and it is implied that the day of God’s rest continues. So, the promise of entering His rest remains. The rest is God’s in that He gives it and also enjoys it Himself.
The promise of rest for God’s Old Covenant people whom He redeemed out of Egypt is understood in part by entering the Promised Land where the LORD gave them rest from their enemies (Deu.12:9-11). He Himself would abide there and perhaps in a sense share that rest with them. The ultimate meaning of rest was not exhausted, however, by living in Canaan (Hebrews 4:1-11). In fact, David in his day urged people who were already in Canaan to enter God’s rest! For if Joshua had given them rest (in Canaan), then God would not have offered rest through David, saying, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (vs.9). The rest of which Canaan was a shadow is ultimately to be found in the final resting place of God’s people in the coming kingdom of God and the new Jerusalem (Heb.12:28). In fact, Abraham himself did not think of earthly Canaan as the final rest but he “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (11:9-10). Of the Old Testament saints who died in the faith it is said that they now desire a better, that is a heavenly country. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them (11:16). We have come to the Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (see 12:22). We have come to this city but have not yet entered it. We are on our way! We are entering that rest but must be diligent to enter it! We must endure to the end at which time we will cease from our works as God did from His. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them” (Revelation 14:13).