Vance Havner used to say if we didnt come apart to rest we would come apart
So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.
When God rested it wasn't because He was tired. There are at least two reasons we should consider.
1. He rested in the sense that the work was done. He was finished... he rested because of the completion of the work.
2. He rested to create a pattern for us. This is where we will camp out.
The Sabbath is first mentioned here in this word rest. The next time it comes up is Exodus 16 in relationship to gathering manna.
On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, four quarts apiece, and all the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He told them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil, and set aside everything left over to be kept until morning.’ ” So they set it aside until morning as Moses commanded, and it didn’t smell or have any maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a Sabbath to the LORD. Today you won’t find any in the field. For six days you may gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none.” Yet on the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they did not find any. Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My commands and instructions? Understand that the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day He will give you two days’ worth of bread. Each of you stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day.
Then the next time is shows up is in Exodus 20 when the 10 commandments are given.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. For the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
As the rest of the law was given other "Rests" or Sabbaths were given. not just on the seventh day, sometimes extra days. The land was to rest on the 7th year and lay fallow. One of the things that we have to keep in mind is that the Sabbath was Jewish Religious Law and it was also uniform civil law. One of the examples the prophets would give about the Jews abandoning their faith was how they abandoned the Sabbath Day.
By the Time Jesus walked the earth, the Sabbath had become completely legalistic. Jesus backed the pharisees down on this. This occurrs in every Gospel. But here is a good example:
On the Sabbath He was going through the grainfields, and His disciples began to make their way picking some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “Have you never read what David and those who were with him did when he was in need and hungry — how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest and ate the sacred bread —which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests —and also gave some to his companions?” Then He told them, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
As you read through the book of Acts you will discover that the followers of Jesus went to places and started with the Jews on the Sabbath (because thats the best time to find Jews worshipping)
When Paul wrote to Gentile believers he said that no one should pass judgment about a Sabbath.
Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.
In Hebrews 4.9 there is a phrase translated a Sabbath rest, but it is one word.
Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His.
There are some of you who are looking for rest. Somehow you have bought into the lie that you have to work and be good for God to be pleased with you. But let me be clear, you cannot work yourself into God loving you are liking you. Jesus has already done the work.
Some of you need God's rest when it comes to your past. The Devil will keep you from resting in God because you think you can't be forgiven. You cant be restored. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Some of you need emotional rest. You keep thinking when I get this worked through then I can rest, but there will always be something to rob you of your rest, until you learn to commit yourself to the Lord and enter into his rest.
AND SOME OF YOU JUST NEED TO SLOW DOWN PHYSICALLY AND REST. Especially this time of year. Its ok to rest.
Spiritually is where you need to rest most. Jesus wants to save you from your sins. He wants you to enter into his rest because just like God finished the work of Creation and rested, Jesus finished the work of paying for your sins at the cross, and said IT IS FINISHED. You cant ever pay off your sin debt but Jesus did it once and for all. God doesn't want you to work for salvation, He wants you to rest in in the salvation Jesus has already completed the work for.
Sometimes life seems like words and music That can't quite become a song. So we cry inside, and we try it again And wonder what could be wrong. But, when we turn to the Lord at the end of ourselves Like we've done a time or two before We find His truth is the same As it has always been We'll never need more Chorus: It's not in trying But in trusting It's not in running But in resting Not in wondering But in praying That we find the strength of the Lord (2 times)