Newsletter Article (October 2020)
For He has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way:
“And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.”
Have you ever had a moment where you KNEW something was in the Bible, but you had NO CLUE where it was located? It happens to all of us. Even pastors can’t keep up with exact quotations of Bible passages at all times. No matter how much study and memorization they might do, sometimes we just draw a blank.
The same thing may have happened to the preacher to the Hebrews. He knew that it was in the Scripture, but he wasn’t quite sure the exact book, chapter and verse. However, it could just as easily be a rhetorical device the preacher is using to encourage his hearers to diligently search the Scriptures for themselves.
You never know what you might find while you are searching. The passage the preacher cites comes at the beginning of Genesis 2, in the middle of the Creation narrative. Around these verses, we find both accounts of Creation: the broad stroke edition and the narrow edition. We also find it in the giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:11). This brings another great context to this statement of God resting on the seventh day.
The preacher goes in a different direction though. He goes to Numbers 14. After Israel refused to believe His promises about the conquest of the Promised Land, God declared that the generation which saw His wonders in Egypt WOULD NOT inherit the Promised Land. Their children would receive the inheritance. God declared that ONLY TWO of that generation WOULD step foot in the Promised Land: Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 32:10-12). For their unbelief, God made the Israelites wander for forty years until “they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die” (Numbers 14:35).
What was the difference between Joshua and Caleb and the other two million or so Israelites that came out of Egypt? Faith. Joshua and Caleb had faith in God’s promises. The rest could only see what was in front of them.
How often do we fall into that trap? We have great promises, but those promises seem to run in an opposite direction of our lives right now. But God’s Word is ALWAYS true. Despite what things look like, He will have the final Word. And that Word has to do with rest.
“Come unto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Jesus tells you (Matthew 11:28). The Holy Spirit continues the thought, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord … that they may REST from their labors” (Revelation 14:13). Heaven is that eternal rest that is promised to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He promises rest. Not just for a short while. Not simply a respite from the troubles of the world. Eternal rest for all who believe in Him.
Do you believe His promise?