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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 27 What is Rest?

Genesis 2 begins thus:

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” (v 1-2)

What is Rest?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Why did GOD Rest?

We know that GOD worked six days to create the earth, everything in it and all that surrounds it. That’s what Genesis 1 tells us. Then He rested. But why? If GOD is GOD, surely He doesn’t sleep. Psalm 121:4 says, “Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Since Israel is GOD’s chosen people, it is He who “keeps Israel” — protects, watches over, counts the nation as His children.

So, what does Rest mean?

Firstly, note that Genesis 2:1-2 emphasises the completion of Creation by GOD. The work finished, He stopped working, creating. Instead, on the seventh day, He rested.

Rest is not working. Rest assumes stopping from work. But rest is so much more than relaxing, taking a vacation, ceasing from work.

It was the seventh day and it was the day of rest. It would become the Sabbath, the final day of the week, the day to keep holy. The seventh day, the first day after all of Creation was completed, marked the end of one week leading to the beginning of another. This would come to give structure to Mankind’s time.

Still Rest means even more

Leviticus 22:3 is one of many scriptures that refers to the Sabbath, “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.”

It is a holy day, it is GOD’s day, it is a day of ‘solemn rest’. GOD takes this rest day very seriously.

In Psalm 95, the Creator is quoted,

“For forty years I was grieved with that generation, 

And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,

And they do not know My ways.’

So I swore in My wrath,

‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

This suggests GOD is ensuring the Hebrews suffer consequences for their disobedience.

Hebrews 3 reiterates this same consequence of rebellion, “So I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

What is the rest these rebels do not receive or enter?

Further study reveals What is Rest

Rest is intimacy with GOD. It is peace of mind. It is living in the anointing and covering of the Holy Spirit. Rest is freedom from anxiety, stress, fear or worry. It is a rest in the heart of Man as well as in the body. It is contentment, closeness with GOD. It is peace.

GOD’s offer

GOD supplies all our needs. He also offers us relationship. We can work to satisfy our need for productivity. And we can rest to enjoy the consequence of that productivity. And in that rest, we can commune with GOD. And that is the ultimate in rest. Hallelujah!

All this first expressed on Day 7 of His marvellous Creation!

Categories
Reflections and Poetry

What is God: a reflection

Names

God is Yaweh. He is “I Am”. He is Yehova. God is Adonai Elohim and LORD. These are some of His names.

Character

God is good. God is love. God is merciful, kind and patient, gracious and just. These are some of His attributes.

Roles

God is Creator of the Universe. God is Abba, Daddy, Father. These are two of His roles.

But what is He?

Relationship… with Whom?

We who are born again, we who are evangelical or charismatic – we focus on the relationship we have with God. But do we fully grasp what God is?

The mighty God of the universe, Creator of sun, moon, stars — and mankind — has given us Himself. Some shun Him in order to determine their own lives, prove their independence, and test His love by denying His existence.

We who know Him through His son Jesus, and having been gifted the same Holy Spirit as fathered Jesus and breathed life into Adam and hovered over the universe when it was a blank slate, we need to recognise just how incredible He is. Because if we truly grasp the incredulity of all His magnificence, we might believe God can heal, God can change our destiny, and God must be obeyed.

What is God?

I’ve been a Believer and follower of Jesus for over thirty years, and I’m still learning. I’m still discovering the width and depth and breadth of God’s power and love. I’m only just beginning to consider His justice and His wrath, which is enough to compel me to walk a better witness, as I don’t wish anyone to encounter His wrath.

What is God? The truth is, my words cannot fully convey what He is. Master. Supreme. Creator. These come the closest to describing what I understand Him to be.

And if I could find the perfect word to encapsulate God’s identity, would it make a difference? Would more people follow? Would more followers bend the knee? Would I be a better person?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10a) My God is wonderful, full of grace and truth. But as times are shortening, and I’m beginning to realise that the wrath of the LORD is just as strong as is His love, I am beginning to quake in awe, wonder, praise and fear.

I don’t want to miss His blessings. I know He won’t turn on me and harm me. But I also don’t want to allow others to walk into His wrath, or for any of us to miss the generosity of His love, lavished on me and lavished upon others.

And now too, as I mature, I am only just beginning to grasp: neither do I want Him to miss celebrating with His chosen ones as they receive all He has prepared for them.

God is wise. He allows us to choose. But He also calls. I’m tired of wrestling with myself between receiving from Him and doing things my way. I’m wanting more and more to follow His call.

And as I recognise the incredible awesomeness of His sovereign love and authority, I also want others to see it, to trust it and live under it. It will make them happier, me happier and Our Sovereign LORD happier too.

What a wonderful world He’s created. What a wonderful world it would be if we all knew it!

“The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.” (Psalm 24:1a)