There Remains a Rest, Genesis 2:1-3

“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. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3.

Chapter 2:1-3 is another one of those chapter breaks that were made prematurely; these first three verses should be part of chapter 1 since they too belong to the re-creation week recorded in the first chapter.

The rest of chapter 2 falls under what is called the Law of Recurrence which is, in Scripture, a principle in which something like the creation week is sketched out in Genesis chapter 1, then as in Genesis 2:4-25 a number of important things are elaborated upon; such as the making of the Garden of Eden, certain geographical characteristics, and most importantly, the creation of man, woman and marriage.

J. Vernon McGee gives another illustration of the Law of Recurrence, which is also called the Law of Recapitulation in his excellent three volume set on the book of “Genesis”, published by Thru the Bible Books, Box 100, Pasadena, CA 91109. A good Bible bookstore may also have them.

His “Thru the Bible” broadcasts may still be heard over the radio in your area; if they are, I recommend them highly.

Anyway, he states that the book of Deuteronomy is another good illustration of the Law of Recurrence in that the Law of Moses is first given in the book of Exodus, then after the experience of forty years in the desert it is not so much given again, rather an in depth restatement of it is given by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy.

The number seven in Scripture is the number of perfection and of completion as we see here on the seventh day; having declared everything, “…very good” on the sixth day, and now resting on the seventh day from His completed work.

Seven is used in other ways while still holding the meaning of completion, and perfection in either a good or bad sense. The coming seven years of tribulation is meant to show mankind that his heart is indeed evil under all circumstances, and that peace without Jesus Christ is impossible. When the seven years is complete, Christ will return to reign and the world will finally be returned to its pristine state as it was on the sixth day of creation.

Whether before the flood of Noah or in this present age in which men have promised a new world order without God. A peaceful Utopian world without war or famine, yet there is nothing but chaos and violence; nothing good comes from man’s sin nature.

Seven is also the Sabbath, a day of rest. Many folks do not realize that the Sabbath the seventh day of the week is actually Saturday, not Sunday which is the first day of the week, the day on which God’s re-creation began.

Sunday is often called the Sabbath by some, though I believe the term has fallen into disuse for the most part. Christians changed the day of rest from the Sabbath to Sunday because it is the first day of the week, the day of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

Too often men tend to think that God rested on the Sabbath because He was tired. God never wearies, never sleeps, never forgets, never loses control of His creation, and will never stop until He accomplishes His purposes. When it states that God rested, it means that He ceased from His acts of creation.

The seventh day exists as a commandment and an example for man to cease from his labors on the Sabbath too. If God had never set that day aside men would work themselves, their slaves, or their employees to death out of sheer greed; in fact many profane the Sabbath/Sunday even today.

There is also a rest that all Christians have the moment they accept Christ as their Savior, that is the rest that we have in the knowledge that Jesus has wiped out all of our sins, past, present, and future.

We are not only free of them; we are also assured that we have been saved to the uttermost by His sacrifice on the cross.

However, something that the vast majority of Christians do not know right now is that there is a rest that we can all have if we will just accept it.

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.” Jeremiah 17:5-6.

Many of us, and I include myself, having been there in times past, wander from the path and begin to depend on a man for job security, promotions, or raises.

Many of us have departed from the Lord at times and depended on our own strength or skills, or the skills of another.

Many of us have found ourselves in parched and salt lands. The curious thing is that we might wind up in these desert places and think to ourselves, “This is as good as it gets.” Nothing could be further from the truth for the word of the Lord states as follows.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.

There is so much more for those who trust in the Lord for everything.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but her leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8.

“Blessed is the man [woman] who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law [Scriptures, word of God] of the Lord, and in His law [word of God] he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3.

“…nor sits in the seat of the scornful”, a scornful person is one who impudently despises and scoffs at the sacred precepts of Scripture, piety, and morality.

“Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” Psalm 2:12b.

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” Psalm 84:5.

“O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!” Psalm 84:12.

Do you believe these passages? Do you trust in a man, not necessarily an evil man, rather than God to help you through a problem?

Do you socialize mostly with sinful people rather than with godly men and women?

This last question is not, do you disdain and avoid people who do not go to your church, it is do you prefer to be around the people of the world rather than fellow believers?

Scripture tells us that we are in the world, but not of the world (John 17:16), and that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). That makes it our job too, so we are to show kindness, and a gentle spirit to those around us, but we do not need to hang out with them on a continual basis. To do so will only eventually draw us into their sinful life styles.

There is a seventh day rest for those who put their trust in God alone.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Do you see the pattern emerging here? Believe it or not God wants you to trust in Him no matter what your circumstances because it is He who is directing your path through life.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

“Well, you do not know my circumstances, and as far as I am concerned God is not exactly doing a red hot job of my life right now!”

You are right, I have no idea what is happening in your life, or what has happened to you for that matter, but God does.

All I can tell you is that God has faithfully carried me through many trials; most of which were my own fault because I trusted in men or my own wisdom rather than just following Jesus.

Anyone who is angry and despairing needs to consider whether they have trusted God or someone else. And then they need to take their complaints directly to God and ask Him to show them just what He has a problem with.

If you are willing to listen, God will tell you what you need to do in one way or another. Often the cause of a person’s problems with God will pop into their heads about now.

How quickly things get resolved depends on whether a person is willing to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice speaking to them, whether that will be enough to change their attitude, or if they will have to continue bringing their complaint to God in prayer until they get their answer from Him.

Whatever you do, whatever you are bitter about, whatever reason you have for mistrusting God, do not stop pounding on the door and bringing your complaint to Him, over and over until your lungs give out, this is an important thing.

God was leading the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt to the land He had promised their forefathers, and just as we do, they complained about this or that.

God would do a miracle and fix the problem, and when another problem came up, rather than saying God fixed the last one He will fix this one.

They complained still more, numerous times, complaint after complaint until their lack of trust in Him lost them the opportunity to enter the land, which with God’s miraculous help, their children took easily, and after having taken it, they would have rest. Instead, the complainers died in the wilderness.

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways. So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:7-13.

“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: ‘So I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest,”’ although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’; and again in this place: ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, ‘Today,’ after such a long time, as it has been said: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.’ For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:1-11.

The intent here is for the Christian to enter the rest of God through faith just as He had promised to the Israelites.

Those who disobeyed God died in the wilderness over a forty year period.

Those who did enter the land found a rest which was eventually lost because they strayed and ceased to trust in their God. The Christian who will trust God with their life is one who will have peace in life no matter what assails them. That does not mean that our life will cease to have problems, it does mean that God will be with us at all times.

This is unlike the Christian who cannot trust God with everything, and in so doing he has a life which is seemingly out of control continually. The primary reason for this is because:

“They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.” Hebrews 3:10b.

The Christian will only develop a real trust in God when they learn of Him through His word by studying their Bible.

This latter group is like those who died in the desert; trusting in man, trusting in themselves and winding up as too many others.

“like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.” Jeremiah 17:6.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23.

Do you believe this?

There Remains a Rest, Genesis 2:1-3 taken from posted on 5-22-14, updated on 9-13-21.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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