"And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done and He rested ... 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 2:2-3)
He blessed the seventh day because His work of creation was finished. He sanctified it - doesn't that mean set apart?
God's Rest came to be known as the Sabbath in Hebrew/Jewish circles. The name implies cessation from normal activities.
What I find hard to grasp is our rest, our Sabbath. Is it a day of our personal whims and desires or a day of worshiping the True God, our creator?
The Jewish Sabbath is a holy day, a day of rest for man and beast, commemorating God's rest after the work of creation. It is one of the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses for His people.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:8-11)
The Hebrew Sabbath is on a Saturday, their seventh day. The Christian Sabbath is on a Sunday.
It seems to me God's rest is any day and every day.
"Six days you shall labor ... but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God." (verses 9-10)
Who determined God's first day of creation was a Sunday or that the seventh day, the day of rest, the Sabbath, was a Saturday? Which six days do you labor? Is it Sunday through Friday ... Monday through Saturday?
"God saw ... God divided ... God called ... so the evening and the morning were the first day." (Genesis 1:4-5)
There are no strict dates.
God blessed the seventh day. He sanctified it. When He gave Moses the Ten Commandments, regarding the Sabbath, He said, "Remember to keep it holy."
Remember to keep it holy.
Do we remember God's command? Do we obey or are we following a "must do" set of rules that we think will get us to a higher plain? We are all equal in the sight of God. Not one of us is better or greater than another.
A day of rest, not relaxation, a day of rejuvenation, refreshment, a regrouping of our souls within, a day of remembering, commemorating the Lord and all He has done, is doing and will do for now and forever.
God's rest is a result of being one with Him, a personal relationship, one-on-one with He who was and is and is to come. God's rest comes to those who believe and accept, who profess faith in His Son whom He sent - Jesus.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17)
God's rest comes to those who give, surrender their whole life to Him, who rely completely on His promises, who do not turn from Him and do their own thing. God's rest comes solely by faith.
"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." (Hebrews 3:8-11)
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)
IF "you have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4)
If you do not believe in Him
If you are disobedient to Him
If you walk a path away from Him
The covenant promise of God's rest will not come to you.
Without faith there is no rest, no peace.
With it, we are blessed beyond more than we deserve.