Daily Word

Final act – Rest – Day 7 | Genesis 2:1-3

1 And so the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their heavenly lights. 2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Genesis 2:1-3 (NASB)

Did God need rest?

If we think about the significance of His amazing creation and estimate the effort based on our own abilities, we say, “By all means”! But when we remember that He simply “spoke” and it came into being, it isn’t that difficult to speak (unless you’re a husband who has already used their allotted 2,000 words a day). Joking aside, I don’t think God needed to rest. So why did He rest?

I believe He rested for us, to set the example. And He did this before the fall. And I don’t think the fall affected it since God commanded it later.

Day of Rest

Also called the Sabbath, the Day of Rest is a core principle of Jewish and Christian culture. Jesus was questioned and challenged about it very often. He healed on the Sabbath which brought the wrath of the Jewish religious leaders. In response, He famously said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) He set out to clarify that the Sabbath is not just a law. We know it’s something special since, “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it”.

Not just a law

It clearly is a law. In fact, it’s the 4th commandment (Exodus 20): “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” God really wanted His people to rest. It seems odd, doesn’t it, to command people to rest? But our nature can lead us to work, work, work; whether it’s to make more money, keep busy, or just stay alive. But God wants us to rest. So we rest, and let Him take care of the rest (Ha)!

But rest also has a spiritual meaning. The Israelites entered rest when they entered the promised land (Hebrews 4:1-11). As we look to Jesus, we see that, “Jesus became our rest when He did all the work necessary for our salvation (Hebrews 4).” (Enduringwrod.com) Heaven is called our final place of rest.

What do we (not) do?

Lest I put myself in the position of a Pharisee, I won’t give a list of what to do and not do. Thankfully we have the Word to guide us and the Spirit to help us understand, interpret and apply it. Seek to understand what the Sabbath is. Read articles on it. Realize that it is a blessing. It probably should be a time to get with the the body of Christ to worship, serve and fellowship. It certainly should be a time to delight in the Lord and His Word (Psalm 37:4). We can “rest in the Lord” (Psalm 37:7).


  • Life check: how are you spending the Sabbath? Are you observing it “religiously” and tending toward a Pharisee? Are you riding roughshod right over it and disregarding it? Neither are good. 
  • Investigate ways to understand and practice the Sabbath to receive the blessing and to keep it holy as God intended.
Man resting on bench at pond. Image from Pxfuel.com

🤞 May I notify you of new posts?

They'll be sent out as soon as new POSTs are created, which has been daily (hence the name) for over 15 years.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content