Alistair Begg Devotional God Rested

God Rested

God Rested

So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Humanity is the pinnacle of creation. We are not just advanced apes; we alone of all God’s creation are made in His image (Genesis 1:27). We are creatures because we were made by a Creator—but we are also unique among all creatures because we were made like God. Mankind possesses inalienable dignity, and God desires that we would respect our Creator and live in relationship with Him.

If man is creation’s pinnacle, then rest is creation’s end goal. When God completed His creative work, He rested. That doesn’t mean that He ceased to be either present or active in His world but that He rested from creating. There was no need for further improvements or additions. Nothing needed unpicking and reworking. And God’s grand design—His desire for human beings—is that we too might live with Him in the wonderful, ongoing day of rest.

The creation account in Genesis 1 repeats the phrase “there was evening and there was morning” for each of the first six days. But when it gets to the seventh day, the pattern is broken. The seventh day is, if you like, an ongoing day in which God is pursuing a people for Himself. He is bringing mankind into a relationship with Himself, providing for them, protecting them, giving them fellowship with one another, and allowing them authority over His creation.

Part of the purpose of the Sabbath, as instructed in the Ten Commandments, was to give the Israelites an understanding of this, God’s ultimate design for life (Exodus 20:8-11). By rest and reflection, they would ponder all that it might mean to live as God’s people under God’s rule and blessing.

When Jesus calls people to Himself, He says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest … You will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). The writer to the Hebrews takes that idea and declares, “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). What was designed in the beauty of Eden and destroyed in the fall will one day be restored when we enter into God’s presence. We experience now the rest of bringing our sin to Jesus to be dealt with and our cares to Jesus to find help for. We will experience one day the perfect rest of resurrection life in a restored world filled with the holiness of our perfect God. That is a prospect to fill our gaze and reorient our hearts on our best and our worst days in this world. We truly will one day rest in peace.

As we walk toward this future, the pattern of God should be the pattern we imitate. As God commanded, we are to honor the Lord’s Day—and take time to consider all that He desires for us, to enjoy a life of communion with Him, and to join Him as He actively pursues a people to call His own.

head heart hand Going Deeper

How Majestic Is Your Name

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.1 A Psalm of David.

1O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens.

2Out of the mouth of babies and infants,

you have established strength because of your foes,

to still the enemy and the avenger.

3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

4what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

5Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings2

and crowned him with glory and honor.

6You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;

you have put all things under his feet,

7all sheep and oxen,

and also the beasts of the field,

8the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,

whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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Footnotes
1 8:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
2 8:5 Or than God; Septuagint than the angels

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.

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