“Rest” … (To desist from exertion, cease, leave, put down, make to rest). “Restore” … (to return something or someone to a former condition, place, or position). I find it interesting the root word for restore is rest. I shared previously, the New Testament’s pretty quiet about the Sabbath. Does this mean we’re off the hook if we choose not to keep the Sabbath? I think it behooves us to go all the way back to Genesis. In Chapter 2, we are told, “by the 7th day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the 7th day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the 7th day and made it holy, because on it, he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Bottom line God, our model thought it was important to rest on the 7th day; so much so, God declared the day, a “Holy Day”.
Hebrews chapter 4 is a great chapter to explore resting in God. The references I am about to quote all come from this chapter. In this passage the writer is primarily referring to our final Sabbath rest; the rest we will receive after death when we enter into eternity with Jesus Christ. Might these references hold more than one meaning? If we look at the word, the writer chose, it is Sabbath, not eternity, and not heaven. Every word, phrase, passage in the Bible, is placed there purposefully; not by accident. Let’s look at this passage with the possible perspective of more than one meaning.“Therefore, since the promise of entering in his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” vs 1 “And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the 7th day in these words: ‘On the 7th day God rested from all his works.’ vs 3-4 “For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” vs 10-11
Are we being disobedient by not remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy? I don’t believe so. Yet, perhaps we are being disobedient when other things are allowed to take priority. We are just too busy to set aside a day, a time to rest in the presence of God. Remember our definition for restore, “To return something or someone to a former condition? It’s during those times of resting in the presence of the Lord that we are restored. It’s during those times of resting when we hear God’s voice most clearly. When Jesus and his disciples share their last meal together, as they are breaking bread and drinking of the cup of wine, Jesus says to them, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Why? Jesus is about to go to the cross and surrender his life for us. In my church every Sunday symbolically we break bread and drink of the cup; a.k.a. take communion. In so doing, I remember the sacrifice of Jesus made for me personally. Similarly, keeping the Sabbath, resting on the 7th day, recognizing it as a holy day set apart for God is a way of remembering what God has done. He created a beautiful world, he created mankind, he created me, he created you. He allowed his child to die; so we his creation could be restored looking forward to a life spent in eternity with him. Do we have to keep the Sabbath? No. Should we? I will leave the answer to that question up to you. As for me, I will be setting aside a day to rest, to remember, and be restored.
Until next time,