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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Rest: Day 2

By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it He rested from all the work of creating that he had done.                                                              
 Genesis 2:2,3

Probably the most well-known passage on rest in the entire Bible is the above verses in Genesis. The book of Genesis isn’t called “the book of beginnings” just because it comes first. All of the major themes of Scripture are introduced here, themes that will find their fulfillments in the sixty-five books that follow. But in these two verses—in the nascence of God’s revelation to mankind—we find three priceless truths.  

The God of Genesis is a do-er: He is no benign force floating through the ether. He created everything that exists in the material world out of nothing. Because we were made in His image, we were created for accomplishment. Furthermore, at every level, God pronounced His creation “good.” The raw materials that mankind has used to produce the progress and prosperity we prize so highly—from nature to life itself—come from God’s original creative work.

His rest is as purposeful as His work: His rest wasn’t a breather to recharge His batteries. He’s God! He “neither slumbers nor sleeps.” (Psalm 121:4)—nor does he need to. The means by which “the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array” was His spoken Word (Gen. 1:2).

God’s gives equal value and purpose to rest and work. He called His creation good, but He placed a special blessing on His rest. In fact, He called it holy which means “sacred, set apart.”

Rest, as understood in Scripture, is not the cessation of activity. It is the fulfillment of activity.

Nancy S.

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