Rest, true rest, is coming and waiting for us in heaven.
Just as Ruth was in search of a kinsman redeemer to redeem her and Elimelech’s land and family line, we are in search of the only Redeemer who can redeem our lives. That Redeemer is Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who lived the perfect life that He might die and be the perfect atonement, the only acceptable sacrifice to God for our sin. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Once Christ is our life, we must learn to rest and learn where our rest will come from. Learning to rest is challenging no matter what season of life you are in. But rest began during creation.
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 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.
This should be a mic drop for us if we are questioning why a human body even needs rest. God the Almighty had just spent 6 days creating the world, the universe and all that lived in it. But He didn’t need to rest! He is God! He does not get weary and need to sleep (Psalm 121:3-4). God is more powerful than the most powerful being we can imagine and then that won’t even compare with His might. But God rested and made that seventh day holy.
God commands His people to rest. It is one of the ten commandments given to Moses from God,
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
God Himself rested on the 7th day, and He doesn’t request, He commands His people to rest on the 7th day. This exercises trust that God will provide for you when you work only 6 days and keeping the 7th in the week set apart from normal work week to rest.
When His people were in Egypt ruled by Pharaoh, the Lord wanted His people to worship Him. On their exile from Egypt to the Promised Land is when the Lord gave the commandment to the Israelites to rest on the seventh day. And the Israelites set their hopes on the Promised Land being place of security and rest. (Joshua 1:10-16) Elimelech and Naomi lived in this Promised Land with God’s people.
Rest is what Naomi wanted for Ruth, but it wasn’t a good night’s sleep that she desired for her. It was the security that would come with a husband in that culture because in that union was hope for children, hope for the future security and hope for the land given by God to be given to the child. While marriage provided the hope and image of security, it was only God who could provide what Naomi was truly hoping for.
We are searching too
We are no different from Naomi and from Ruth. Though our culture looks different and all our hopes and dreams as women do not rest upon the possibility of marriage or having children, we are still searching for security and rest. This type of security and rest is much deeper than job security, a steady income, a safe neighborhood and place to lay our head. Even on the most beautiful relaxing day at the beach or the lake, the most serene place where we would expect to find rest from our physical weariness, even on those days, there is still a restlessness searching for true, deep, profound rest for our souls. Rest from weariness, yes. But rest from worry. Rest from pain. Rest from the heartaches and unknowns. Rest for all that distracts and makes us rattled. Where can we run to find this true rest?
As believers in Christ, we are searching for rest that turns into rejoicing.
On our journey heavenward, on our journey home, we know that true rest awaits us where Jesus Christ is Himself. Where there is no more striving, no more worrying, no more crying – only resting and savoring and worshiping our great Redeemer.
As we wait and strive toward heaven, I want to leave you with two things to challenge you as I challenge myself:
- Rest on the Sabbath
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10
Once we see Sunday’s as a gift from the Lord and as a way to trust Him to provide for us and to provide the time we need in the week to actually rest on Sunday, we will enjoy and find refreshment in a weekly break from the grind. Instead of dreading the day designed for rest, it will be a blessing and a day we look forward to.
- Strive to enter the rest that is waiting in heaven for you by being diligent to be in and to know the Word of God.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:11-13
Let the Word of God do the work of God in your life. No one can expose sin, lies and how we are not living by faith the way God can through His Word. As sin is exposed, we have the joy of repenting and taking this to the cross, knowing our Redeemer is there pouring out His grace and mercy and loving kindness on us.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
The Challenge to Actually Rest
The theme of rest in the Bible is not about a good night rest, or even the physical feeling of being rested. Rest is turning our eyes toward Christ, trusting in Him and believing in who He is.
Trusting/resting that we cannot earn our salvation by good works, but only through the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Trusting/resting that He truly is Sovereign over all things. (Romans 8:28-29)
Trusting/resting that I am a child of God once my life is fully & completely surrendered, and no one can snatch me out of the Sovereign Father’s hands. (John 10:28)
Trusting/resting that my eternal home is in heaven. (John 10:28)
Trusting/resting that even when I feel my loneliest, I am not alone. God Himself is with me. (Matthew 28:20)
Resting is all of these things and so much more when we walk with Christ. Let us strive heavenward together my friend. And there, we will find the deepest rest our souls will ever know. When we are home, face to face with our Savior, there will be no more striving or worrying or pain, only worshiping and resting in God almighty.
This post and photos are copyright by Mimi Brady No Ordinary Day Planner 2019.
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