How important is rest?
God needed it and got it.
Jesus needed it and got it.
I need it as well. And good news, Jesus will give me rest.
The need for physical rest is recognized in Scripture, and provision is made for ensuring that people are allowed time for rest.
The concept of entering God’s rest comes from Hebrews 3—4. What is this “rest” the Hebrew writer is talking about? How do we enter it? And how do we fail to enter it? The writer to the Hebrews begins his discussion of God’s rest in chapter 3, where he references the Israelites wandering in the desert. In giving them the land of Canaan, God had promised them that He would go before them and defeat all their enemies in order that they could live securely.
All that was required of them was to fully trust in Him and His promises. However, they refused to obey Him. Instead, they murmured against Him, even yearning to go back to their bondage under the Egyptians.
- Exodus 34:21 (NASB) — 21 “You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.
- Mark 2:27 — 27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
- Exodus 20:8–11 — 8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Master your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days the Master made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Master blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
- Exodus 31:15 — 15 ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Master; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
- Exodus 35:2 — 2 “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the Master; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.
- Leviticus 23:3 — 3 ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the Master in all your dwellings.
- Nehemiah 13:15 — 15 In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads, and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbath day. So I admonished them on the day they sold food.
- Isaiah 58:13–14 — 13 “If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Master honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, 14 Then you will take delight in the Master, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Master has spoken.”