Rest With Me
Adam and Eve heard the sound of the Lord. Maybe it was the rustling of the leaves, footsteps, I don't know. They also knew they were in the presence of the Lord among the trees. Genesis 3: 8, "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." Whatever the noise, it was audible, allowing them to know He was there. When I am in creation, I, also, hear the sound of the Lord when I hear the birds sing, the waves crash, a babbling creek, the breeze rustling through the trees. When I see His beautiful creation I believe I am in the presence of the Lord. When God was "walking in the garden" it included sound and presence among the trees. I can hear God telling me, "walk with me in the garden (or on the beach) and spend time with me. Rest with me."
Our staff has been talking about the need for a Sabbath-rest for God's people. Hebrews 4: 9-10, "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His." Even God rested from His work.
Genesis 2: 2-3, "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." He did not rest because he was tired but to be an example to us.
Remembering the Sabbath is one of the ten commandments. Exodus 20: 8, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Remember to keep the Sabbath. Remember the work has been done. Just as a farmer lets the land rest every seven years. Why? To refresh it.
Hebrews 4: 1, "Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it." This promise is for all of God's children!
This promise still stands and we should be obedient. I am preaching to myself. I have always felt guilty to just sit and do nothing on Sunday afternoons. But this past year I have really worked at this and I have to say, it is refreshing. I try to purposefully sit outside and be quiet in His presence. In the mornings when I wake up I stay quiet, with no noise, and rest in His presence. God gives us this time to leave our worldly worries behind and get a deep rest blessed by God Himself. It is a rest that resets our hearts and minds in which we can rejoice! It helps us to maintain our spiritual health.
As God led his people into the promised land, he promised they would receive the gift of rest. Joshua 1: 13, "Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land.’" And in the end God gave them rest. When we honor the Sabbath we are saying, "I trust You, God." I trust You with my time that I am setting aside for You! I trust You to take care of whatever is going on while I rest with You.
I love Mark 2: 27 in which Jesus said, "Then he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.'" Jesus said this to the Pharisees who loved rules. God never meant for the Sabbath to be complicated. It is a beautiful gift given to us for a chance to rest, an opportunity to trust and a time to experience God's faithfulness. God knew we would need this to prevent burnout. He wanted them to rest and reflect on His faithfulness.
The Sabbath is God’s grace to us, intended to give us rest from our hard work.