There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Verses 9-10 (NIV)
Our present situation with our youngest foster son has not allowed us to have a family vacation for more than two years. We have had time away from work but to have a full relaxing time with no childcare, feeding, diaper changes, etc. has eluded us for a long time. The importance of rest time or down time becomes very clear when it seems to be out of reach.
In the creation narrative we read that God rested on the seventh day. That set a pattern for us that is worth keeping. In the midst of our busy lives each week, it is good to take a day to rest from our work, to take time to worship and honor God, and to give to and share with others, especially our family and for people who are in need.
The author of Hebrews points out that the promise to enter God’s rest still stands. So, for all of us, this remains something to strive and long for.
In Hebrews 3 the author recounts the warnings that God spoke to his people. The author notes that some of God’s people hardened their hearts and refused to trust in God, so they did not enter his rest. Nevertheless, the promise of entering God’s rest is still there.
The promise is for everyone who believes in the good news of Jesus Christ. Entering God’s rest is something we may long for and desire. It is even something we can begin to enjoy in Christ now, and we are promised that it will be complete when Jesus comes again.
This is not a call to stop all of our activity and our work. Instead, it is a call to continue believing in Christ, knowing that through him we will enter God’s promised rest and live with him forever.
Lord God, help us to find true rest in you. Amen.