Heavenly Recliner

Genesis 2:3(b) “on it (the seventh day) He rested from all His work.”

Observation: In seven days God had unleashed unimaginable creative powers. Things inanimate that had never before existed (earth and sky, dry land and seas, stars sufficient to fill the eternally expanding universe, light and every kind of vegetation…in four short days all these were done. Over the next two days had appeared every animate kind: waters teemed with living creatures while birds filled the skies. And on the dry land appeared animals, bugs and ultimately man. “Thus the heavens and the earth were created in all their vast array.” (Gen. 2:1) And God rested.

Application: Why did God rest? It’s critical that I understand this if I am to become like Christ. Do I really believe He needed rest? Is He like me after a hard week’s work, staggering exhaustedly back to His Lazy Boy throne? Can I imagine Him, muscles aching, slipping shoes off swollen feet, rubbing weary eyes before flipping on the TV? After all, His work of creating had been far broader than I sometimes consider. With the exception of man, He had everywhere created in multiples: herds, schools and flocks along with vegetation sufficient to feed them all. It’s no wonder He might have needed a break.

See how easily I can be overtaken by a fleshly perspective and a works mentality? If I believe God took rest because He needed rest, then I shall never understand Sabbath. His wasn’t the rest of the needy; it was the rest of deep satisfaction in Himself. This inexhaustible God needed no tub of warm water in which to soak weary feet. He paused to delight in Himself as He surveyed creation.

Yet how often do I, made in His image, view rest in the way He intended? Too frequently my day of rest is a cross between recovery…a time for catching up on sleep or kicking back in front of a game…or striving to get a running start on a week’s worth of shopping, meal preparation or yard work. Before I know it my weekend is shot and I castigate myself for once again blowing my chance to rest.

But consider this: If God’s rest wasn’t the crashing of the exhausted, why should mine be? What He modeled was what I should aspire to: contented contemplation of the one who made me. God, my bottomless Source of delight in His handiwork, still wants now what He wanted on the sixth day of creation: fellowship. Yet all the while my aspiration is merely for an uninterrupted nap or an afternoon of texting.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for being so caught up in a works mentality that I assume You want me to rest from something. Just as You rested in Yourself, it’s toward You that You woo me. Cause me to so reorder my thinking that I am only fully satisfied resting in contemplation of You.

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