By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:2-3)
God had no need to rest from his work. But he did. Why?
I don’t think it’s farfetched to conclude that because God created work as a form of worship, he knew we would be tempted to work nonstop. I think God rested because he knew we would forget to. So he graciously modeled a rhythm of work and rest that we were designed to mimic.
Yesterday, we saw that the Word commands us to work in a way that embraces the tension between “trusting” and “hustling.” How can we know if we’re managing that tension well? By whether or not we are able to rest.
Can’t fall asleep because you’re working out a problem that faces you at work the next morning? Find yourself glancing at email while you’re on vacation? Maybe you’re trusting in your own strength and “hustle” rather than the Lord.
Whether it’s Sabbath once a week or not checking email after a certain time each evening, rest is one of the most powerful ways we can preach the gospel to ourselves. It’s a way of saying that we trust in God to produce results and that we have value regardless of what we accomplish at work. It’s a way of reminding us of what we’ve already seen in this series, that the gospel—not work—provides the ultimate “verdict” for our lives and frees us from the need to be productive.