“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done.”
God finished what he started. And he had already said his work was very good. It brings to mind what the people said of Jesus after he had healed a deaf man, commanding his ears to “be opened.” The people were astonished beyond measure, and said, He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” God’s work of creation and Jesus’ work of re-creation are perfect. God does not try to do anything. He just does it. It was true at creation. He spoke and the universe came into being. It was true at re-creation. Jesus spoke and the blind saw and the deaf heard and the dead came to life: “Lazarus, come out.” It was true for you and me on the day of our re-creation, when our ears were unstopped and our eyes could finally see and Jesus called us by name and we crossed over from death to life. He does all things well. It is true right now for you and me because God is not finished with us. He still works. He rested on the 7th day of creation, and we will get to that in a minute, but this is the 8th day and as Jesus said to those who were persecuting him because he healed on the Sabbath: “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” What is the promise we stand on that gives us great hope even when we feel like our life just doesn’t measure up and that we certainly do NOT do all things well? Oh, so many, but this one comes to mind: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” God always finishes what he starts. That’s the first thought.
The second is that when God rested, it was not because he was tired and needed a break. The word there simply means “to cease.” God stopped the work of creation on the seventh day, but he did not stop working! Thank God for that. Allen Ross writes, “Sabbat, to rest...is not a word that refers to remedying exhaustion after a tiring week of work. Rather, it describes the enjoyment of accomplishment, the celebration of completion.” God stopped working and rejoiced over his perfect creation.
Allen Ross adds this: The New Testament uses the concept of Sabbath rest in a spiritual sense. Believers have ceased from their labors and have entered into that divine rest.” That’s what Hebrews 4 talks about. Read the whole chapter! Here are two verses: “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” How about you? Have you rested from your works? Not your spiritual disciplines, where you put yourself in a position to enjoy God more, but your fretful attempts to try and make yourself good enough to be loved by God? Give those a rest!