Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

And God Rested

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

If you would, please remain standing-and let's hear God's Word now from Genesis- chapter two versus one throughthree genesis to versus one through three:This is the word of God. Thus, the heavens and the Earth werefinished and all the host of them and on the seventh day, God finished hiswork that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work thathe had done so God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it, Godrested from all his work that he had done in creation. May God bless this to us? You may beseated well, as we hear in genesis to versusone through three, these acts of God, his finishing the work of creation andthen resting of blessing and making the day holy, and we are reminded, ofcourse, of our own need to rest. We all know that we need to rest. We know how important it is. We knowhow necessary rest is to day, of course, is mother's Day, andis there any one who knows the importance of rest a more and desiresit more than a mom? Our mothers, of course, are the ones that teach us fromearly on how important it is to get to bed o how much we need a good nightsleep and how we'll feel so much better in the morning. But of course, even as she says thesethings we learn as adults. We know that...

...she is longing for them herself. She knows how much you need to go tobed, because she knows how much she needs to go to bed. She knows how tiredshe is and how desperately she wants to be free of your care for just a littlewhile so that she can recoup. That is to say, then, when it comes torest, we're all in this: Together: children and parents, young ones, adults all of us. We all share this common need and thisdesire for rest, but it's not just sleep that we need the rest that we need goes deeper thanthat. We want rest for our bodies, of course,but but also for our souls. It's why, even though our moms may bevery tired at the end of the day, she might stay up an extra hour. Just tounwind before she sleeps it's, why one of the number one sellingAPPs in the iphone store was an APP that helps you get the most out of yoursleep, not just to help you get to sleep, but to get the most out of it tobe most restful, most rejuvenating most refreshing. So it's not that we just want rest. Wewant something more than that and rightfully so we want refreshment. We want meaning as well. We want our work to be finished in away that we can sort of breathe freely and and be satisfied with to say thatthat was a good job. I did a good thing it's completed and I can rest. We want our moments of rest not to bemere sleep, but to be meaningful and refreshing, whether it's a weak endbreak or a Medar vacation, or just a good night's sleep. We want our worknot just to end but to end in a satisfying way.

We want our work not just to stop, but we want to rest in peace, as we say at the end of life. Genesis two one through three explainswhy this need is so deeply in us. It explains this need for meaningful,refreshing rest. It helps us understand why we are the way we are. As you willsee, God worked and rested in the way he did not because he was tired not because heran out of energy, but to set a pattern for us. God worked and rested in thisrefreshing and meaningful way to set a pattern of life for us, a pattern for us to follow Allah to obey and a reward to enjoy youwork as I have commanded to be fruitful, multiply rule as I have commanded andyou will enjoy this satisfying rest work as I did and rest as I did, but we have to be careful as weconsider this this pattern. God gives us to follow because it's not anoptional pattern. These instructions for life are not like the instructionsfor a new set of Legos they're, not optional. You won't be considered amaster builder. If you decide to take another path or figure out a way onyour own, you will be a failure. If you do not do, as God has required, yourwork will not be blessed but will be cursed instead, of course, you knowthis already the reason you feel the need for rest so deeply. The reasonrefreshing rest is not optional is because God did not just establish apattern that you might follow, but that you must follow. That is why we need it.It is ingrained in us. It is a part of...

...us. It's established this way becauseof the particular relationship, God put us in the particular way in which heinstitutes these things. So, let's look at Genesis two onethrough three and see both what it is God did and what it is. He made us to do so. First, let's consider verycarefully what it is. God did. The first thing we have to say is thatGod created the world and finished it. It finished it, and we start here because this is soclearly and so obviously a major point of these three verses. You get this in in all kinds of ways:notice the repetition of this phrase: UN We're finished the verses begin thisway. Thus, the heavens and the Earth were finished and all the host of them here were reminded that the world cameinto existence and was completed by God, and this is remarkable on severalaccounts and we could spend all day reflecting on just this one thing, butconsider just a narrow, narrow thing consider what this means in relation toour own work. What can you point to in your life andsay with complete satisfaction? It is finished. What can you point to in your life andsay this thing right here this one, maybe not this, but this one. This isover and I've done it well and I've done it perfectly and I can restsatisfied. Of course. The answer is nothing sureyou have completed tasks in your lives. You might have closed a sale. You mightabout to be about to get a degree or fold a basket of laundry or any kind ofa number of things we might do, but the customer always wants more.

Some aspects of your learning willprove to be inadequate. Even things you thought you had mastered, the laundrywill just keep coming and coming and coming there's nothing that we can neverreally point to and say this is completed. This is finished and I'vedone it perfectly and I've done it well. I've mastered it in a way that Godspeaks of his own work here in creation, and so this is God finishing his work. He doesn't just finish it, but hefinishes it perfectly and what he finishes as well as nothingless than the creation of the heavens and the earth. God did not earn adegree or fold some laundry or clean some dishes or close a sale. He created the heavens and the earthand all the host that is in them and he finished that work. He finished itcompletely. This is the first action of God, and wesee that underlined in the following verses in verses. Two and three on theseventh day, God finished his work that he had done and again in the secondhalf of verse too, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that hehad done and then verse three. So God blessedthe seventh day and made it holy because on it, God rested from all hiswork that he had done and, as you read that, and you hear that repetition, asyou hear that hit again and again and again, there's the sense of completionthat comes even more done done done done. So the point couldn't be more clear:God finished his work of creation. He didn't sort of do it, he didn't almostdo it. He didn't try his best. He didn't create a prototype or a Betaaddition to be improved upon after some testing, God made the heavens and theearth. He did it well, he did it...

...perfectly and he finished it so versus one through three tell usthat God finishes this work of creation, but we also hear what happens after hefinished. It were told that after God finished the work of creation, herested, and this is so important because here we see that there's a bigdifference between stopping your work and resting from it or even in it. The word used here forrest has the sense of breathing easy or freely being satisfied being refreshedbeing at ease in light of what has been accomplished so I mentioned earlier. God does notrest because he's tired, he rests as an expression of his self satisfaction ofwhat he has done. There's no evaluation period here, noprobation period, no product testing- God doesn't try to learn from hismistakes. Now that he's finished his work and see what he can do better nexttime he simply rests. He finishes his workand he rests. He rests in the perfection of hisAlmighty power. He rests in the perfection of hisperfect accomplishment of his perfect will, which is to say that God rests not justin his work, but he rests self sufficiently inhimself. The last thing God does is blessed andconsecrate the day. You see that in verse three we say that God blessed theseventh day and made it holy because on it, God rested from all his work thathe had done in creation because of God finished his work and herested on that day. He blesses it and...

...makes it holy. What does it mean to bless? What doesit mean to make holy to bless it? Something is to bestowgood on it. It is an action from a superior to an inferior in the Bible.It is this divine action, most often in which God bestows good causes good toflow out from himself on to the things that he's made. The first time we see this is in creation in the creation of the animals and things that populatethe waters and the skies in Exitus one twenty God says let the waters swimwith swarms of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth across theexpanse of Heaven, so God created the great sea creatures and having livingcreature that moves with which the waters swarm according to their kindsand every winged bird, according to its kind, and God saw that it was good and God blessed them saying, befruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas and let birdsmultiply on the earth. It is a command that has something of a of a promise toit as well. This thing, this intention that God has for them. He wants theseanimals to be fruitful and to multiply in to fill the next time we see this be stole ofgood is, of course, on man in the sixth day, God creates man a male and female,and he calls them blessing them and calls them to do similarly to befruitful and multiply, and we read this in verse, Twenty Eightof Chapter, One and God bless them and said to them- befruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. But here we see also that they're notjust equal in the animals in this, but they rule over the animals. Part ofthis. This command includes this: Have...

Dominion over the fish of the sea andthe birds of the heavens and over every living creature over every living thingthat moves on the earth, and so in this blessing in this bestole of good. We see God's this desire this command, this will of God formankind. If we continue to trace this word, wewon't do that now, but if you continue to trace this word throughout genesis,you'll see it connected in very specific ways, unto God's promises tohis people after the fall of man, O God, blessesshem, the Noah Than Ham and then Abraham and when God gets toAbraham, if you're to, if you were to do a search of this word, you'll seethat all of a sudden, this word starts happening. A lot bless bus S, s plusall throughout Genesis, chapter twelve throughout the story of Abraham andAbraham's sons. When God makes this promise to them this covenant of Grace,he begins to cause this blessing unto really out out poor in a special way. He bestows approval. He Bestows Peace,He bestows temporal blessings, eternal blessings and promises. This word blessing that is poured outon these creatures is here, poured out on a day the seventh day, God blesses theseventh day. He Pours Out Good bestows good on this day and he also makes it holy to make it wholly to make somethingholy as to consecrate it unto God it's to set it apart, and so here we see Godsetting apart the day for himself, there are some contraries to holy. Oneis unholy, obviously, but also common.

I'm things that are not are common arenot holy, but God here takes a day. The other days were good one, two, threefour five six, but on the seventh day he makes it holy special. He sets it apart unto himselffor his special honor for his special use. Holiness I will come. This word willcome to be filled with meaning, as you continue to read throughout the Bibleand throughout the first five books. In particular, we see it illustrated in all kinds ofways holiness illustrated in Old Testament, worship in the beauty andtransennae of the temple in God's purity and election in worship inholiness and perfection God himself is called holy and Isaiah. Six threewholly holy holy is the Lord of hosts. This holiness is UN, then, given tothis day, not a set apart from God, but but untoGod, and so we see God making the seventhday because of the way that he finishes his work and he rests. He makes it special by blessing it bymaking it wholly and one other way tack on, if I might,by making it the seventh there's, no particular reason it had tobe the seventh. The fact that it's, the seventh reallystands out among all the worlds of various religions. Most often holy days,consecrated days days that are set aside unto to God or to false gods, aredays that correspond with other things like calendars. In particular monthsyears, cycles of the sun comets all kinds of things. There doesn't seem tobe any particular reason that it's sat...

...on the seventh, except that God rested on that day and made it holy, and in this we see the greatsovereignty of God. We see him setting by his own perfectand holy will a number that will come to symbolize a number of perfection inscripture of wholeness and completion, and so in all kinds of ways. God issignifying that this day is special because of the work that he had doneand the rest that he had entered into. So this is the work that God did. Hefinished his work of creation. He rested from it he blessed this day andhe made it wholly now. How does this relate to man?There's nothing here. That explicitly tells us. This is for man, but thereare several things that we might consider both from genesis and fromother passages and scripture. First, remember that this didn't justhappen in the abstract. This is happening in time and in space on theseventh day, and you remember who was created right before the seventh day.It was man we might say in a certain sense thatthe things that God is doing and saying here on the set of the day are comingwithin ear shot of the one that he has made this one that he has called tobear his image and to work after his is the one whom he is seeing his Lord hiscommander, his sovereign, his maker working and then resting. This pattern is made explicit in otherplaces in scripture like an in the Ten Commandments. Next to this chapter,twenty we read in Exodus, twenty verse, eightremember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy six days. You shall labor in to allyour work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Jehovah, your God on it. Youshall not do any work, you or your son...

...or your daughter, Your Mail Servant oryour female servant or your live stock or the Sojourner who is within yourgates for here's. The reason why, for in six days, Jehovah Made Heaven andEarth The sea and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day,therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath Day and made it holy, and so Godexplicitly tells us what was happening in the beginning of creation, a kind ofcycle that Israel is called to repeat over and over and over again in theirlives, work than wet rest work than rest work than rest. This is thepattern that God has set, because he did things this way. You shall followafter this there's one more thing. I want to pointyour attention to back in Genesis two one through three, and that goes backto this blessing and making holy. Remember that God blessed the day Hebestows good on it, but we might ask in what sense, on the day or on the or on the day, for those whowould follow after him, God bless the Sabbath Day for our good.He pours out good in particular for us the fact that God is blessing the dayand Genesis. Two three is immediately reminding us and telling us of ourconnection with it. As Jesus puts it, the Sabbath was made for man the Sabbath was made for man. The same is true for God, making itwholly. It shows us that our rest is to be found not in our own working.Ultimately, even though we may unfollow after God, in this pattern, but we restin his rest. We enjoy our rest as we find it in God. So, as we think of all of these things,as we think of this work, that God did...

...and the way that he did this work inthe context of this relationship with Adam and eve and all of those of us whocome after them, we gain. We begin to get a very serious and robustexplanation for why you feel the way you feel why you need the rest. You need,because you were made for this because God specifically established ourrelationship with you in this way, a relationship that you can't opt into oropt out of. You simply belong to it by virtue of your being made and called tofollow after him. It explains why things are the way they are and why youfeel the way you feel, but what it doesn't explain its, why it doesn't work. It doesn't explain why, despite allyour longing and you're yearning for peace, you never find the rest and you never will it never. It doesn'texplain to us why, despite your longing and your yearning for peace and rest,you also hunger, after the very opposite of those things. Why, when you want peace, you go to war,and why, when you want rest, you work harder and why, even in the most thetimes when you have the greatest opportunities to rest, even as wetypically define them long periods of a vacation or things like that, you findyourself compulsively checking your email and trying to get something doneand being productive even in it in some really interesting articles lately byDavid Zal. He makes this great insight that lately, we've been collop our resteven for work. We can't even rest any more for rest's sake, but we optimizeit. We calculate it. We do the best. We...

...can to make our rest good for work as if it's only purpose is just toallow us to work all the more. Why d should you rest, because you'llbe more productive later in the week you see in this sense our continualstriving over and over and over, even in arresting, there's so many ways in which God callsus to this rest, and then we pervert and go after other things. We pursue it in our own way. We fail to even understand what it iswe pursue after other ends and perhaps worst of all we pursue them in our ownmeans. God cause us to follow after him torest in him to find our joy and our satisfaction and our peace and ourrefreshment in him and in the things that he has done and ar being and arefollowing after him. But what did Adam and Eve do? What dowe do? Did they find their self, theirsatisfaction in God and in himself now they sought it in their own powerand in their own ways they wanted to rest, not in God, but in themselves andin their work, and because of this it is great sin. It is great disobedience and what ends up happening, of course,and it's a yet another explanation for why we can't rest the way we want towhy a good nap is always sort of elusive and always hoping for the nextthing it's because of punishment, and it's not only a just punishment forfailing to obey God and work, as he has called us to work and then rest as hehas called us to rest. It's also a necessary punishment.

How can man rest in the holiness of Godwhen he is not resting in God and his blessing, but striving after his ownway and wanting to find his own path and doing his own things? When manwants to sin instead of obey and then find true peace and rest, and that,apart from God, it is, of course, a necessarypunishment that rest would be taken away from him. True, rest is rest inGod, and man wants rest in himself and so man will not receive rest butwill receive curse. Instead. All this to say you can strive all you want, but nothing's going to come of it inthe fall. Your internal wiring has all been twisted up and corrupted that thecloser you come to understanding what true peace and what true rest is themore you will separate it like a magnet hitting it's polar opposite moving. Yourepelling you away. You will continue your striving. Youwill continue your curse at work and you're. Even in your resting, youwill find that you are continually lacking and wanting this is man's statein the fall. This is what sin and disobedience brings. It explains bothwhy we want rest so bad, but why we don't have it it's a part of the curse and it's a part of our messed up.Insides, our benteen away from the things of God, but God in His grace and in His mercy, provides a solution to this problem. God gives us the rest that you cannotobtain. He fulfils the work that he has calledyou to. Do. He blesses you in the midst of yourcurse. How does he do this?...

He does it by in the fullness of timesending the Lord Jesus Christ, who was called in the Gospel, the Lord of theSabbath, the Lord of peace of rest, and he is the Lord of the Sabbath, not onlybecause he is the one who created all things and rested the one whoinstituted the sabbath and calls at his own, but he's also the Lord of the Sabbathand the way that he brings us cursed, wretched, sinful people that can'trecognize rest and when they do flee from it, and he takes us in our curseand in all of our sinful working and he gives to US peace. God comes in Jesus Christ and he fulfillsthe law that we were unable to fulfill he'be s, god in the way that he calledthat god originally called man to obey. He does it perfectly. He does it completely and more than that, he also endures theanti sabbath, the anti resting he endures, the curse on the cross and thedeath and the wrath and all of those things that were poured out on him for us. Do you remember what he says? It isfinished, it is finished and it has finished. Jesus christfinished the work, not just that. God did in creation that he did in creation.But now he is finishing the work of redemption, of salvation, of bringingcursed, unrestful ungrateful people into piece and a blessing and intoholiness, when god created the world. Heestablished this eternal law and rule for man, but because of the fall manwas going to eternally break that rule...

...and fail to obtain that blessingearning for m curse and sil in curse for himself. Instead, this would be, of course, in temporal.Expressions of this lost naps lost sleep, bad vacations, frustrations andoft of all kinds, but even worse in the eternalexpressions of this were in the fire of hell. Man would rest not a moment, butwould endure curse for ever and ever, but when jesus came, he interrupted allof this to give his grace to those whom hedesired to save. He fulfilled his law in our place and offers to us restbecause of his grace, the sabbath, which is so clearly a lawin genesis, two one through three and condemns it. If we seek it on our own becomes a great blessing to us, and ipromised to us when we have it in jesus christ and in his righteousness all of your life. You will struggle tofind the rest that you want and you need all of your life. You will betempted according to the flesh, to find rest in your own ways in another way, but in christ. God freely gives to you something thatis separate from yourself, separate from your own ways and your own gloriesa glory that is of him and arrest. That is eternal and real in christ. God has promised a rest fromyour labors, the good ones and the bad ones so that you might rest eternally in him for all the future and body and soul, and so on conclusion, we all know weneed to rest temporarily and eternally.

Our problem is that we don't know howand that we don't know how not not only that we don't know how, but we alsodon't want to know how we'd rather work we'd rather work for our reward, we'drather rest in ourselves and our own productivity then resting in god. If wedo rest, we want it to be in our sinful pleasures or in our obedience to thelaw. But this, my friends is a dead end. It will result in temporal burnout and in eternal hell, but jesus gives us something different.He gives us a real solution to a problem that we really face. He gives us true and eternal rest. Hegives us himself the lord of rest, the giver of life. He is that cup of cold water thatquenches the flame and our thirst. He is that word. That comes and calmsthe storm and, as he says it himself and matthew.Eleven twenty eight come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, andi will give you rest: may god grant this grace to us that wemight rest on him and know him for ever? Let us pray o.

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