“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
The Universe is governed by laws and rules whether we know or are ignorant of it. Gravity is one such universal law that states every object in the universe attracts every other object. God has set a place for the Sun to rise out of the east and run down its course to the west. God has set boundaries and laws that we should abide by, and these apply to both believers and unbelievers.
God created the Universe in 6 days as we know in the Bible and rested on the 7th day so that man need not work but shall enjoy His work. But Adam lost it all and was made to till the ground and work it out for bread. God nevertheless made sure that man gets rest and made it a commandment to observe Sabbath (a day set aside for Rest). He also commanded the Israelites to let their fields rest every 7th year so that it would benefit the poor and the beast. (Exodus 23:11) But invariably it benefited the farmers too, as now science suggests farmers to leave the land lie fallow once in few years so that the fertility of the land is not lost but enriched. Likewise, we see with the provision of Manna being withdrawn on the Sabbath during their wilderness wandering but yet its share was provided the previous day. (Exodus 16:29-30) So we see that when God demands and we obey, He both provisions and also at the end blesses it!
The Pharisees not knowing the actual intent of Sabbath burdened people with several man-made laws when actually God designed it to alleviate man’s pain. They were so religiously inclined that they didn’t perceive who Jesus was and what He was doing when He deliberately healed people on Sabbaths, the very first reason that irked them to find a way to kill Him. (Matthew 12:9-14) Jesus was so particular, He once declared that Sabbath was created for man and not the other way around. (Mark 2:27) The ultimate cause was fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross and said, “It is accomplished”. He did the heavy-lifting for us and now we Rest in that which He accomplished, the Salvation of our souls.
This is the attitude Christ beckons us to take on for our life on earth. Jesus reminds us that He is our True Vine and like how the branches truly depend on the plant, so we should rest and abide in Him. We truly can’t do anything apart from Jesus, our True Vine. (John 15:5) He even compared our daily worries against the worry-less and God-dependent attitude that the flowers and birds exhibit and urges us to similarly depend on Him completely and draw from strength from Him (Matthew 6:25-34). It is a needed reminder, that we know that God is the One who provides us and not ourselves.
The Book of Hebrews warns us that we don’t lose this Rest that Christ earned for us but rather labor to enter into the Rest. (Hebrews 4:10-11) This posture of Rest is knowing and leaning on the facts that God has already worked things for us; Christ being our High Priest knows all our weaknesses; and we can boldly go to the throne of Grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16) Jesus paved the way for us to be always at Peace with God and in turn, live a life rest assured (pun intended!) that all our sins are wiped off and we are indeed free in Christ! (John 8:36)
They say, God put the man to sleep (rest) and He made arguably the most beautiful and elegant creation of all time – Woman. So be rest assured that when God works and we rest in Him, the result would be a masterpiece!