Author: Ron Graham
—A chart study.
1 God’s Rest on the Seventh Day of Creation
¶“2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
This was God’s own sacred sabbath rest. It completed the creation week. There is no record that human beings thereafter observed a rest on the seventh day. The Bible says nothing about people keeping the sabbath during the Patriarchal age (from Adam and before Moses).
2 The Sabbath Commanded in the Law of Moses
¶“3There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work. Wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.” (Levitucus 23:3)
Thousands of years after creation, the children of Israel were commanded to keep the sabbath. It was the fourth of the ten commandments which Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. Moses also gave them rules about how to keep it. The Bible does not tell Christians to obey these rules about the sabbath or to assemble on that day.
3 The Sabbath Rest of Eternal Life in Heaven
¶“9There remains a sabbath rest for the people of God, 10for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same kind of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11)
In Hebrews chapters 3 and 4, the writer discusses Psalm 95 which ends with God’s condemnation of the Israelites for their disobedience. God says, “I swore in my wrath, they shall nor enter my rest”. The Hebrew writer makes the point that the promise of entering God’s rest remains, and we should work hard to enter it.