Summary: Message 4 of 5 on Hebrews. This message focuses on the gift of rest that God gave human kind.
God Invented Rest
There are some things that are kind of a surprise in life. I mean by that there are some things you just wouldn’t expect. Take for example: the idea of taste. Hey, God! That was a pretty nifty idea. The idea of taking a bite of a chocolate bar is an breathtaking experience. Or take the astonishing flavor of a fillet mignon, the amazing sensation of a banana split with hot fudge topping. It was all God’s idea. Broccoli – Nah, I don’t think so… That must have been Satan’s idea.
God invented so many cool things – everything from the Grand Canyon to fabulous beams of sunlight streaming across an early morning sky. God invented hippos, elephants, and puppy dogs.
God is amazingly creative – and it was God who invented rest.
Why did God Invent Rest?
Rest?!? Why would God invent rest?
You and I have all experienced a kind of love/hate relationship with rest. When you were young and your parents wanted you to take a nap – and you would fight off sleep as if it were a mortal enemy.
How many times have you observed a 3 year olds reaction to nappy time? I’ve seen some kids who react to the idea of being put in bed as if their mommy was preparing to deep-fry them like a 20# turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
During adolescence you operated as if there was a switch in your head. If it was “on” – you were moving at full speed with 115% operational activity. If it was “off” – you zonked out where ever you happened to run out of juice and your parents carried you, limp and lifeless, to your bedroom. And then came the teen years when your parents couldn’t peel you out of bed with a pail of cold water and an air horn until at least the crack of noon.
In college – the era of all-nighters and slamming massive quantities of Red Bull – the world is so full of so many things to do, so few restrictions, and so little time – you hardly sleep at all – until you crashed for 2-3 days of semi-comatose exhaustion.
As an adult you find that sleep becomes a welcome acquaintance that you’d like to get to know a lot better. I remember as a kid seeing my dad take a Sunday afternoon nap and thinking, “what a waste.” Now – it seems like such a good idea. And as I grow older rest is at times a difficult thing to attain – what with backaches, dripping faucets, worries about the grandkids, and general insomnia. And when you get right down to it… there isn’t much to watch on TV at 3:00 AM.
So, Why? Why would God invent such a strange thing as rest? Certainly with respect to himself he didn’t need to rest. We know that he did on the seventh day after six days of creation but it wasn’t because he was tired! And with respect to human kind – if he invented such nifty things as taste and vision – certainly, he could have made us so that we didn’t need to rest.
Yet, the simple fact is that God designed us to need rest – and he has promised to supply our need.
God has Written You a Promissory Note
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
People Need Rest
We need rest – but most of us don’t get enough. We’re sleep deprived, over worked, on edge, and we live in a world of clocks, calendars, and deadlines. The “to-do” list never bottoms out and the frustration levels rise as the pressures build up. And on top of the every day activities of survival there are worries and concerns for the people we love that cause us to toss and turn at night when we should be asleep.
Let’s face it – people are restless. There is something about us that is prone to worry and given to being anxious about all manner of things. We are consumed by such concerns as our health, our finances, our kids, our parents, our friends, our cars, our pasts, our futures, in short – we worry about anything and everything.
Perhaps that is why the promise of “rest” that the author of Hebrews speaks of is such a wonderful pledge. God has made us a promise. God has promised us rest – and we all need it.
Above all things make sure you don’t lose this wonderful rest that God has promised! For you see – it can be lost!
The Promise of God must be Combined with Faith