Never has more work been accomplished in six days. The universe went from vast nothingness and emptiness to what it is as we know it by a few words of God in only six 24 hour days. Then God looked out at all that he had created and realized that it was “very good. So God rested.
God wasn’t tired though. He didn’t need to take a break in his recliner and eat Doritos while watching college football for a while. He rested in that he simply stopped his work of creating. But God was setting a precedent for rest to be carried forward until he would bring an end to the universe he made.
The Hebrew word for rest in Genesis 2 is shabbat. Shabbat is where we get our English word Sabbath. With this sabbath that the Lord took and with the 7th day of sabbath that he ordained, God was establishing the extreme importance of rest.
Labor Day is a great day that Americans love to find rest on. People head to the beach. They grill burgers and hot dogs. They enjoy a relaxing day with family or friends away from work.
Physical rest is a very important thing. God does want us to take care of the bodies he has blessed us with. Sufficient rest and relaxation are necessary for physical health and mental sanity.
At the same time, there is rest that is much more important. The sabbath that God took on the 7th day also points to the eternal sabbath that all people will enjoy in the paradise of heaven. And as God ordained sabbath for all people, God was also establishing the importance of spiritual sabbath.
In worship, in devotions, in Bible study, and most specifically in our Savior Jesus, we find spiritual sabbath. In him we find rest for our souls. In him we find a Savior who gives us eternal rest for our souls.
As we enjoy this day of rest today, we can remember the benefit of rest for our bodies. Yet also on Labor Day we can be reminded of the necessity of spiritual rest for our souls on a regular, daily basis. Finally, on Labor Day and every day we can look forward to the eternal paradise of heaven where both body and soul will rest forever.