Feb 20 (Daily reading: Leviticus 22-23) Chapter 23 is a reminder of the Sabbath day of rest, and of the various feasts of the Lord. Each of these celebrations had instructions concerning work and rest (the Hebrew word for Sabbath means “rest”).
I have found meaning concerning the Sabbath in Hebrews 4:1-11. “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Heb. 4:9). This is written in the context of the Hebrews who did not enter into the Promised Land because of unbelief. The writer quoted Psalm 95:11, “They certainly shall not enter my rest” and concluded, “So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief” (Heb. 3:11, 19). It is my conviction that those who believe in Christ are living in a perpetual Sabbath, a period of grace. We entered the Sabbath rest when we gave our lives to Christ. (This is a personal interpretation, and you may not see it the same way).
We know that God completed His work of creation and that He rested on the seventh day from all His work (Gen. 2:2). The Hebrew author wrote, “For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His” (Heb. 4:10). Again, this is a period of grace and not of works. Our salvation by grace through faith in Christ is past, present, and future. The first phase of God’s work of salvation (justification) has been completed in us. God’s work of sanctification is perpetual; it continues forever in us by faith because the Holy Spirit is in us.
There is so much more to understand on this subject; spend some time contemplating the advice of the Hebrew writer: “Therefore let’s make every effort to enter that rest” (Heb. 4:10). This is the rest of trusting His grace and walking by faith. “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:13, NIV). I leave you with the words of Augustine: “My soul is restless until it rests in You, O God.”