April 5, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day, “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.” (4:4)

Sabbath rest was instituted as a symbol of the true rest to come in Christ. That is why the Sabbath could be violated by Jesus, and completely set aside in the New Testament. When the true Rest Land came, the symbol was useless. “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ” (Col. 2:16–17).

Adam and Eve were completely righteous when they were created. They walked and talked with God as regularly and as naturally as they walked and talked with each other. They were at rest, in its original and its fullest sense. They relied on God for everything. They had no anxieties, no worries, no pain, no frustrations, no heartaches. They did not need God’s forgiveness, because they had no sin to be forgiven of. They did not need His consolation, because they were never grieved. They did not need His encouragement, because they never failed. They only needed His fellowship, because they were made for Him. This was their “rest” in God. God completed His perfect work and He rested. They were His perfect work and they rested in Him.

But something terrible happened. When Satan began to impugn God’s word and integrity and love, Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan. They trusted him rather than God. And when they lost their trust in God, they lost His rest. And from that time until now, man apart from God not only has been sinful but restless. The entire purpose of the Bible and the entire working of God in human history have one theme: bringing man back into His rest.

To accomplish that, God had to remove the barrier to their rest, the barrier which separated them from Him. He sent His Son to do just that, to provide again for man’s rest in His Creator. Through Christ’s death men are again offered life. Rest is another name for life, life as God meant it to be. Even the people who lived before Jesus were saved on the basis of what God was going to do through His Son. Christ bore sins past and future, and through Him God’s rest has been available to anyone who believes.

Those who sinned while wandering in the wilderness not only forfeited Canaan. Unless they exercised personal faith in God sometime during the forty years, they also forfeited eternal life—of which Canaan was only a symbol.[1]


4:4 / Again our author shows little concern with the human author of Scripture (he has spoken) or even the location (somewhere) of the quotation. The quotation closely follows Genesis 2:2 according to the lxx and is used here to substantiate the argument of the preceding verse. Seventh day thus became in itself an expression for rest. This is more evident from the underlying Hebrew word for “seven,” from which we get the word “sabbath” (see comment on v. 9).[2]


4:4 This verse is intended to prove from Scripture that God rested after the work of creation was completed. The author’s vagueness in identifying the passage quoted does not indicate any ignorance on his part. It is merely a literary device in quoting a verse from a book that was not at that time divided into chapters and verses. The verse is adapted from Genesis 2:2: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.”

Here the past tense is used and it might seem to indicate to some that God’s rest belongs only to history and not to prophecy, that it has no relevance for us today. But that is not the case.[3]


4:4God rested: The theme of rest has its beginning in God’s own rest after creation. The fact that Genesis makes no mention of the evening of the seventh day of creation provides a basis for some Jewish commentators to conclude that the rest of God lasts throughout all of history.[4]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 101–102). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (p. 70). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2168). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1641). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

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