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Rest in a Restless World
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The words of Goo Goo Dolls’s song “Iris” are rather despairing: “And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming/ Or the moment of truth in your lies./ When everything feels like the movies./ Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive./ And I don’t want the world to see me/ ‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand./ When everything’s made to be broken/ I just want you to know who I am.” How can we know who we are?

1. What is the first verse in the Bible? Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The “earth was formless and empty” before God created this world. During the first three days the account moves from “formless” to “form” as God creates night and day, sea and air, land and plants. Then, during the next three days, from “empty” to “full” as He fills those spaces with sun and moon, birds and fish, animals and humans. Overall, there is a movement from chaos to order (see Genesis 1:2-31).

2. What is the crowning act of creation? Genesis 1:26, 27

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule . . . over all the earth.’ . . . So God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them.”

3. What does God do, when He finishes creating this world, which climaxes the Creation story? Genesis 2:2, 3

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

4. What is this seventh day called? Exodus 20:8-11

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. . . . For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

The word Sabbath means “rest.” The Creation story (see Genesis 1 and 2) gives humans their place in the universe—we’re not an accident. It tells us God is sovereign Creator and we are dependent creatures made in His image for fellowship with God.

Adam’s first full day of life was the seventh day, spent not working but worshipping his Maker and celebrating with Him the new creation.

5. What call to worship is given to the whole world before Jesus comes again? Revelation 14:7

“Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” On the cross Jesus cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30) then died.

6. What day did He rest in the tomb? Luke 23:54

“It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.”

As God rested upon the Sabbath after completing His work of creation, so Jesus rested from the work of redemption. The destruction of sin and Satan was forever made certain and a restored creation and a redeemed race were guaranteed. The Sabbath is a memorial of both creation and redemption.

7. What was achieved for us by Jesus’ death? Hebrews 10:10

“And by that will [God’s], we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

8. Of what is the Sabbath a sign? Ezekiel 20:12, 20

“Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy. . . . Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us . . . that I am the Lord your God.”

9. For whose benefit, did Jesus say, is the Sabbath? Mark 2:27

“The Sabbath was made for man [humanity], not man for the Sabbath.”

10. What invitation does Jesus give to those who are burdened? Matthew 11:28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

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Bible Discovery by Errol Webster. Reprinted with permission by SIGNS. Biblebay © 2012, Westlake Village, CA.