Made to Lie Down
Psalms 23:1-2: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
The Lord leads us to a place of rest (to lie down in green pastures).
In the Gospels, the theology of rest is most clearly articulated in the words of Jesus: "Come to me and I will give you rest and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-30 ). The rest Jesus promises is certainly for the world to come, but it is also for this world. It is the sense of security and peace that flows from a right relation with God through Jesus the Son.
It takes faith to enter into God’s rest. ““Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.” (Hebrews 4:3). God’s rest is more than setting aside one day a week to cease from labor, it is placing our entire trust and confidence in Christ to save us. God’s special relationship with Israel was not fulfilled because of their disobedience, so it stands to reason that this rest through relationship is still available for all who believe. If unbelief keeps you out, then faith brings you in.
Adam and Eve were created, dwelling in the rest of God. There was no labor involved. Sure they had jobs to do, naming the animals and overseeing the garden, but God’s rest has nothing to do with taking a break from work and activities. It has everything to do with trusting God as our source. They walked and talked with God enjoying His fellowship and trusting in Him for everything. God created mankind to dwell in this rest right from the start, this was always His plan.
Jesus is the Sabbath rest for the people of God.
The Jews missed out on this promise because they chose not to trust in God after they heard the good news of their deliverance. He wanted to take them into immediate possession of the land He promised to Abraham. Instead unbelief kept them out (Hebrews 3:19). So, it stands to reason that if unbelief keeps you out of this promise, faith brings you in. Faith placed in Christ and what He did to restore this relationship. Only you can keep yourself out of this rest. But entering in allows you to cease striving and working out your own salvation. Instead it allows you to dwell in relationship knowing that God has provided everything for you with a wonderful promise to sustain you every day of your life.
However, the fall of mankind did not catch God off guard; He had made provision long before there was a problem. 1 Peter tells us, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God” (1Peter 1:18-21). Christ was chosen, foreordained and destined for the cross from the beginning of time before the world existed because God knew that sin would separate us and remove us from the resting place in which He created us to dwell.