September 20 - LD 38, Day 4: A Lasting Rest
Sunday the 20th of September
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Isaiah 57:19-20: “I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”
That we Christians may enter the rest which is fellowship with God is truly something special. We believe in the Triune God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That isn't just an abstract doctrinal truth to us, but a truth of very practical and personal implications. The Triune God, being three distinct Persons in one Divine Being, lives a perfect life of fellowship and love within Himself. He didn't need us. The unity of the Godhead is characterized by perfect fellowship and love, self-sufficiency and independence. But when God saves us, He takes us into His own life! He takes us into the enjoyment of His own covenant life of fellowship and love, His family life as it were.
To enter into His rest on the Sabbath day is to enter into the enjoyment of His love and fellowship in a special way, and to receive a taste of the riches that are ours in Christ. Do you know that rest to which God calls His people? Do you desire it? Do you enjoy it?
The Sabbath is not for everyone. The last verses of Isa 57 tell us that "the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt." There is no rest for those who are outside of Christ. Where there is no personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, there is no desire for the Sabbath rest. There is no desire for the house of God, no longing to hear Christ in the preaching of the gospel, no urgency for fellowship with those who are members of the body of Christ. Then one would rather work and make money or seek his entertainment and pleasure.
That we may enter into the rest of the Sabbath, and that we desire it, is something special. It is, in fact, the beginning of the eternal Sabbath. There is more to this rest than what we enjoy here and now on the first day of the week.