God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:31
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3 NASB
As the sun settled in the western sky and dusk fell upon the shadows of the sixth day of creation, God’s creative work was now done. He looked over it all and “saw that it was excellent in every way.” Genesis 1:31 NLT
God’s finished task of creation is sealed in the words He rested. God’s rest is a rest of achievement, not inactivity, because He nurtures what He creates. He had completed His work, abstained from further creating, and was refreshed.
“So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:16-17 NASB
The sabbath was a sign given by God to His people. Deuteronomy 5:14: “but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God.” The son of man, Jesus, is the lord of the sabbath. Man was not made for the sabbath, the sabbath was made for man. The Jewish leaders emphasized the keeping of the sabbath over the needs of man. Jesus responded to them that man was not created subject to the sabbath but to obey it because it is good for man because God says to do it. (Matt. 12:8; Mark 2:27-28; Luke 6:5).
Therefore, man is to obey God and rest in the Lord of the sabbath at all times. God did not create man to work non-stop seven days per week without rest. He created us with the necessity to rest physically, mentally and spiritually and in order to receive refreshing – especially spending time in Bible reading, meditation and prayer in obedience to God.
There is a spiritual rest for the believer to cease from his own efforts, known as works in the Bible, to receive salvation through means other than acceptance of the grace of Jesus Christ by faith. Salvation is free to those who believe and become obedient to Jesus and make Him the Lord of their life. To rest in the Lord is described in Hebrews 3:7 – 4:11.