The first mention of the word holy – kadosh – is found in Genesis.
Genesis 2:2-3 (KJV) And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
The seventh day was holy because God rested, the work was done. He didn’t rest because he was tired, He rested because it was completed. So the first time holy is used is linked with rest. Rest, is the holiest thing you can do as we’ll see in this study. Rest brings God’s favor. The first time grace is mentioned is also in Genesis with Noah.
Genesis 6:8 (KJV) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
So what does Noah have to do with grace? His name means rest! So you could say “rest finds grace in the eyes of the Lord”! The more at rest you are, the more grace comes upon you. The more you work and labor the less God’s grace is revealed. This isn’t about a job, if we eat, we must work. This rest is about trusting in God’s work. This rest is quieting that inner restlessness to produce something, that internal striving to do something in your life. That striving is evil. God wants your heart to be at rest trusting in Him and His ways.
Hebrews 4:9-11 (KJV) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
This is the only labor we’re to strive for: to enter into that rest. What rest? The completed work of God! Notice it says when we that enter into God’s rest, we have ceased from all our works too! When you’ve got diapers to change, food to cook, reports to write, deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, overtime to do, algebra to work out; when you do these things with a restful heart (trusting in God’s work) you’ll do them with a touch of heaven.
Ephesians 2:4-7 (KJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Take note that there is no verse that says “God, who is rich in anger”… believe God when He says He is rich in mercy! Also notice that we are NOW currently TODAY seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus! He is in us, we are in Him and where He is, so are we in this word! NOW! TODAY! THIS SECOND!
1 John 4:17 (KJV) Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
So back in verse 7 above, it states that we enter this rest so God can show his exceeding riches of His grace in kindness towards us through Jesus!! So where is Jesus seated and we with Him?
Ephesians 1:20-23 (KJV) Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Jesus is seated above ALL principalities, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named throughout time and even outside of time, and has put ALL THINGS under His feet! We are seated with Him already! Now notice, what, as Head did Jesus do? He gave this authority to the church! So the devil comes and gives you a twinge in your side that was never there before and says “what are YOU going to do about it!?” He’s trying to agitate you, get you out of that rest. Jesus says, “Rest.” Paul says it another way:
Philippians 4:6 (KJV) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Ask it, then thank God for it and leave it at that. He knows what you need even before you do. See this seems very easy, but our fallen flesh and the nagging of the devil makes us want to DO something! This is what it is to “labor to enter the rest”! You must resist the temptation for you to DO something, anything, when all we have to do is rest in Jesus! The devil will try to get you out of the place of rest because while you are there at rest you have the blessings of the Lord over your life (Romans 8:28 (KJV)). God is in complete control, but when we try and jump in and “help” He steps back and we fail and the devil wins. We think our actions dictate God’s actions when all He’s telling to do is to “Rest, I have it all under control.” That’s trusting in God’s abilities and not our own. The devil agitates you to get you out of that rest, and God says “labor to enter the rest”. It takes WORK to relax and let the Lord lead!
So what does evil mean? Everyone says “something bad” but did you know in the Greek that is its second meaning? The word evil is poneros, a derivative of the word ponos and it’s first definition is “to toil” as in to “to toil for daily subsistence”! Poneros is defined as:
1. full of labours, annoyances, hardships (a.) pressed and harassed by labours (b.) bringing toils, annoyances
2. bad, of a bad nature or condition
This is the word that is used to describe an “evil heart” in this verse:
Hebrews 3:12 (KJV) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
You can correctly translate this verse to say: take heed lest there be in any of you a striving heart of unbelief. Amazing! Now notice Job. He wished for an Advocate like we have, not having one or understanding, he became one for his kids:
Job 3:25-26 (KJV) For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.
Notice the order of Job. His heart wasn’t at rest, and he toiled to make sacrifices. This fear brought about toilsome heart, and then “evil” fell on him. No safety, no rest, no quiet=trouble. These three words in Hebrew are: shalaw (tranquil), shakat (repose – to lay at rest), and Noah’s name: nooach (settled down, rest). See Job got into trouble because he stepped into disquiet, into worry, into agitation. How did he do this? By DOING something “spiritual” and not being at peace.
Job 1:5 (KJV) And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings [according] to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Job admits latter his problem was he wasn’t at peace and trouble came. When you let go, God’s hand is there to help you. When you hold on, God’s hand lets go. Finally Job repented and God rebuked his friends and just like Abraham and Sarah were blessed with Isaac after praying for Abimelek, so Job, having repented at God’s wonder, was restored after he prayed for his friends!
Job 42:10 (KJV) And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
God’s work is done, His provisions flow to you. When you are not at rest in Him, you stop the hose of God’s provision. Proper prayer shouldn’t be to get God to do something nor should our prayers be trying to get God to give us something. That’s no prayer, that’s treating God like a Jennie of the lamp. God says our prayers should be thanksgiving. Even the prayers of Jesus’ Own lips were to give thanks.
Matthew 15:36 (KJV) And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake [them], and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
Matthew 26:27 (KJV) And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Mark 8:6 (KJV) And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before [them]; and they did set [them] before the people.
So that is what we are to do always:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Make your request known to God and then give thanks for it, don’t beg because then you’re still in unbelief instead of resting in God’s rest. Comparing the richest man in history, Solomon, to the lilies of the field being greater because God provides for them, then Jesus says that God will clothe us! You just have to have faith and believe!
Luke 12:27-32 (KJV) Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more [will he clothe] you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
God wants to give you the kingdom! Take it! Believe it! Rest in it!
Hebrews 4:11 (KJV) Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:16 (KJV) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The opposite of unbelief is rest. The opposite of rest is unbelief. So believe and be at rest!