God is tired and rests
God is never tired and never rests
1) What is the supposed contradiction and why is it believable?
Exodus 31:17 says, “17It is a sign between Me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and was refreshed.”
Isaiah 40:28 says, “28Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.”
Quite honestly, I don’t see it. I even looked at other translations: King James, NIV, New American Standard, and a few others I never heard of. Not one of these versions says God was tired. It says He stopped working, that he rested and was refreshed, but not once does it say He was tired. One could speculate that He rested because He was tired, but that is never mentioned. After all, any human who would have worked to create an entire universe would indeed be exhausted, especially in only 6 days, no?
2) What is the truth in these verses and why do they NOT actually contradict each other?
The truth is that God never tires! It is plain to see that at least in this example, it is never mention that God was tired. Have you ever decided to not work even if you aren’t tired? Maybe it is hard to imagine since God judged us based on our sinfulness (Genesis 3) and stated we will toil the rest of our lives, “17And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life.”
Let’s explore these passages a little more in depth. In Exodus, God is giving Moses instruction to pass onto the Israelites, “12And the Lord said to Moses,13Say to the Israelites, Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you [set you apart for Myself ].14You shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy to you; everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does work on the Sabbath shall be cut off from among his people.15Six days may work be done, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, sacred to the Lord; whoever does work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death.16Wherefore the Israelites shall keep the Sabbath to observe it throughout their generations, a perpetual covenant.17It is a sign between Me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and was refreshed.” This is God’s explanation of His day of rest. It doesn’t even mention Israel being tired, because it isn’t about Israel, it’s about God. He wants His time with Israel. It’s not about sleeping in and not working, it’s about spending time with God. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, He wants a day where He has you all to Himself. Furthermore, just to make things clear that this isn’t a contradiction, let’s check out the original passage that is referenced here, Genesis 2:1-3, “1THUS THE heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.2And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.3And God blessed (spoke good of) the seventh day, set it apart as His own, and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all His work which He had created and done.”
Flipping forward to Isaiah, let’s see why he needed to explain God is not a tiresome God. Isaiah is a book of prophecy. In the first half of the book (Ch1-39) there are many prophecies of dark days of destruction and turmoil for the nation, whereas the remaining chapters (40-66) tell of the hope to come. Chapter 40 is the introduction to this and is to lift up the nation after hearing the prophecies of doom. We see that Isaiah is telling the nation that even though we grow weary and cannot bear some of the thigns of this world, that God is able to shoulder it for us, “ 28Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.29He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].30Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;” Not only does our God NOT grow weary, He also gives us strength.
3) How can we use this to educate ourselves and others to further the Kingdom?
Today’s study proves that despite what some may think, our God doesn’t grow weary. We try to encapsulate God in a humanistic way by giving Him humanistic qualities. This is impossible, as Isaiah stated, “there is no searching of His understanding.” He transcends all understanding (Phillipians 4:7) and cannot be quantified by the human mind or by human standards. We try to put God in a box and define Him and make Him to be the God that we want Him to be, instead of accepting the God He is: one who loves us.
The beauty of this is that when we are weak, He is strong for us. Granted, we must ask and submit ourselves by admitting we are powerless and weak. He refuses to compete with our pride and feeble attempts to maintain control. As Isaiah finishes chapter 40, he encapsulates this,
Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” Ame