On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.—Genesis 2:2
There was a time when I would go to sleep only to wake up tired. I suffered from “sleep apnea.” The Greek word apnea means, “want of breath.” So even if it seemed that I had a restful sleep the night before, I didn’t. I experienced the temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep. While my body was deprived of much needed rest and recuperation, sleep apnea triggered snoring at night, depression at daytime, and high blood pressure.
In contrast, you will find people who exercise or go for a run. What’s amazing is that after the strenuous activity, they come away refreshed and rested while enjoying every minute of it.
Now we come to the next question: “When did God create human beings?” We know that he didn’t make them on the first day. There was nothing dry to stand on. Humans weren’t made on the second, third, fourth or even the fifth day. God made man and woman on the sixth day. He did this so that together—in relationship with each other—God along with the man and woman would enter a time of rest and enjoy everything he created in heaven and on earth forever.
Henry and Richard Blackaby said, “We are so activity oriented that we assume we are saved for a task we are to perform rather than a relationship to enjoy.” Human beings tend to be industrial-oriented or inclined towards work, rather than relational-oriented or inclined towards rest. We come away thinking that we are primarily saved by God to serve him. The reason for our being was, and still is, about enjoying our relationship with God and each other.