In the Beginning, God created Adam and Eve as “good”, knowing nothing of evil (Genesis 1:27, 31). They were innocent.
He created mankind to have fellowship with Him. He walked and talked with the man and his wife so they could know Him intimately. God didn’t need their fellowship, for God is not dependent upon anyone for anything; He is the All-Sufficient One, but man needed God.
Then sin entered the heart of man. Adam and Eve disobeyed the commandment of God and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:17; 3:1-5). The serpent suggested that God’s Word was not sufficient or complete. God was guilty of withholding something from the first couple: being like God, knowing good and evil.
In an instant, Paradise was lost. The pair lost their home, their innocence, and their fellowship with God and each other. Rather than tending and cultivating the Garden, they would labor to live. There would be no rest. The struggle to survive would consume their existence (Genesis 3:17-19). Knowing the difference between good and evil wasn’t what Satan suggested, but it was exactly as God promised. It was death to everything they’d known.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus made an astounding offer. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
His promise isn’t rest from the labor of life, from hard work, or the struggle to survive. Christ’s promise is rest for your souls – not your bodies. His blessing is spiritual – not physical. His peace is the cessation of conflict between your soul and Him caused by sin. The offer is the restoration of a right relationship with the Father lost in the Garden of Eden.
One day, we shall find rest from the labor of this body (Romans 8:11, 29). Physical prosperity is not now; it comes in eternity. Today, however, is a day to experience the greater liberty: restful peace with God in your soul.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).