On Sunday, March 25, 2018, we looked at the final part of Moses’ time on the mountain with God. In Exodus 31, we see two distinct aspects of God’s engagement with Moses that center around work and rest. What we see in the text is In His goodness, God gives us work and God gives us rest.
- God’s Work for His People: v.1-11
Let’s avoid the temptation of thinking that work is a bad thing. Work existed before the Fall and was a part of God’s good creation. God gives us work out of His goodness. If we look closely at this passage, we see three things with respect to God’s work for His people.
God’s personal call on His workers: God personally calls Bezalel (say that name fast five times) for the task of constructing the temple. He includes others who are to be a part of this project. In this same way, God personally calls us to specific work that he has for us. Let us not despise or begrudge God’s personal call and giftedness, but instead enjoy and revel in it.
God’s provision of talent for His workers: Not only does God call His workers, but He provides the talent or giftedness for them to do what He has called them to do. Verse 3 makes clear that the Spirit gave the giftedness to Bezalel. It’s important for us to remember that our gifts are given to us by God and should be used in humility and gratitude toward God.
God’s expectation of service from His workers: Finally, we see God’s expectation that we actually use the gifts that God has given us for service in building the Kingdom. God has given a variety of gifts, and when used collectively with the body, they work together to accomplish God’s purposes.
- God’s Rest for His People: v.12-18
Not only does God give work to His people, but He also gives rest to His people. God finishes with Moses by asserting the importance of the Sabbath and necessity of rest. There were two items with respect to this.
God’s rest as a sign: We first see the connection between Sabbath and God’s covenant. The Sabbath reminded the people of God’s covenant commitment to them. In setting aside a day for the Lord, they are affirming their commitment to God, but also affirming their need for God.
God’s rest as a judgment: But it’s not only the sign of God’s covenant that is referenced, but also God’s judgment. It may strike as harsh when we read the penalty for violating the Sabbath was death. But by breaking the Sabbath, what they were really showing is they were not interested in knowing God. This was an act of rebellion rooted in heart that was not desirous of God. We must understand that the bent of humanity is always toward self-reliance and self-sufficiency. What a Sabbath does; is it reorients us back to God, back to our inadequacy and our sin and away from the delusion of self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
Ultimately, God’s rest is culminated in the final rest that we find in Jesus. When we Sabbath, it’s not simply physical rest that we’re after, but a reminder that a greater, permanent rest awaits us.
Therefore, let us live today giving ourselves fully to all that God has for us, knowing that a final rest is coming.