Exodus 31:12-13 (NIV) – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.
“Why make mention of the Sabbath at this point, within the section of Exodus that deals with the tabernacle? The answer is that the tabernacle was for worship; worship occurred weekly, on the Sabbath; and if the Sabbath were not properly observed, worship would not properly take place; so therefore the tabernacle would not be properly used.” [Douglas K. Stuart, The New American Commentary: Exodus, Vol. 2, 653]
“The implied point is that the commands to build the sanctuary and to make provision for it do not supersede the command to observe the Sabbath. In short, despite everything that had to be done, construction work was not to be done on the Sabbath, and Israelites were not to violate Sabbath under the justification that their extra labor provided the income to help maintain the sanctuary. Behind this is the greater theological point that God was the one who provided for Israel and the sanctuary. The issue here is trust in God’s provision.” [Duane A. Garrett, A Commentary on Exodus, 613]
The heart behind the Sabbath is keeping or guarding the heart of worship unto the Lord. It was the Lord who instructed the people to build the tabernacle, but “doing” the “good work” of building it with seeming “good intentions” was not to precede the heart of worship, which trusts in the Lord God who alone who provides. Just as the Sabbath was to be kept holy for the Lord, it signified those who belonged and were set apart for the Lord. Let’s not get so caught up in the “doing” of things, but rather how we are to worship the Lord.
Let’s pray that the Lord will help us to guard this heart of worship for him alone. Let’s also pray that we would grow in our passion and desire for greater worship of him in our lives and as we grow together in the church.
Let’s close singing to Matt Redman’s song, “Heart of Worship.’