We are considering Exodus 31
Pastor Prof. Opoku-Boateng shared this story a few years ago.
A headmaster friend of his was trudging home after the day’s work. He used a road that was shielded on both sides by tall bush. Just before the last junction to his house, he saw his young son coming to meet him. The boy started running. Just then, the father spied a sleek car speeding down from the left side. The boy could not have seen the vehicle because of the tall bushes so, the anxious father called out to his son, “Kwesi, stand there!” The boy screeched to a halt as the car sped between them. He had trusted his dad enough to obey instantly.
God called Moses to lead the Israelites to Canaan. In our story, He asked him to build a temple, a place of worship for his people. Moses made every effort to do a good job. He had to get architects, carpenters, smiths, etc. Obviously, there were all these kinds of craftsmen among the huge multitude of people who came with them out of Egypt. Egyptians and Israelites alike were quite accomplished in these because of their experiences in Egypt. Yet Moses asked the Lord to choose His own builders, and God hand-picked Bezaleel and Aholiab to lead out in the whole project.
Everyone, including tailors and goldsmiths, threw their hearts into the project. Work progressed quite satisfactorily.
Along with the instructions for the various aspects of the project, God said to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel that they are to keep my Sabbaths; for the Sabbath day is a sign between you and me through all your generations; so that you may see that I am the Lord who makes you holy.” Exodus 31:13 (BBE). Wow! It’s Your own temple we will be building here. What is wrong if we are willing to work nonstop, extra time, overtime, go the extra mile and finish Your work in no time? God refused to allow them to work on Sabbath! It seems that while God really appreciated their efforts. He also wanted them to obey in order to invite His immense blessings.
Our text highlights the nature, law, purpose, and consequence of disobedience of the Sabbath commandment. God placed special importance on the Sabbath even when things were being done for Him. (Go to http://www.sabbathtruth.com/faq/advanced-topics/7-facts-about-the-seventh-day for 7 interesting facts)
Today, we get into all kinds of issues – church preferences, bus/airline schedules, children’s school programs, funeral worship services, wedding worship services, alumni programs, organizational requirements, friends’ requests, etc. And we often come up with excuses – don’t understand, can’t avoid, God understands… Which of these activities does God approve of? Which of these will we be speechless about on Judgment Day?
What would have happened if the young boy in the story had shouted back to his dad as he ran, “Daddy, what do you mean? I don’t understand you?” Do you get what I am trying to tell you? Or you would rather keep going even if there is a situational car speeding towards you.