December 17, 2022
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites: You must observe my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations so that you will know that I am the Lord...”
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“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites: You must observe my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations so that you will know that I am the Lord who sets you apart. Observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Whoever profanes it must be put to death. If anyone does work on it, that person must be cut off from his people.’” Exodus 31:12-14
Several years ago, my wife and I went on a mission trip to Mexico. On the Mexican border of Texas, many “squatters” had formed “colonias,” shantytowns. Our mission was to build 9x12 houses for these severely impoverished people. It was over 100 degrees down there and incredibly humid…no easy task!
One of the men on my team was a fireman. Ever since we had met in Texas, this guy was talking about heat exhaustion, “Gotta stop every 15 minutes, and drink water….” On and on, he droned. I had been a college athlete as a long-distance runner. I could run for miles, and nobody was there to give me a single drop of water. This fireman obviously was talking to the “lightweights.”
1/2 way through our second day on the job, our construction wasn’t nearly as far along as it should have been. Fireman called for a break, and I kept working. Thirty minutes later, another break. I kept working. Two hours later, I started feeling dizzy. You get the point. The next thing I knew, the fireman was treating my heat exhaustion. I should have trusted the expert.
Constructing the Tabernacle was of the highest importance. It was work in service to God. But it was not of greater importance than the Divinely-ordered rest: Shabbat. Nothing was permitted to supersede it.
To profane, the Sabbath resulted in death. It was the equivalent of breaking the third commandment, “Do not receive the Lord’s name in vain.” That is, you should not call yourself “God’s people” yet deny God’s authority over your life.
Ignoring the Shabbat rest resulted in being cut off from Israel. So, how well do you fare in obeying that 4th commandment to REST?
Try thinking of it this way: Even Kingdom work has a mandatory “blessed union” break.