Exodus 31…studying this chapter has been a new revelation for me. It is long, but I hope you take time to read and think about it for yourself. I believe it is decision time for me…..
First, what stands out to me in the beginning of this chapter is that God had already chosen and gifted specific people to be the craftsmen for the tabernacle and its furnishings. He filled them with the Spirit of God for wisdom, knowledge, skill, and artistic craftsmanship. He gives the skill and ability to do what He calls each one to do! And He names them by name to Moses. How encouraging is that?
In verse 18, we see that all these instructions concerning the tabernacle, furnishings, anointing oil, and holy incense have been given to Moses on top of the mountain, at the same times as the 10 commandments and laws. The people have been waiting for him to come down…and Moses does not come down for 40 days. We will see what has been happening in the camp and when Moses comes down in coming chapters.
The second part of chapter 31 is what was really impressed upon me. It has the last instructions to Moses before going down the mountain. Have you ever heard of “save the best for last”? Usually, the last thing a parent says to a child is what they most want the child to remember and follow. I was very surprised to find that God’s last instruction is to always and forever remember to separate out the 7th day to honor Him and rest ourselves from labor. Are you surprised too?
And this is the really hard word! “You shall most certainly observe My Sabbath (seventh day)”. It continues to say that if you profane it or rebelliously do laborious work on it, you are cut off from your people, cannot receive atonement, and must be put to death!!! Remember, this is one of the 10 commandments. This commandment is much more serious than most people today realize…more than I realized! I also notice “throughout all generations” and “forever” in verses 13, 16, 17.
I have questions…..
If we are grafted in through Jesus, the Seed of Abraham, making us His people, Israelites…does this commandment to keep the 7th day separate and holy apply to us as well, for all generations, forever? Or is this just an Old Testament commandment, and not applicable today?
Did any of the other of the 10 commandments cease to apply to us today? If not, why do we compromise this one?
Did the disciples and apostles still worship on the 7th day, even after the resurrection, even having entered the New Covenant? Did the early church still set apart and worship the 7th day? YES, they still kept the 7th day holy!
Have we been deceived and blinded by Sunday worship? The Roman Empire in conjunction with the Roman Catholic Church changed and mandated the worship day to Sunday so all people could better be controlled…it was switched to Sunday to please the pagans for Sun god worship with the Pope explaining the switch to Sunday due to the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday.
Some argue that the 7th day Sabbath is an Old Covenant commandment, not for the New Covenant. However, Jesus fulfilled all the prophetic foreshadow of the Old Covenant to the detail. I do not believe God has ever changed His pattern or way, even in the details.
So what stops me from repenting and making this change to honor God by setting apart His 7th day to keep it holy and in rest? Am I too concerned about what other people think? Can I face the ridicule and persecution? Who do I honor more, God or man? How can I adjust me work schedule? Am I really convicted about this?
Why would this be important to God? He explains…verse 13, “for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, so that you may know without a doubt, and acknowledge that I am the Lord who sanctifies you and sets you apart for Myself.” Verse 17, ” for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased and was refreshed.” Remember, with God, 1 day=1000 years. The age of the rule of man and his labor on earth is 6000 years (6 days. Then in the 7th day, the last 1000 years, King Jesus will reign in righteousness, making for peace, rest, and refreshment. This is God’s holy pattern, His way, giving honor to Jesus!
Jesus will continue to fulfill the way and prophecy and pattern of the set apart, holy, worship of the 7th day! I am believing we are to honor that for all generations, forever! While I cannot change the whole Christian church schedule of services from Sunday to Saturday the 7th day, I can adjust my own activity on the 7th day. There is nothing wrong about worshipping God or gathering together on Sunday. We should be fellowshipping with Him every day!
What about all the 7th days of my past where I did not follow the commandment of God? Am I doomed to death like these verses in Exodus declare? Yes, the penalty still remains, BUT Jesus already paid the penalty of death for me!!! What the blood of animals atoned for could not cover all and perfect anything. That is why Jesus came to finish the complete perfect New Covenant in His blood. I can confess my sin, repent and change, and He will forgive me and continue in close fellowship with me. Hallelujah!