“My sabbaths . . . a sign between me and you.” (31:12-13 NIV)
It was a busy time, getting the Lord’s tent and all its necessities ready to secure the wondrous blessings of God’s worship (29:42-46). The people devoted themselves to the intense efforts of craftsmanship under the direction of the Spirit-filled artisan Bezalel (31:3). How understandably they could have said, Time is short, it’s all for the Lord, we must work seven days a week, thus excusing themselves from keeping the Lord’s Day. But no! The Sabbath must be kept, and therefore, lest there be any doubt about it, the Sabbath law is repeated (31:12ff.). It would even seem that the more demanding and holy the work, the more special and important the set-apart day becomes.
The Sabbath is a day we offer to the Lord as a “sign” that we are his people (31:12, 17). It’s a day when we seek to know him more, and in which he may increase our holiness (v. 13), a day free from the gainful employment of the week (v. 14), marked by rest (v. 15). Sabbath-keeping is distinctive evidence of living within the covenant of grace (v. 16). It’s also our way of recognizing our environment as the Lord’s creation (v. 17a), and of making our life-pattern match his (v. 17b). Life under grace is still a life of obedience.
Lord, help me to keep your day holy.