Exodus 31

  1. Two men were commissioned by the Lord (through Moses) to take the lead in the fabrication of the Tabernacle and all things associated with it (31:1-11).
  2. The Sabbath. There is some controversy surround this particular (seventh) day of the week. It is clear that to the Israelites only did the Lord gives these words (31:12-17). Before C-16, there is no command by God to man recorded about observing the seventh day as a day of rest. To the Israelites its importance is obvious, but it had become a burden to them as a result of their approach to it. In the context of building the Tabernacle Jewish expositors say, “This emphatically contradicts those who claim that the laws of the Sabbath must be pliable enough to be relaxed for ‘valid spiritual considerations’” (Chumash, p. 491). In other words, the Sabbath holds sway, and no other command of God can be obeyed on that day. Compare this with John 7:22-23.
  3. Application: Commands can become burdens when the heart is pressed by another human being to obey. If one obeys simply because a neighbor said it is to be done, to whom has obedience been rendered? Obedience of the heart is what the Lord desires before there is any obedience of the form (Romans 2:28-29; 6:17).