Today we begin Exodus Chapter 35.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James version, click here.
Moses assembled the whole community of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things which Adonai has ordered you to do. On six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is to be a holy day for you, a Shabbat of complete rest in honor of Adonai. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death. You are not to kindle a fire in any of your homes on Shabbat.”-Exodus 35:1-3
Recall the following 6-part division of Exodus:
PART 1-THE DELIVERANCE NARRATIVE
PART 2: THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE
PART 3: COVENANT & LAW
PART 4: THE PRIESTHOOD & WILDERNESS TABERNACLE BLUEPRINTS
PART 5: THE GOLDEN CALF REBELLION
PART 6: THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE
Well, we’ve finally reached the final stretch of the six divisions of Exodus.
Thus far, the Lord has been instructing Moses on the specifications for the Tabernacle, its furnishings, the ordination of the priesthood, and the establishment of certain festivals.
However, now, FINALLY, all of these instructions are going to be passed on to the people of Israel and the construction of the Tabernacle is about to begin.
However, and wouldn’t you just know it, amidst all of the myriad of things that are about to commence, what does the Lord make crystal is to be a TOP PRIORITY?
The Lord’s clear command is that if there is a Sabbath breaker in Israel’s midst, that person is to be put to death.
And even starting a fire is prohibited.
What was such a big deal about starting a fire?
The reason is because fire was needed for most types of work such as cooking, creating metallic works of art, concocting dyes for cloth,the baking of earthenware and many other duties.
One couldn’t use the excuse that one had to kindle a fire to keep warm on a chilly evening, because there were plenty of ways to keep warm in the wilderness without kindling a fire.
The kindling of a fire signified that some type of work was about to be done and on the Sabbath this was a big no-no.
If you want to get scientific about it, think about what “fire” essentially is.
It is the process whereby MATTER IS CONVERTED INTO ENERGY.
This is the very definition of work and God was ordaining a state of stillness on Shabbat.
There was only one authorized use of fire on the Sabbath.
It was only okay for the sacrifices that the priests performed at the Tabernacle.
The spiritual takeaway here is that NO WORK, a complete rest and dependence on the Lord was to be observed on the Sabbath.
This was so important that the Lord instructed a double amount of MANNA be gathered on the day BEFORE the Sabbath so that they wouldn’t have to gather or cook it on the Sabbath.