Exodus 31

The Workmen

God was going to dwell among his people, and the people would worship him at the tabernacle. The Lord instructed Moses to build the tabernacle, gave him the blueprints, listed the furnishings, and now appoints the craftsmen who will build it. The Lord commissioned Bezalel and Oholiab to oversee the great work and gave them master craftsmen abilities to design, cut, carve, and construct the place where the Lord's presence would dwell. They would lead the project along with a team of craftsmen who would assist them in building the furnishings and making the clothing for the priests. The workers are to adhere to the instructions given by God. The Tabernacle is God's work, his design, his craftsmen, his equipment, and all of this is for his glory.

The Sabbath

The Lord concludes by reiterating the command to keep his Sabbaths because it was a sign for the generations that it was the Lord who would sanctify his people. The tabernacle was a holy place, while the Sabbath was a holy time and even the work of the tabernacle would yield to Sabbath rest. Those who disobeyed the command of Sabbath rest would be cut off or put to death. The Sabbath is a declaration of faith and that Israel is a holy nation that is regulated by a covenant with God. The Sabbath serves as a way to commemorate God's creation activity. The Lord had called Moses to come up the mountain to receive the tablets of stone with the law on them (Exodus 24:12). These tablets symbolized the covenant relationship between God and his people.

Things To Consider:

  • Why was it necessary for God to call the men who would serve?
  • Why is the role of the Spirit important?
  • How should we think of our abilities and skills?
  • What does God require in worship today?
  • Should the Sabbath be observed today? 
  • What signs and symbols do we see today?
  • What does rest teach us?
  • Where is God's law written today (Jeremiah 31:33)?