I often get so engrossed in a project that I fail to pay attention to anything else. One day, my husband came home to find me fixated on the computer and the floor completely covered in white fluff. I was totally clueless that my dog had been busily pulverizing a double roll of bathroom tissue, and to make me look worse, had somehow evenly distributed it over the entire floor. My project was coming along nicely, but obviously my dog was feeling a bit neglected.
- How does your work impact your relationships?
READ THE WORD: EXODUS 35:1-19 (ESV)
35:1 Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do. 2 Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3 You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.”
4 Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “This is the thing that the Lord has commanded. 5 Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze; 6 blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; goats’ hair, 7 tanned rams’ skins, and goatskins; acacia wood, 8 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, 9 and onyx stones and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece.
10 “Let every skillful craftsman among you come and make all that the Lord has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its hooks and its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 12 the ark with its poles, the mercy seat, and the veil of the screen; 13 the table with its poles and all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 14 the lampstand also for the light, with its utensils and its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 and the altar of incense, with its poles, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils, the basin and its stand; 17 the hangings of the court, its pillars and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court, and their cords; 19 the finely worked garments for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What three descriptions were given about the Sabbath (vs. 2)?
- What were the three commands God gave the Israelites for that day (vss. 1-3)?
- God had already given the people the Sabbath command (Exodus 31), so why would he repeat it here?
- How did the amount of work required for the tabernacle contrast to the amount of work he permitted on the Sabbath? What was the purpose of the Sabbath?
- Our service for God can be done in an attitude of worship. But, do you ever sense a divide between
the two, or notice the time you spend on projects cutting into your quiet time with God?
RESPOND TO GOD
God was ready to have the Israelites begin the tabernacle construction. But he knew they were a forgetful people, and that in their enthusiasm for the project, they would lose sight of their most important job—worshipping him. Making the Sabbath a holy day symbolized that they were set apart as his special people. To cease their work and observe the Sabbath was not only a sign of their commitment to the covenant, but an act of worship. Aren’t we like the Israelites? We get so consumed with our work, even that which is done for the Lord, that we let it distract us from the more important thing, spending time with him.
- Ask God to show you where your focus on work distracts you from intimacy with him.
- Commit to setting aside time for him each day.