“And the Lord said to Moses, “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbath, for this is as sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore, the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”
As a chronic doer that has suffered from a state of busyness my whole life, I have abruptly entered a season of slower pace. I recently became a stay-at-home mom and over the past few months I have found myself doing less than I have in over a decade. With more mental capacity and time to see I have noticed more about my children, my home, and my body than I have in years. Not the outward body, but inward, how my muscles, joints, jaw, neck, and overall wellness of my body feels. Exodus 31:12-17 stopped me in my tracks. The intensity and heaviness of this verse is profound. As a long- time Christian, I know that the Sabbath is important and I have heard many sermons on the subject, but this time it was different. After God has gone on for pages and pages and pages to Moses about the intense details of The Tabernacle and its court, tent, bronze alter and laws he says, “ABOVE ALL you shall keep my Sabbath”. ABOVE ALL the specific little details, building materials, size, incense, oils, taxes, consecration of priests, garments, etc. this is the most important thing! Then he goes on to explain the Sabbath as a generational sign to know that the Lord is working and sanctifying us, holy and solemn, a forever covenant through the generations. WOW!
On the seventh day when the LORD rested, He was refreshed. Refreshed means cooled,
invigorated, revived, and cheered. Maybe we do not feel refreshed in our weekly work because we have not taken the time to be cooled, invigorated, revived, and cheered as we prepare for the upcoming week. Perhaps we have not taken time to be sanctified or to experience holiness from the week we have completed. The LORD took this so seriously that the consequence for not keeping the Sabbath was death; your soul being cut off from among His people. They were being cut off from the generational covenant and promise of sanctification, refreshment, and rest. I teach my kids daily that our choices have a positive or negative consequence. The consequence of not keeping the Sabbath is serious to the point of death. Verse 14 specifically says, “You shall keep the Sabbath because it is holy for you”. We have such a loving, and kind Father, that He would create an entire day and something specifically holy for me and you.
Although through Jesus’s death on the cross and His grace we no longer have literal death, I quickly realized that the inward pain of my body (that I was finally able to feel) and the lack of care in my children and home was years of my disobedience from acknowledging the Sabbath and keeping it holy. My soul had been cut off from God’s holy day that He so lovingly prepared for me. My soul was dead, and I was not experiencing the promises of refreshment, revival, cooling, invigoration, or cheer. The warning is right here in Exodus 31 and the consequences are clear. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or working mom, we want the atmosphere of our home to be refreshing! Full of cool, invigorating, cheer. The LORD promises that he has a lifelong covenant through generations to those who honor the holy day! This verse inspires me to teach my children the seriousness of this day in hopes that we all will experience the generational refreshment and sanctification of His promises.