Today’s reading: Exodus 20-31, Psalm 10
Today’s reading begins with the giving of the ten commandments to the people of Israel, followed by a detailed list of additional laws which they are also expected to follow. Here in chapters 20-23, the boundaries are being set for the kind of relationship God wants to have with them–a covenant. There will be more to examine on this topic as we make our way through the Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament) over the next couple of weeks. For today, I’d like to turn our attention to what comes next.
In case you missed it, wading through all the laborious descriptions in chapters 25-31, what we get is a description of the people of Israel’s first building project. God gives to Moses all the details necessary to carry out this project. Three aspects of this description stand out to me:
1) The people are to bring offerings, based on what they have and are willing to give (Exodus 25). These offerings become the materials that will be used in the fulfillment of the project.
2) Great attention is given to detail. Such attention, while perhaps requiring an extra shot of espresso in order to read it all, shows that great care and concern went into the design. It is a way of honoring the importance and significance of the project.
3) When it is time to begin the project, God will equip members of the community with just the right skills to get the job done (Exodus 31).
Sounds like a great plan!
Then, at the end, a reminder that takes us back to the beginning of today’s reading: don’t get so caught up in your work and think it’s so important, even if it is for God, that you forget to rest. Keep the Sabbath. No matter what, keep the Sabbath.