And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.'” (Exodus 31:12-13)
That this reminder about the Sabbath follows immediately after the instructions pertaining to the Sanctuary and it furnishings prompts us to ask, “Why?” Where the different Sabbaths are concerned, weekly or otherwise, the Almighty makes it clear that they are His — not the Jewish Sabbaths –- they are the LORD’s Sabbaths. Furthermore, His sabbaths are a sign between Him and His people, something not to be taken lightly.
There are other such signs between God and His people, and in several cases, we see that these signs are the difference between life and death. The “sign” of the blood upon the doorposts at Passover is an example of this fact. Were it not for the sign between God and His people, the firstborn of Israel would have perished along with the Egyptians. The point, then, is that God raised the issue of the Sabbath here in the Biblical record to remind Israel and all of us that we are not to ignore the signs He has given us to identify us as His. In other words, as important as the construction of the tabernacle was, it didn’t supersede the Sabbath.
The lesson for us is to remember that, as we strive to “build the sanctuary” so to speak, we cannot neglect the fundamental things we are expected to do. For example, if we are going to minister to others, we can’t afford to neglect to minister unto the LORD. How do we minister to Him? We interact with Him through prayer and praise. We exhibit our devotion to Him by obeying His Word and living a life that honors His name and reputation. Let us always be aware of the fact that ministry — if we allow it — can overshadow the things that are fundamental to ministry, that is, a strong personal relationship with our Father. Nothing about ministry should be so important that we forget why we are ministering. So, let us make sure our relationship with Him is intact and the sign between Him and us — in this case, the blood of the Lamb — is still upon the doorposts of our hearts.
Blessings and Shalom,