The Partnership of the Work: Wise Hearts For the Work, Willing Hearts In Giving

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Exodus which was written by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, todays, passage is found in chapters thirty-five through thirty-seven of this Old Testament book. SIX DAYS THOU SHALT WORK! THE SEVENTH DAY IS TO BE A HOLY DAY! A SABBATH OF REST UNTO THE LORD! THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL RESTED FROM THE WORK OF THE SANCTUARY ON THE SEVENTH DAY! THE SABBATH EVEN TOUCHED THE WORK OF BUILDING THE TABERNACLE! THE PRINCIPLE OF SIX SEVENTHS! I HAVE GIVEN UNTO YOU SIX DAYS! WILL YOU OBEY MY LAW OF REST? BRING AN OFFERING UNTO THE LORD! EVERY WILLING HEART! EVERY WISE HEARTED AMONG YOU! MAKING ALL THE LORD HATH COMMANDED! THE TABERNACLE REQUIRED AN OFFERING, THE TABERNACLE REQUIRED WORKERS! WILLINGNESS OF OFFERING, WISDOM OF WORKERS! THE COMMUNITY OF STIRRED HEARTS! A WILLING SPIRIT! BRINGING THE LORD’S OFFERING! BRINGING THE LORD’S OFFERING TO THE WORK! BRINGING A WILLING OFFERING! THE TABERNACLE, THE SERVICE, THE GARMENTS! THE LORD’S OFFERING! THE PARTNERSHIP OF GIVING! THE PARTNERSHIP OF WORKING! A WILLING OFFERING! WHOSE HEART MADE THEM WILLING! ALL MANNER OF WORK, WHICH THE LORD HAD COMMANDED TO BE MADE BY THE HAND OF MOSES! PUT IN HIS HEART THAT HE MAY TEACH! WISDOM OF HEART, TO WORK ALL MANNER OF WORK! BRINGING AN ABUNDANCE OF OFFERING! THE COMMANDMENT TO STOP GIVING! THE STUFF THEY HAD WAS SUFFICIENT FOR ALL THE WORK TO MAKE, AND TOO MUCH! EVERY WISE HEARTED MAN AMONG THEM THAT WROUGHT THE WORK OF THE TABERNACLE!

When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the narrative of the children of Israel at the mountain of God in the wilderness shifting from an incredible dichotomy that is found between a people who grew discontent and impatient with Moses and turned to Aaron to build for them gods who would go before them to Moses making two emphatic pleas in the sight and presence of the living God. If you read the previous chapters you will find in the beginning of the thirty-second chapter how the children of Israel grew tired, weary and impatient waiting for Moses who had gone up into the midst of the thick clouds and darkness to meet with the God who had descended upon the mountain that He might reveal Himself unto His people in the wilderness. Unable to determine what had happened to Moses the children of Israel turned to Aaron Moses’ brother and demanded of him that he build for them gods which would go before them. The scriptural account goes on to reveal how Aaron required of the children of Israel all the golden earrings which were in the ears of their wives, their sons, as well as their daughters and to bring them unto him. Once Aaron had all the gold which was brought unto him he formed and fashioned a golden calf with a graving tool and set it before the children of Israel. I still find this to be absolutely incredible, for in the process of the forming of this golden calf—not only did the children of Israel link this golden calf to gods who would go before them, but they also linked it to the deliverance and salvation of the land of Egypt. I am still absolutely and utterly fascinated with the fact that when the children of Israel grew discontented and impatient with Moses not knowing what had happened to and with him they didn’t turn to Aaron and ask him to lead them forth from the mountain of God and into the wilderness. As you read the words which are found within this passage you will not find the children of Israel asking Aaron to lead them from the base of the mount and away from the thick clouds, the darkness, the consuming fire atop the mountain, and the thunders and lightning. Instead, that which the children of Israel asked of Aaron was to make for them gods who would go before them—perhaps not merely into the wilderness, but also into the land which the living God had sworn unto their fathers, as well as unto them through Moses the servant of the Lord.

As you come to the thirty-second chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find it absolutely astonishing and remarkable at the fact that there before the glory and presence of the living God the children of Israel dared come unto Aaron and ask him to form and make for them gods who would go before them. In all reality—one thing we must learn and recognize when considering this reality is that earlier on in the twentieth chapter you will find the children of Israel drawing back and shrinking back in fear before the presence of the living God atop the mountain because of the peels of thunder, the flashes of lightning, the thick darkness and clouds, and even the noise and sound of the mountain shaking violently under the weight of the divine presence of the living God. What’s more, is that not only did the children of Israel shrink back in fear in the sight and presence of the living God, but they also demanded and requested of Moses that he himself speak unto them, but that he let not God speak to them. The children of Israel were unwilling to listen to the voice of God directly, and chose instead to listen to the voice of Moses, or ultimately listening to the voice of man. This would prove to be quite costly, for when you turn and position your eyes on a man—particularly and especially as it pertains to your relationship with God—and if you should find yourself growing discontented with that individual, it becomes very easy for you to turn to another. The children of Israel chose to listen to and hear the words and voice of Moses rather than the words and voice of the living God, and I can’t help but think that had they been willing to listen to the voice of the living God they wouldn’t have engaged themselves in the worship around and before the golden calf in the wilderness. There is not a doubt in my mind that we play an incredibly dangerous game with and in the presence of God when we allow ourselves to rely and depend upon man for our relationship with the living God. We play an incredibly dangerous game in our spiritual journey and walk when we trust and rely upon man rather than trusting and relying upon the presence of the living God. The children of Israel turned their eyes and their attention solely upon Moses and were unwilling to hear from and listen directly to the voice and words of the living God, and as a direct result of their decision we find them turning unto another whom they could see—perhaps not only to replace and lead them, but also to form and fashion for them gods who would go before them. When the children of Israel grew discontent with Moses and found themselves being impatient with him not knowing what had become of him they turned unto Aaron to fill the void—and not only to fill the void, but also to form and fashion for them gods who would go before them. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for it brings us face to face with the incredible danger in trusting and relying upon man for our relationship with God, and what temptations lie before us if we place our trust in man rather than God—especially when that one with whom we have put our trust might fail us, or might not meet our expectations, or might disappoint us.

The children of Israel would worship the golden calf and the Lord would speak unto Moses and instruct him to go down unto the children of Israel, for they had corrupted and polluted themselves by worshiping the golden calf. What’s more is that the living God revealed unto Moses that not only had the children of Israel worshipped the image of the golden calf, but they have also declared before that image that these were the gods who delivered them up out of the land of Egypt. What’s so incredibly astounding about what we find within this chapter is that the living God declared unto Moses that these people were a stiff-necked people, and even instructed Moses to leave Him alone that He might consume them in their wrath and make of Moses a great nation. What follows after is a wonderful entreaty and intercession of Moses, as Moses entreated the LORD on behalf of the children of Israel and asked the Lord to remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and how He had sworn unto them that He would multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and give unto them all the land which they lived and dwelt as sojourners and strangers. The Lord would relent of the trouble and destruction He purposed to bring upon the children of Israel and allowed Moses to go down unto the children of Israel to confront the idolatry and revelry which they were engaged in at the base of the mount. Upon coming down to the people, Moses would break the two stone tablets which were in his hands when he came down from the mountain, and took the calf which they had made and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strayed it upon the water and made the children of Israel to drink it. After destroying the golden calf Moses proceeded to confront Aaron concerning his role in forming and fashioning a golden calf for the people, and what they did to him to bring him to the place where he would commit such a heinous act. What follows after is quite astonishing and remarkable, for there in the midst of the camp Moses asked who among them was on the Lord’s side and called them to come unto him. All the sons of Levi gathered themselves unto him, and he instructed them to put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. On that day three thousand men would die by the sword of Levi which would sweep through the camp. Immediately following the swift movement of the sword of Levi Moses then instructed the children of Israel to consecrate themselves to the Lord and then declared unto them that he would return into the presence of the Lord and entreat Him on their behalf if per chance He might pardon their iniquity and forgive them of their transgression.

Upon continuing to read within the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find in the thirty-third chapter the Lord instructing Moses to take the people and depart unto the land which He swore unto Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, for He would no go with them, for they were a stiff-necked people. What’s more, is the Lord warned and spoke of His coming upon the children of Israel along the way and consuming them in a moment. Pause for a moment and consider the words which are found within this declaration of the Lord, for when the children of Israel heard those words which were spoken by the Lord they mourned and were greatly sorrowful. Immediately following this declaration we find Moses pitching the tabernacle without the camp afar off from the camp, and calling it the Tabernacle of the congregation. The purpose of this tabernacle would be for every one which sought the Lord, for they could go unto the tabernacle of the congregation which was without the camp. As Moses entered into the tabernacle of congregation the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. The people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose up and worshipped every man in his tent door. It would be there at the tabernacle of congregation the Lord would speak unto Moses face to face as a man would speak unto his friend, and Moses would return unto the camp. It would be in the presence of the Lord Moses would entreat the Lord that if he had found favor in his sight, the LORD would should him His glory—and not only show him His glory, but also show him His way, that he might know him, and might find grace in his sight. The Lord would respond to the words of Moses by declaring unto him that His presence would go with them, and would give them rest. Furthermore, we find Moses declaring unto the living God if His presence did not and would not go before and with them, let Him not carry them up from that place, for how would he know that both he and the people had found grace and favor in His sight except His presence go with them. It would be the presence of the living God that would separate and distinguish the children and people of Israel from the nations and peoples before and around them as they journeyed unto and into the land of Canaan which was sworn unto their ancestors. It’s absolutely remarkable to think about and consider the fact that not only did Moses ask the LORD that His glory might go with them, but Moses also asked the living God that He might show him his glory and might reveal Himself unto him. The Lord declared that He would make all His goodness pass before him, and would proclaim the name of the Lord before him, and would be gracious to whom He would be grace, and would show mercy on whom He would show mercy, but Moses could not see His face, for no man could see the face of God and live. The Lord would go on to declare that there was a place by Him where Moses would stand upon a rock, and that it would come to pass while His glory passed by that He would put him in a cleft in the rock, and would cover him with His hand while He passed by. At just the right moment the Lord would take away His hand and Moses would be permitted to see His back parts, but His face would not be seen.

In the thirty-fourth chapter you will find the living God instructing Moses to make for himself two brand new stone tablets likened unto those which he had at the first, for the LORD would write upon those tables the words which were on the first ones which he broke. What’s more, is the Lord instructed Moses to be ready in the morning, and come in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present himself there before Him at the top of the mount, and let no man come up with him, nor should any man be seen throughout all the mount. Moses would do as the LORD had commanded and not only made two new stone tablets, but he also rose up early in the morning and went up to mount Sinai as the Lord had commanded him, and took with him the two tables of stone. The remaining portion of the thirty-fourth chapter would be a dramatic exchange between Moses and the living God as the LORD would descend in the cloud and stand with Moses there atop the mountain and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The Lord passed by before Moses and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Moses would begin speaking with the Lord and once more entreating the LORD to go with, go before and go among us, and to pardon their iniquity and their sin, and take for Him the children of Israel as an inheritance. The LORD would respond to the words which Moses spoke unto Him and not only promised that He would make a covenant with both he and the people, but He would do miracles all the people, such as had not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation. The people the children of Israel would see the work of the Lord, for what the Lord would do with Moses would be a terrible thing which would astonish the children of Israel. With all of this being said, the LORD declared unto Moses that He would lead them into the land of Canaan and would drive out before them the inhabitants within the land, but the children of Israel needed to take heed to themselves, lest they make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and it be a snare for them in their midst. Instead of entering into covenant with the inhabitants of the land the children of Israel were to destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves, for they were to worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Ultimately that which the living God was concerned with was the faithfulness and obedience of the children of Israel, for He desired that they worship Him and Him alone, and have no other gods before them. The children of Israel were not to enter into covenant with the inhabitants of the land, nor were they to adopt their idolatrous practices, nor were they to take of their daughters and give them unto their sons in marriage, lest their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make the sons of Israel go whoring after their gods.

I realize that was quite a lengthy introduction and backdrop for what we find within these three chapters, however, it is necessary to understand, for when you come to the third-fifth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus you will find Moses gathering all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and speaking unto them once more the words concerning the sabbath. Before getting into the reality of the words concerning the sabbath, I would like to point out that what we find within these chapters is the LORD instructing Moses to ask of the children of Israel to bring before and unto Him an offering for the work of the Lord, which would be the work of the Tabernacle, the work of the service of the Lord, and the work of the priests which would minister before the Lord. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for even after the golden calf and the idolatrous worship which the children of Israel engaged in at the foot of the mount, the living God of heaven and earth was still willing to dwell in the midst of the children of Israel. What’s more, is that even though the living God originally declared that He would not go up with the children of Israel and at one point declared unto Moses that He would make an end of the children of Israel and make of Moses a great nation, He would pardon their iniquity and not only go with them, but also would lead them into the land which He swore on oath to their fathers. I find it absolutely incredible to think about and consider the fact that when we come to the thirty-fifth chapter—quite honestly, the final chapters of the Old Testament book of Exodus—we find the Lord willing to dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, for He still required of them that they bring an offering unto Him for the work of the LORD and for the work of the Tabernacle. The simple fact that the living God was still asking the children of Israel for an offering to be brought unto Him signifies and suggests the awesome and incredible reality that He was still willing to dwell in the midst of the children of Israel, and was still willing to allow His sanctuary to abide among them within their midst. Please don’t miss the awesome and incredible reality surrounding these chapters, for it wonderfully and powerfully demonstrates the amazing reality that the living God was still willing to allow His holy sanctuary to be found in the midst of His people, He was still willing to allow His altar to be found in the midst of His people, and He was still willing to be found in the midst of the people. What’s more, is that the presence of the Tabernacle in the midst of the children of Israel would signify and suggest that not only was the living God going to dwell in the midst of them, but also that He would be their God and they would be His people. When we think about and consider the fact that the Tabernacle would be found in the midst of the children of Israel we must recognize and understand that the presence of the Tabernacle signifies and suggests both the reality that the living God would dwell among them in their midst, as well as the fact that He would be their God and would take them unto Himself as His own people and possession.

As you begin reading the words which are found within these chapters you will find Moses gathering all the children of Israel together and speaking unto them concerning the words which the LORD had commanded, that they should do them. What follows after—even before we read any words concerning the offering which the LORD would require of the children of Israel—is a further command unto the children of Israel concerning the sabbath. If you begin reading with and from the second verse of the chapter you will find the Lord once more reiterating His law and statute concerning the sabbath. What’s so unique and remarkable about this is when you consider the fact that this would not be the first time the LORD would speak unto the children of Israel concerning the sabbath. The Lord would speak unto the children of Israel on previous occasions concerning the sabbath, but before delving into this, I invite you to consider the words which are found within these chapters. Consider if you will the words which are found within these chapters beginning with the second verse: “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day” (Exodus 35:2-3). The words which we find within these verses is truly intriguing when you take the time to think about it, for within these verses we find the living God once more speaking unto the children of Israel concerning the sabbath—that which the living God began speaking unto them about when He delivered unto them the Ten Commandments. In all reality, the living God initially and originally began speaking unto the children of Israel concerning the sabbath back in the sixteenth chapter when you find and read concerning the LORD providing the children of Israel manna from heaven, which He would provide for them six days during the week. If you turn and direct your attention back to the sixteenth chapter you will find the following words spoken by the Lord unto Moses concerning the children of Israel and their gathering of the manna which He Himself would provide for them: “And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, TO morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was their any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people resented on the seventh day” (Exodus 16:22-29).

Within the Old Testament book of Exodus we find the children of Israel first encountering the principle of the sabbath in direct connection to the bread which the LORD their God would provide for them from heaven. The bread which the living God would provide for them from heaven would be gathered six days during the week, however, on the seventh day there was to be no gathering, for the seventh day was to be a sabbath day of rest before and unto the LORD. The LORD God of the Hebrews would provide for and unto the children of Israel twice as much bread from heaven on the sixth day, which the children of Israel would not only use for the sixth day itself, but would also carry overnight into the sabbath day that they might have food on the sabbath day of rest. When we think about and consider the reality of the sabbath we must recognize and understand that it was first directly linked and connected to the provision of God in the midst of the wilderness as the LORD not only instructed the children of Israel to gather twice as much on the sixth day, but also declared unto them that there would be no gathering on the seventh day—not only because it was to be a sabbath day of rest, but also because there would be no provision. It’s quite interesting to think about and consider the fact that the living God would provide for the children of Israel enough bread for each day, however, when it came to the sixth day He would provide them twice as much bread, for they would find no bread for and unto themselves, for the LORD would provide no bread from heaven on the sabbath. Oh how absolutely wonderful this truly is when you think about it, for it shines a whole new meaning on the words which Jesus included in the prayer He taught His disciples when He taught them to pray, saying, “Give us this day our daily bread.” When Jesus instructed men to pray before and unto the Father He instructed them to pray to the Father in heaven and ask Him to give unto them this day and for this day their daily bread. Notice Jesus didn’t instruct men to ask and entreat the living God for bread for two days, or even bread for the entire week, but only for enough bread for that day. There is an absolutely incredible and astonishing truth surrounding this petition and request of the living God and Father, for when we ask the living God for bread from heaven we are to ask Him for bread for this day. This principle extends beyond the prayer which Jesus instructed His disciples to pray, for it reached all the way back to the days when the children of Israel journeyed through the wilderness, as the living God provided them with enough bread for each day with the exception of the sixth day when He would provide for them enough bread for two days. Isn’t it interesting that when it comes to bread on the seventh day the children of Israel weren’t to get bread from a different source, but were to use the bread which was provided for them on the sixth day. What an absolutely incredible and tremendous reality is, for the children of Israel were to gather enough bread on the sixth day to last them the sixth day, as well as the following day which was to be a sabbath day unto the Lord. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this, for although the living God did and would not provide for the children of Israel bread from heaven on the seventh day, they weren’t to go out looking for bread from another source, but were to partake of the bread which they themselves had gathered on the sixth day.

This principle concerning the sabbath would first be mentioned unto the children of Israel in direct connection to the provision of bread from heaven, however, it would be mentioned again when the living God delivered and declared the Ten Commandments unto Moses, for if you read the words which the LORD spoke unto Moses in the twentieth chapter you will find the LORD God of the Hebrews instituting and implementing a command concerning the sabbath—one that was written in stone and one that was to be obeyed throughout generations. Consider the following words which were found in the twentieth chapter of the book of Exodus beginning with the eighth verse of the chapter: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt you labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LROD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20: 8-11). In the twentieth chapter and within the midst of the Ten Commandments which the living God gave unto the children of Israel we find the commandment and law concerning the sabbath, and how the LORD instructed that all work be done in six days, while the seventh day was to be a sabbath day which was holy unto the LORD—a day when no work was to be done, but man was to rest from all his labour. In the twentieth chapter we find the commandment and law concerning the sabbath being found among nine other commandments which the children of Israel were to obey as the Royal Law—those commandments which they were to have at the very forefront of their hearts and minds as they dwelt upon the earth as the people of God. What makes this command concerning the sabbath so absolutely critical is that it would again be mentioned in the thirty-first chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus. As you continue reading through this Old Testament book you will find the LORD once more speaking unto Moses concerning the children of Israel and just how incredibly important and critical their observance of the sabbath was. If you begin reading with and from the twelfth verse of the thirty-first chapter of this Old Testament book you will find the following words which were spoken by the living God concerning the sabbath and just how incredibly important the sabbath was for the children of Israel and their being the people of God in the midst of the earth. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this particular chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus beginning with the twelfth verse:

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:12-17).

The reality of the Sabbath would be mentioned once more within the Old Testament book of Exodus and would be found in the thirty-fifth chapter of this wonderful book of exodus, deliverance, salvation, provision and protection. If you begin reading with and from the second verse of the thirty-fifth chapter you will find Moses speaking unto the congregation of the children of Israel once more concerning the sabbath and declaring the following words before and unto them: “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day” (Exodus 35:2-3). The more I think about and the more I consider the reality of the sabbath the more I can’t help but come face to face with the fact that when the sabbath was instituted it was done as such that the children of Israel were to abstain from their work and labour and truly enjoy and experience a day of rest before the Lord. When the Lord instituted the sabbath He did so that the children of Israel might be revived and refreshed after having accomplished everything they needed—and perhaps everything they desired and wanted to do during six days. The absolutely incredible reality concerning the sabbath day is that the LORD made seven days during the week, and out of those seven days the LORD gave unto man six days with which to labour and work, while only asking for one day. What’s more, is that if you think about and consider the reality of the sabbath you will find that when the LORD instituted and implement the sabbath He did not implement it with a requirement to come unto the Tabernacle. If you read and study the commands concerning the sabbath you will find the LORD and living God of the Hebrews declaring unto the children of Israel that they were to rest from all their work and all their labour and to treat the day as holy and hallowed before and unto Him. This is actually quite remarkable and astonishing when you think about it, for there have been and there still are countless men and women who will use the sabbath day to beat people into submission concerning the house of God and coming to church. There are and there have been ministers who will appeal to the sabbath as being directly linked and connected to coming into the house of God, and that the sabbath was and is to be spent coming into the house of the living God. The truth of the matter is that the sabbath day’s rest has absolutely nothing to do with coming to the house of the living God, and has absolutely nothing to do with entering into church to worship before the living God. Nowhere in all of Scripture will you find the living God commanding the sabbath to be observed in order that men might come and appear before the living God in His holy sanctuary to worship Him.

WHEN THE SABBATH WAS COMMANDED THE TABERNACLE WASN’T EVEN YET BUILT! WHEN THE SABBATH WAS COMMANDED THE SANCTUARY AND HOUSE OF THE LIVING GOD WASN’T EVEN STANDING IN THE MIDST OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL! I feel a strong and powerful need to present you who are reading the words of this writing with an emphatic declaration that when you think about the sabbath it is absolutely necessary and imperative to think about and consider the fact that the sabbath was not for the sanctuary, nor was the sabbath made for the house of the living God. The sabbath was not made for the work of the ministry, nor was the sabbath made for labor of any sort. When we think about the sabbath it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that the sabbath was made for man and that man was not made for the sabbath. The sabbath was to be holy, hallowed, sacred and consecrated before and unto the living God, but it was to be a day when man rested from all his work and all his labor and devoting a full day before and unto the living God. What’s more, is that I would dare say that the sabbath day is a day when men and women devote and consecrate themselves before and unto the LORD afresh and anew in the place of rest as they take a break from all their labor and work. Oh we must understand that the sabbath was not instituted and implemented that we might use it to beat men and women into submission into coming into the house of God and entering into the sanctuary. In all reality, I would dare say the sabbath has absolutely nothing to do with church at all, for when you read the command concerning the sabbath as found in the thirty-fifth chapter of the book of Exodus you might get the sense that the sabbath even affected and impacted the work of the Tabernacle. It was true the living God instructed all those who were wise hearted to participate and partner together in the work of building the Tabernacle, yet I firmly believe without a doubt that as important as the work of the Tabernacle was—the children of Israel and those who were wise hearted to partner and participate in the work were to rest from the work of building the Tabernacle with its furniture, its furnishings, its instruments and garments. Pause for a moment and think about this, for while the living God did in fact instruct the children of Israel to build for Him a sanctuary wherein He could dwell in the midst of His people, the work of building the Tabernacle would experience a day of rest on the sabbath, for the children of Israel would even take a break from the work of building the sanctuary. Please don’t quickly move past and overlook that reality, for not only were the children of Israel to rest from their own personal endeavors, work and labor on the seventh day, but they were even to rest on the seventh day from the work of building the Tabernacle. Think about the fact that on the seventh day the children of Israel would rest before the Lord—even resting from the work of building the Tabernacle with all its furniture, furnishings, instruments and garments.

What we find in chapters thirty-five through thirty-seven of the Old Testament book of Exodus is not only a wonderful and powerful picture of the command concerning the sabbath, but it was also a wonderful and powerful picture concerning the work which the LORD had commanded and instructed the children of Israel to commit to that His sanctuary and Tabernacle might be completed before Him in their midst. What I so absolutely love about these chapters is that they begin and open with the command concerning the sabbath, and I can’t help but wonder if the command concerning the sabbath was given once more knowing the tremendous amount of time, effort and energy that would be needed to complete the building of the Tabernacle with all its furnishings, all its furniture, all its instruments and the garments for the priests. The work before the children of Israel would be one that was not only of great significance and importance, but it was also a work that would require a considerable amount of time on the part of the children of Israel. Oh, I would love to know how many hours the wise hearted women who committed themselves to spinning the garments for the work of the Tabernacle spent participating and partnering in the work of the Tabernacle. I wonder how many hours out of each day the wise hearted men spent partnering together in the work of the Tabernacle and building all those things that would be necessary for the sanctuary which the living God would dwell within in the midst of His people. I would dare say that the command concerning the sabbath was given unto the children once more, for the work which was now set before them was one that would require a significant amount of time, effort and energy on their part, and there would be the temptation to continue the work on the sabbath in order to complete the work. The command concerning the sabbath was of critical and utmost importance for the children of Israel, for there would be a period of time when all the wise hearted men and all the wise hearted men would partner together with each other in order that they might commit themselves to the work of the Tabernacle of the Lord that the sanctuary of the LORD might be established in the midst of the people of Israel. It is necessary that we recognize and understand this absolutely incredible reality, for when we think about the sabbath we must make note of the fact that it even touched the work of the LORD, and it even touched the work of the Tabernacle, for the children of Israel would rest from the labor and work of the Tabernacle on the seventh day. Consider how incredibly significant and important the Tabernacle and sanctuary of the living God would be for the children of Israel, and even for the living God Himself, and how the sabbath would even touch the work of the sanctuary, for there was to be no work which was to be performed on the sabbath day—even if that work touched the sanctuary and Tabernacle which the LORD commanded Moses to have the children of Israel build for Him in their midst that He might dwell among them.

Moving forward within these chapters you will notice that beyond the command concerning the sabbath there would be two different types of partnerships that would be found in the midst of the children of Israel, as well as two different types of hearts that would be found among the children of Israel. As you read the words which Moses wrote and recorded within these chapters you will find that there was a partnership in giving and bringing an offering before and unto the living God, but there would also be a partnership in the work of building the Tabernacle and sanctuary for the living God. Moving forward and throughout these chapters you will undoubtedly come face to face with the fact that there essentially two distinct groups of people which were found among the children of Israel here within these chapters. There was that group of people who would commit themselves to partnering together in bringing unto the Lord the offering which He desired that the work of the Tabernacle might be performed and completed, but there would also be another group of people who would partner together in actually engaging themselves in the work. When we think about and consider the construction and building of the Tabernacle we must recognize and understand that in order for it to be completed in the midst of the children of Israel—not only was there a great need for partnership in giving of an offering before and unto the living God, but there would also be a great need for partnership in the work of building the sanctuary and house of the Lord. In all reality, I would dare say that when it comes to building the sanctuary for the living God among us in our midst there is not only a tremendous need for the people of God to partner together in giving before and unto the LORD, but there also is a great and tremendous need for the people of God to partner together in the actual work of building the sanctuary. When and as we read the words which are found within these chapters we must acknowledge the awesome and incredible reality that there were two distinct groups of people, and there were two distinct types of hearts that were found to be present in the midst of the children of Israel. This must be carefully considered and carefully understood, for when we think of the sanctuary which would be found in the midst of the children of Israel, we must acknowledge the fact that there was present in the midst of the children of Israel a willing heart to give unto the work of the LORD, while there was also present among the children of Israel a wise heart which would commit to the actual work of the Lord. For the sanctuary of the living God to be built in the midst of the people of Israel, both hearts and both groups of people would need to work in tandem with each other in order that the work of the sanctuary might be completed in the midst of the children of Israel that the living God might in fact dwell among them in their midst. It is absolutely imperative that when we think about the work of the Tabernacle there were two distinct hearts that were given unto the people—a willing heart to give, as well as a wise heart to work. This reality of two distinct hearts that were given unto the people are absolutely important for us to think about and consider, for it is understanding these realities concerning the partnership of the work that helps us understand that which is necessary for and concerning the work of the Lord which is to take place in our midst. The question that we must ask is what type of heart have we been given in this generation. Are we of those with a willing heart to give unto the work of the Lord it might go forth in the earth and accomplish the divine will and purpose of the living God, or are we those with a wise heart to give of ourselves to and for the work of the LORD that it might be completed in the midst of the earth? Neither is more important than the other, and there is no greater emphasis place on one as opposed to the other, and the question we must ask ourselves is which heart is currently present within us as we devote and commit ourselves to the work of the LORD in the earth in this generation and in these Last Days.

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