Thursday, February 7. Exodus 31 – 33

Who should do any task?

The right answer is: “the person who can.”

It is true that Bezalel and Oholiab were chosen by God to oversee the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings, but God didn’t just choose them; He gave them the ability to get the job done. Entirely too often, leaders among God’s people are chosen for tasks beyond their ability to perform.

Does that mean that God cannot empower them to do the job?

No. But He must empower them. If He doesn’t, it is pointless to keep a person in a position who cannot do the job simply because they were appointed, or they feel that it is their “calling.” Concerning special servants in the Church (sometimes called “Deacons), Paul wrote: “They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.” When the early Church needed leaders to make sure some of the disadvantaged of their number were taken care of, the Apostles called for men who were “known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.” Don’t think that just meant they were good moral people. As in Exodus 31, having the Spirit of God meant having an ability to do a task. It should mean that in the Church today.

Half way through chapter thirty-one, the Lord underscores the importance Sabbath observance. Two observations are in order. First, just as circumcision was the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham, Sabbath observance was the sign of Israel’s covenant with God. It is not a Christian ordinance because we are not a part of the covenant of Israel. But second, you need to ask why God would give such a law.

He never intended His people work all the time. God could take leisure. So can His people, simply because they are His people. We pray for daily bread, not “much goods laid up for many years.” Our trust is not in economic well-being, but in the Lord. Regular rest, abstaining from normal labor, is the way we fulfill the intent of God without being under the covenant of Israel, and the way we show we too are children of God.