Exodus 31 - The Great Provider

Overwhelmed? I think this is one of the most common feelings or expressions of our day. There are so many expectations, so much that must be done, so many different people to engage with in person and online, that it can seem hard to stop and rest, without feeling guilty. Sometimes we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, even when we know that it isn’t.

This chapter of Exodus really demonstrates God’s provision and care for his people. God has just spent six chapters giving instructions on the construction of the different aspects of the tabernacle. It is a big task, and it could feel overwhelming as they sought to faithfully respond to and follow all the regulations. Yet God does not leave them unequipped for the task. He provides Bezalel and Oholiab whom he has already prepared to be able to complete some of the work. I can imagine the relief that Moses might have felt as God told him about these people whom he had already prepared and equipped for the task. God has provided all that is needed for Moses to do all God has asked him to do.

Not only does he provide for these needs, he encourages times of rest. God has given his people all the instructions they need to draw near to him, to atone for sin and be his holy people, yet it is not all about what they need to do. God also provides encouragement and permission to rest. This rest is to be a reminder to them that the Lord is God, and it is he who makes them holy. The Sabbath command is clearly drawn from creation here, yet Jesus disobeys it in Matthew 12; while we may not need to keep a Sabbath in the same way today, we do see many examples of Jesus withdrawing from the crowds to rest with his father and encourages the disciples to do the same.

Today we need to be encouraged that God is still the great provider and Lord of all. If he calls us into something, he will provide what we need to walk through. We need to trust his provision, especially when it’s not immediately evident. More than that, we need to trust that God is God, and that the world will not fall apart if we rest. Perhaps today we need to remember that Jesus commended Mary for sitting at his feet and learning from him, and allowing the work to wait (Luke 10:38-42).

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