“Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and nights.” Genesis 24:18
“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even in plowing time and in harvest time you shall rest.” Genesis 34:21
“He was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” Genesis 34:28
“Moses assembled all the congregation of the Israelites and said top them: These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do: Six says shall work be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy sabbath of solemn rest to the LORD; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire in all your dwellings on the sabbath day.” Genesis 35:1-3
As I re-read Chapter 34 in preparation for today’s reading (Chapters 35-37) Moses’ experience of being in God’s presence got my attention – Moses, in a span of 90 or less days spent 2 X 40 day periods in God’s direct presence, fasting (he ate no bread nor drank water) and receiving, writing (engraving in stone actually) God’s covenant promise – The Words of God, from God directly. No wonder his face shone when he came down off the mountain….. If only my face would shine that way! Maybe it would, if only I was obedient to rest in the Lord, truly rest as he commands – not because it’s a rule but a gift. Not stopping to rest, even in the midst of doing the work God calls me to is like leaving a present with my name on it under the Christmas tree. A gift unopened is a gift not received not put to use. God gives instruction concerning sabbath rest at the end of this second iteration of the covenant to reinforce what I’m thinking occurred between He and Moses during both forty day periods. God spoke, Moses chiseled 6 days then they would rest – together. Moses leads with instruction concerning the gift of sabbath rest when he again shares with the Israelites; just before the capital campaign for and construction of the Tabernacle begin. If I took time to be made holy, holier, holiest – maybe my face would shine……..who will join me, resting with God?