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Ki Tisa (When You Take) Exodus Sh'mot 30-34

Our portion begins with G-d’s instructions to Moshe about counting the people of Israel. It also contains the infamous, “golden calf” section when the people demand of Aaron to make for them a god. We read of the setting aside of Shabbat before the constuction of the Mishkan.
 
Let us begin with the counting of the people. In Exodus 30:11-16 we read of G-d’s instructions for the taking of this count and the use of the money collected. When the people were counted for this censes we read of a rather  convoluted way of going about this count. In Exodus 30:13 the scripture tells us that each man 20 years and older, was to give a half shekel. The money was then counted and the number of people arrived at by the total number of coins collected. Why not just go through the people and count them? The scripture does not elaborate on why but we can come to conclusions on G-d’s reasoning.
 
In Genesis G-d tells Avraham his seed would be as uncountable as the stars. Yet in Psalms 147:4 we read where G-d counts the stars. He gives names to them all. With G-d each star is special, so it is with His people.
 
We are all different yet G-d loves us. That love is not based on anything but who we are. We are all special to the Father. In our verses today everyone gave the same amount, rich, poor, successful or struggling. G-d loves us all the same. We are His children.
 
The money collected was used by the priests for the upkeep of the Mishkan and daily sacrifices. By this each person had  a share in the running of G-d’s house. Each of us are important to the Father. We are not reduced to a number. He knows our name.
 
Now I would like to get to my question of the week. The Torah in Exodus 25:1-31:17 has divine instructions for building the Mishkan. It is found again in chapters 35-40. What is interesting is that in both cases we also read about the command of the Shabbat.  Scripture concerning  Shabbat is found in Exodus 31:12-17 and Exodus 35:1-2. One time the command of Sabbath appears after the details while in the second case it appears before the details. Why?
 
I believe it has to do with the point of view. From G-d’s point of view the Sabbath was the last day. G-d finished His work and rested. The Sabbath was the end of G-d’s work in Eden. It was the conclusion of the story. If we remember man was created on the sixth day of creation. Sabbath was the first day for him, not the end.
 
In Isaiah 46:10 we read where G-d says, “I make known the end from the beginning.” G-d knows the end He is not worried about how it will all turn out. It says in Isaiah, “My purpose will stand.” For us as humans it is much more complicated. We worry about what will be on a number of levels. We worry about the “what ifs.”
 
I think Sabbath is much more than just a day of rest. It is a dress rehearsal  for what will be. We do not strive to do, we are content to be. Each of us have this time to experience when we are with the Father, because we experience it at the beginning like Adam and Eve. We see the end of history of our story as one when we are with Him.
 
G-d gives us a preview each week. G-d wants us to know the end of the story so we will not lose our way as we struggle with life. Only those who know where they are going will arrive. Yeshua says the same to us in the Messianic writings in John 10:10. Life abundant, we know our destination, no matter the issues that arise on the way. Sabbath is a weekly preview for us.
 
Bless each of you this day and everyday. We know the end of the story. G-d is all the things we read in chapter 34:6-7. Even after the sin of the calf G-d forgave the people and restored them.  They and we have a destiny and it is not to be lost along the way.