But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Moses gathers the Congregation of Israel to give them the instructions concerning the building of the Tabernacle. No matter how important this work is, they must stop everything to honor the Sabbath (Exodus 35). To cancel the Sabbath because of God’s work is like the story I read one time about a little girl who canceled the time she usually spent with her father in the evening in order to knit him bedroom slippers. The father was broken-hearted. God may appreciate the bedroom slippers, but He’d rather have us!
This training on the importance of Sabbath-keeping continues until today within congregation of Jewish believers. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus made sure Yeshua was entombed before the coming of the Sabbath. The Marys who took care of His body waited till the Sabbath was over to embalm Him. If Yeshua had made the Sabbath obsolete, they didn’t seem to know. In the first century C. E., the historian Josephus reports that in his time there was not a single city in the whole Roman Empire where the Jewish custom of Sabbath-keeping was not practiced. This was because of the Yeshua believers disseminated throughout the Empire. Up to the fourth century Constantine was passing laws against the Yeshua believers forbidding this practice. Why did he do that if believers were not practicing it? Obviously, Yeshua expected His disciples to continue the practice until the end; He even gave a prophecy about it (Matthew 24:20).
In Sabbath observant homes, each Friday night the idea of Moses gathering the Children of Israel to first keep the Sabbath before instructing them about the Tabernacle is repeated when a father gathers his family around the Sabbath table. He is like Moses, and his family is like the congregation. Throughout the Bible, the congregation is compared to the Bride. On Friday night the father speaks Proverbs 31 to his wife. This proverb is often used by spiritually abusive men to keep their wives under submission. They put their own twist under the word ‘virtuous’, describing a mousy yielded and submitted women who lives only to serve her husband. Reading the whole proverb actually reveals that this virtuous woman was anything but mousy. Along with being a mother, she was a business woman working hard not behind or under her husband, but alongside beside him. The ‘wife’ language in the proverb is actually an analogy. It is the same analogy Paul uses with the Ephesians (Ephesians 5:25-32).. Both the Proverb and the Paul’s admonition speak of the Congregation and its responsibility as the Bride to work this Endtime harvest alongside with our ‘Husband’. In this respect, since man is the head of the woman (even though the woman may often be the neck that turns it), Proverbs 31 is for men, about their jobs of leading their families and the congregation in the ways and the work of the Master.
As faithful brides coming from the harvest in the wings, may God grant us for as long as possible the joy and freedom to come and ‘sabbath’ in His loving arms.