The scene for our text today moves back up to the top of the mountain, where Moses and God have been meeting over the past several days. Here the Lord informs Moses as to what’s happened. God speaks, and he reveals his own judgment about what Israel has done. Then Moses responds. At root, this passage is about God’s view of sin and the character and efficacy of Moses as intercessor.
There are two big ideas in Exodus 31. First, the gracious aid God gives his people to do his work. He helps them build his tabernacle. Second, Israel must be like Yahweh in resting after their work. But what Exodus 31 also shows is that Israel’s work in the sanctuary is much like God’s creation of Eden long ago.