Isn’t stoning someone for breaking the Sabbath a bit extreme?


While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord commanded Moses.  Numbers 15:32-36
            It seems like a minor thing to collect wood on the Sabbath.  The poor guy needed to keep his family warm, right?  Was stoning him to death the best possible solution?
            But why didn’t he plan for the Sabbath and collect extra wood?  The date was on the calendar and didn’t come as a surprise.  Because he didn’t respect the command or trust God to take care of his family (or was simply lazy), God punished him as an example to others.  If someone saw him collecting wood and nothing happened to him, the next Sabbath that person would collect wood or make food or disobey the Sabbath rule.  Disobedience spreads like a cancer.
God had to show consequences to show the seriousness of keeping the rules.