Lord, what a gift it is to call you Father. I am your child and praise you for your love and care.
Read Exodus 35:30 – 36:7
Bezalel and Oholiab
30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers. 36 1 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.”
2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”
6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet’ (Psalm 27:4b, MSG). Before studying God’s Word, spend time reflecting on God’s beauty.
In the Bible, the first person to be ‘filled’ with the Spirit is Bezalel (v 31; 31:1–5) – not a priest, prophet or preacher, but an artist and craftsman. In the church, the arts have often been downplayed. But remember, the impressive variety of trees God created was not only ‘good for food’ but ‘pleasing to the eye’ (Genesis 2:9)! Bezalel receives ‘all kinds of skills’ to create a worship space that is not just well-built but beautiful (vs 31–33).
Artists and artisans are not to function as independent operators or lone rangers. First, Bezalel’s work is shaped by an appreciation of God’s person and purposes. It is skills informed by God’s ‘wisdom … understanding … knowledge’ (v 31) that enable him ‘to do the work just as the Lord has commanded’ (36:1b). God-given creativity is never license without limits. Both the arts and the sciences need God’s guide rails and guard rails if they are to bless humanity and glorify God.
Second, Bezalel doesn’t work alone. He and his associate Oholiab must train a similarly Spirit-empowered team of workers (35:34 – 36:2); and the work of these anointed artisans is dependent on the support of generous patrons (36:3–5). This sanctuary is not just for the community but a true joint venture by the whole community.
Pray for more artists and artisans who faithfully reflect the beauty of God’s holiness in their work.
How much I need your wisdom Lord! Teach me by your Spirit to do your work in your way.