I’m currently studying the book of Exodus, and I admit, in the past when reading Exodus, there are several chapters that are just so easy to want to gloss over, skim, or skip. However, this time around, I feel like there are so many solid truths that I am “digging up,” and I just wanted to share.
Exodus 31:1-11 (ESV)
The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”
God gives His children skills
The NIV says in Exodus 31:3 “and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills…” God gives skills, ability, wisdom, and knowledge to His children. God specially equipped Bezalel and Oholiab with the knowledge and unique skills required in crafting God’s Tabernacle.
The work is for Him and His glory
God doesn’t equip us with skills so we can make lots of money to buy a Corvette or a big fancy house. We are to use our gifts to serve one another and to glorify God.
1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The work He calls us to is personalized. God equips specific people for specific work.
God identifies by name the ones He wants to do the work of creating the Tabernacle and all that is in it -- Bezalel and Oholiab. Likewise, we should NOT try to do someone else’s job. We should not compare our skill set to those of others and wish we had that person’s abilities or spiritual gifts. God has equipped each of us for something unique and specific that will bring glory and honor to Him. If unsure about your abilities, ask other godly people in your church who know you to help you identify your skills that could be used for His kingdom.
Romans 12:3-8 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
The work may be for a season.
There was an end to the work that Bezalel and Oholiab were called to do. At some point, the Tabernacle was completed, and they went back to doing other things or maybe they started doing new things.
Sometimes our calling is just for a season.
I was involved in music ministry since I was in the 5th grade. However, I stepped down from helping to lead worship for about a decade in order to partner with my husband in helping TEACH my children how and why we worship. At the end of that season, my oldest son began helping to lead in worship and my youngest son joined the drama team at church. It was then that I felt God had released me into a new season of worship ministry.
He doesn’t call you to do everything.
God only named two people who were to head up the building of the Tabernacle. They were given a specific job to do. God did not tell them, however, that they were to do everything.
In my early 20s, every time there was a plea for help, I thought I HAD to do whatever job was needed. I found myself teaching 3-4 year old Sunday School, being an AWANA leader, singing in 2 ensembles and the choir, and staying in the nursery. I also had a full-time job and tutored on the side. All this “work” for the Lord took a huge physical toll on me. I was mentally and physically exhausted. I thought I was pleasing the Lord, but God does not want us to do everything. He has specific jobs for each of us. Jethro admonished Moses to share the work load with others because “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” Exodus 18:17 The Gospels, likewise, give us examples of Jesus taking the time to rest and pray.
Take the time to pray and ask God exactly what He wants you to do. Learn to say no, if needed. Chances are, you could be doing a job that God has purposed for someone else.
You are not the only one.
If you left your “job” at the church tomorrow, you would be missed, but God has someone else in mind to fill the spot. Let’s not feed our egos into thinking we are IT. The one. All that. God’s only solution. God equips us, and He wants to use us, but He doesn’t need us.
For seven years, I lead the morning and afternoon worship rally during VBS at our church in Houston. It was a very upfront role where I used skills such as singing and public speaking. When we moved to Missouri, our new church already had people to lead their opening and closing during VBS. Therefore, for two years, I’ve used my skills of bargain shopping, organizing, and hospitality to do the very behind-the-scenes job of running the Encourager Room for the VBS workers, and I love it. Guess what? God had people lined up and ready to take over the VBS worship rally in Houston, and they never missed a beat!
What a joy that God gives us knowledge, ability, and skill in order that we may glorify Him!
As you go through your day, remember, as Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”