I admit that some of y’all talented folk make me a little jealous. Those of you who can sing at church and in the choir without their throat burning and their eyes watering. Those of you who can draw with such precision while I can barely trace a circle. Even, and I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit this, those of you who are so easy to talk to and make everyone feel comfortable. I am not gifted in any of those areas and sometimes I really wish I was.
That probably means that if I was one of the Israelites sitting at the base of Mount Sinai, I would have been about to get really jealous of two men in particular, Bezalel and Oholiab. Bezalel and Oholiab were to be key people in the construction of God’s tabernacle. After thoroughly describing each and every detail of the tabernacle, from the delicately woven curtains to the gold-covered furniture, God has told Moses that Bezalel and Oholiab are to be the head artisans creating this dream home. God closes His instructions with another injunction to honor and respect His Sabbath, and Moses’s stay at Mount Sinai has come to an end. Moses travels back down to camp and neither he, nor Bezalel and Oholiab, know what they’re about to face next.
The Treasures Within:
You Are A Vessel
Who were Bezalel and Oholiab? What was their story? Did they have wives? Kids? Were they best buddies or were they each about to spend a lot of time with a stranger? Had Bezalel loved architecture and design since he was little, gazing up at the painted buildings in Egypt? Was Oholiab a carpenter by trade, having started working alongside his father while in slavery? Who knows what the true story was? The possibilities are endless. These two men seem random, like strangers from our point of view because, until this moment, there has been no mention of them. They are not special.
But this is a wonderful thing. Bezalel and Oholiab were simple, unassuming servants of God – just like you and me. God told Moses that He “filled” each of them with “the Spirit of God, and with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills” (verse 3). Placing His calling on these men’s lives, God filled them to the brim, dropping skill after skill, blessing after blessing into their hearts, lovingly preparing them to serve. God chose and fully equipped these two everyday men – just like He does you and me. We’re not any more or less special than Bezalel and Oholiab, but we also have been filled with all kinds of skills! Talent comes straight from God, a loving blessing knit into our very DNA. What skills have you been filled with?
Perhaps a better question is what are you going to do with the skills God placed inside of you? These talents, these gifts, they’re meant to be used, and not just for our pleasure, but for God’s – just like Bezalel and Oholiab. We’ve heard people say stuff like this in Sabbath School and Sunday School since we were infants, but it’s so true, and God repeated it even as He talked with Moses! Immediately after choosing Bezalel, Oholiab, & co. (verse 6) to be His servants, God reiterates the holiness of His Sabbath. He explains again why it is so important, reminding Moses and us that He created the heavens and the earth in just six days. In other words, Bezalel and Oholiab were to create, just like He had created. You create, I create. You do because I did.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that each and every one of us has been called and equipped to do something specific for God. Some people sing, some people draw, some people are warm and friendly. It’s one thing to sing for applause, draw to get paid, or to make so many friends that you’re everyone’s #squadgoals. It’s a whole other thing to pour those talents directly into Jesus’s work – to sing for the appeal as people give their lives to God, to create art for books and literature about Jesus that are distributed far and wide, or to tell someone about the Man who came to save them. This work is not flashy; it’s not lucrative, and it can be downright frightening. But we work, just as Jesus worked. We do just as God did. We have the opportunity to serve hand in hand with our Savior, filled with faith and determination. God equipped you for this. What are you going to do with the talents that He gave you?
God’s Message To Us:
“I have given you everything you need to work with Me.” God could do bad all by Himself but He chose us to serve Him – to serve with Him. Why you? Why me? When we dedicate our talents and gifts to God, our minds are off of self and instead on Him. When we live a life of service to God, others see us and realize that they can too. When we work closely with Jesus, our faith in Him and love for Him grows and grows. God wants all these good things for you, thus He called you and thus He equipped you. And I think, at the same time, He likes to have you near Him, hand in hand, as well.
What do you think? What skills did God fill you with? Why did God write this portion of His love letter to you?