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Gifted for Work


When I was a child, my church would hold a festive “Harvest Party” in October for the children. We were told to dress as Bible characters and share our stories to see who could guess our names. I dressed as Bezalel—in a bathrobe, of course, like most of the other children. When I told how I’d been gifted by God to build the tabernacle, I was met with a sea of blank faces. The other kids were stumped, and I won a prize!

The building of the tabernacle was so important to God that He gave two men, Bezalel and Oholiab, special abilities so that His instructions would be followed with excellence. About Bezalel, the Lord said: “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts” (vv. 3–4). Oholiab was Bezalel’s assistant.

Notice how God provided for every aspect of the tabernacle. He gave instructions regarding its design and floor plan. He supplied materials (Egyptian wealth) for the people to give. He set apart Aaron and his sons as priests to minister in it. And He even chose two capable men to be the leaders for this complex project.

Even though work on the tabernacle was important, it was not to be done on the Sabbath (vv. 12–17). God’s work always needs to be done God’s way!

Verse 18 reminds us that Moses had been up on Mount Sinai all this time, receiving these instructions. The “two tablets” were two copies of the covenant, one for each side, as was customary. What was amazing in this case was that they’d been “inscribed by the finger of God”!

Apply the Word

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit filled specific believers for special tasks. However, we can be “filled with the Spirit” all the time. Jesus promised that He would send the Spirit to empower the church (John 14:15–31). On a practical, everyday basis, this means living with the Spirit’s wisdom in control of our perceptions, thoughts, and actions.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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