Bezalel and Oholiab step into the picture. Not kings or judges, not prophets or apostles, these men were chosen because of their great skill. Bezalel was filled “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 artistic crafts” (Exodus 31:2-6 & 35:30-33). Oholiab was chosen as a skilled teacher. Together they did the work of creating all of the items in the royal tent (including the tent itself).
This is great motivation for me to read and should encourage all those who labor for the Lord. Bezalel doesn’t get a lot of attention in the narrative of the Bible and is probably not frequently preached on, but he and Oholiab were those responsible for creating the place of worship, for setting the stage upon which the priests and leaders could do their part. God indeed blessed them with skills, but I believe it was because Bezalel and Oholiab had proven themselves before the Exodus 35 statement was penned. Most of us want to be skilled at something, but most lack the resolve to put in the effort to get to the finish line. In the arts, there is no finish line, just continual improvement. Sports are popular because there are boundaries and time limits, music and art are not about perfection, they are more about the spirit of the craft.
God honors these men by including them in the Bible for us to learn by example. I can only be useful by learning my craft and honing my skills and rejoicing in the Lord every day. Whatever talents God has given us, he has a purpose and reason behind it. Our responsibility is to do our best for Christ every day, without regard to fame or glory on earth or among men–only with regard to Christ the King.
The Golden Calf
Really Israel, really Aaron? Yep. They went there. As I sit in judgment, I wonder if I would have joined the party. My prayer is that simply by reading this narrative I won’t fall short as our ancestors did; that I would learn from their mistakes.