«Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills . . . Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him’ » (Exodus 31 : 1-3, 6, NIV).
WHO WERE BEZALEL AND OHOLIAB? And to what important task did God call them?
God bestowed special skills on Bezalel «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» (Exodus 31:4, 5). Along with Oholiab, Bezalel had the honor of overseeing the work of construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness, the special place where the Lord’s presence would be manifested to His people.
It is hard to read this passage and not wonder: Can a craftsman also be filled by God’s Spirit to perform His work? That is what today’s text tells us. Doesn’t the Bible say that «every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights»? (James 1:17).
Here is the first important lesson from today’s Bible text: if God is the author of all our talents, both spiritual and natural ones, shouldn’t we then conclude that all these gifts are important to perform His work? The answer is obviously yes, as the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary rightfully states, «Gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and skill for doing secular work are as surely given men by God as are spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8). The church as verily needs among its members those who are Bezaleels and Aholiabs as it does those who are Isaiah’s and Pauls.
The second lesson is derived from the first. If every gift God bestows is useful to preach the gospel, aren’t all believers expected to use their talents and skills to accomplish the mission of the church? Or does that sacred work only pertain to pastors and leaders? Absolutely not!
As they were leaving Egypt, headed toward the wilderness, Bezalel and Oholiab never imagined God would use them for such a tremendous project. And let alone imagine that their names would be recorded in the sacred Scriptures, beside Moses, the spiritual giant. But that is how God works. He is definitely a God of surprises.
I wonder what work God has for you today. And please do not say you have no talent at all to do your part! Because there is «practical religion» even in a loaf of good bread!—Counsels on Diet and Foods, ch. 14, p. 251.
Holy Father, please help me to use the talents you have given me, be they many or few, for Your glory today.