Scripture Focus: Exodus 37.1
1 Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high.
1 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.”
2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work.
Reflection: Called and Gifted
By John Tillman
The descriptions of building the items for the tabernacle should seem familiar. They are nearly quotes of the descriptions of the instructions from Exodus 25 and following. This repetition shows the faithfulness and attention to detail with which the tasks were carried out.
Bezalel took the holiest object in God’s instructions as a personal project. The building of most other objects is attributed to “they.” When building the ark, “Bezalel” or “he” is used.
Bezalel, according to traditional Jewish sources, was Moses’ grand-nephew and was only 13 years old when the project began.
In ancient cultures, boys were considered adults at around 13. This spares us from imagining trusting the entire architectural construction of a new church building and the crafting and design of the most precious object in our church to a 13-year-old. But even with some cultural adjustments, could we imagine trusting a 17-year-old with the project?
Moses and Bezalel make a great pair for us to consider when thinking about the persons whom God may call to his service.
When Moses was called he was washed up. At the burning bush, stood an 80-year-old refugee sheepherder. He was a failed revolutionary and a wanted murderer. He was rejected by his adoptive royal family and his race. The only thing in his favor was the calling and gifting of God.
Bezalel was a youth. He was untested, unproven, untried. The only thing in his favor was the calling and gifting of God.
But God called and gifted each of these men into work that would define their lives. Moses would go on to become one of the most revered leaders in history. Bezalel would design and build history’s holiest of objects. Eventually, the ark would disappear into history. Bezalel would likewise disappear without further biblical mention.
Whether old or young or in between, we may be called to something great, or holy, or life-defining that we can’t now understand. Whether infamous or unknown, we may be called to lead in God’s kingdom. Whether we have a criminal past or no past at all, we may be called to a holy task. The only thing we need in our favor is the calling and gifting of God.
Whatever we may be called to, may we be as humble as Moses in taking up our calling, and may we be as faithful as Bezalel in obeying God’s instructions word for word.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness,… make your way straight before me. — Psalm 5.8
– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle
Exodus 37 (Listen – 3:14)
John 16 (Listen – 4:14)
Read more about The First Spirit-Filled Work
The first Spirit-filled individuals, Bezalel and Oholiab, were artisans, builders, makers.
Read more about Unveiled
When it comes to what God will reveal to us, and the love we will show the world, we haven’t seen anything yet.