God gives gifts to men (Exodus 35:30-36:7)

It has been a few weeks since I was able to make an entry related to Jesus in Exodus.  I hope to get back on a more dependable schedule now, and finish the final few chapters of Exodus.  Today we will pick up with the gifting of Bezalel and Oholiab in Exodus 35:30ff,

Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver adn bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship.  And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. (Exodus 35:30-34)

This part of the story recounting the construction and establishment of the Tabernacle is fascinating, for God gifts his people with the skills and abilities they need in order to establish a beautiful place of worship, and with the gifting of God, comes the touching of peoples hearts to such a degree that nothing else must be added, for the resources needed are sufficient and complete to properly erect the House of the Lord.

Is this not a beautiful way to prefigure the very work of the Spirit of God in the People of God occuring at Pentecost and afterwards?  In this story of Oholiab and Bezalel we are presented a shadow of what God will do in the hearts of his people, presenting them spiritual gifts which are to be used to build up the Church into a firm structure resting on the foundation of Jesus Christ.  We need nothing else, than the spiritual gifts God has given.  Nothing more need be added, nothing less is sufficient; but with God’s spiritual gifting at work in his people we are prepared, empowered and capable of erecting the House of God for worship.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1Corinthians 12:4-7)

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.  By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.” (1 Corinthians 3:9–13)

Let us never forget that it is Christ’s Spirit which is at work in us, having been freely given so that we can build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.  We don’t need more skills; we don’t need more money; we don’t need more technology in order to see the church built and established.  We simply need to exercise the very gifts God has already placed into his body in our midst and the church will be strengthened and matured.

When the teachers teach, the leaders lead, the givers support, the encourages cheer, the wise counsel, the knowledable speak, the faithful press onward, the healers cure, the prophetic proclaim, the discerners test, the leaders govern, the merciful show compassion, the pastors comfort, and the evangelists advocate, then and only then will the church be built up to its full stature and rise to become a beautiful house indwelt by God and calling, redeeming, and equipping the people of God to proclaim the message of Christ crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended to glory.


About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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