Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bezalel and Oholiab

Have you ever heard someone say "She so reminds me of Ruth with her sweet spirit.", or "He reminds me of Peter, always leaping before he looks!" Last weekend I had the privilege of working with some very gifted craftsmen that so reminded me of Bezalel and Oholiab. Surely you have heard of them! No, let me introduce you to these men:

Exodus 31: 1 - 11 - 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you: 7 the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent- 8 the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand- 10 and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you."

These guys did not get the notoriety of Noah, Moses, David or Joshua. I doubt these guys will be the topic of Vacation Bible School or even a Children's Church lesson and I am probably the only person who will say someone reminds me of them, but they had a very important job to do and God gifted these men with the skills to get the job done.

Exodus 36: 1 - 3 - 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. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning.

The modern day Bezalels and Oholiabs I met were the guys who worked on the wheelchair ramp last Saturday. It is amazing to watch men use the gifts God has given them to get a job done. These guys communicated well with each other, sometimes they seemed to communicate without saying anything, they simply pointed at something or scratched a mark on a board. If they needed a board cut a certain way it happened, if they needed to set the ramp at a certain slope and it happened without a whole lot of discussion, without a lot of chatter, the measurement was taken, the boards were cut and the project moved forward. We also see modern day Bezalels and Oholiabs at church each Sunday making sure the kids are taken care of, making sure we have ushers and greeters, making sure the sound is set up just right.

If you think about it we are all Bezalels and Oholiabs. As a Believer we are given Spiritual gifts and each one of us has a vital role to play. Just as God gave Bezalel and Oholiab the skills and abilities to do their job, God has done the same for us. Paul speaks of this in Romans 12:

Romans 12: 4-8 - 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

God has always chosen to allow man to be involved in His business of growing His Kingdom.

Matthew 16: 18 - And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Christ said He would build His church. The ultimate responsibility for building the Church is Christ's. However, he has chosen to allow us to partner with Him in this task. The partnership between God and man goes all the way back to when He called Moses to lead the His people out of Egypt. God could have performed each one of the plagues without Moses but He chose to use Moses. He could have taken out Goliath with a bolt of lightning but He chose to use David. He could have announced the coming of His Son with a thunderous voice from heaven with fireworks and an amazing laser light show (yes he could have, even back then) but He chose to use John the Baptist to prepare the way and He could have chosen to build His church without Peter but He didn't. He chose to use men back then and He still chooses to use men today. Each one of us has been given the opportunity to participate with Christ in building His church. We are told to be a part of this by sharing the Good News, by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and taking care of the orphans and widows.

When our life on this earth is over, most of us will be forgotten by society, most of us will be like Bezalel and Oholiab, when people mention our names most will say "Robert Who?!?", "Bo Who?!?", "Chuck Who?!?", "Steve Who?!?" but God will remember, He remembered Bezalel's and Oholiab's names and had them recorded in His Holy Book for thousands of years and He will remember yours as well.

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