Scripture: The LORD said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. Exodus 31:1-5 ESV
Observation: As we work our way through the book of Exodus, Moses records details about Sabbath and festival observances and the conquest of Canann in chapter 23. Then Chapter 24 presents the confirmation of the covenant, while chapters 25-30 outline all the elements of divine worship from priestly to temple matters. Here, in chapter 31, Yahweh instructs Moses to appoint Bezalel to oversee the artisan work of the temple with the understanding that he:
- is filled with the Spirit of God,
- has the ability and intelligence, and
- has the required knowledge.
Interestingly, Bezalel’s name in Hebrew means “in the shadow of God,” implying under his wing of protection. Indeed, to be filled with the Holy Spirit (before Pentecost) indicated God’s anointing for a particular task and duration. Thus, the Lord has fully equipped Bezalel to perform his duties under Yahweh’s provision (skill, intellect, and knowledge base), care (protection), and guidance (Holy Spirit).
Takeaway: The breadth of Scripture tells of many biblical heroes anointed by God to perform extraordinary tasks, whether military conquests, civil leadership, prophetic ministry, or a timely word for “such a time as this.” In each case, the Lord acted; he chose, equipped, and sent his men and women to do what would have been impossible without the Holy Spirit indwelling them. Thankfully, in this age of our New Covenant of Grace, the Holy Spirit wholly resides in all believers and provides the guidance, protection, and ability to accomplish even greater things than the pre-Cross miracles of Christ (John 14:12).
So what does the Father have in mind for us? Like Bezalel, the Lord has equipped us with all we need to live and proclaim his Covenant of Grace. We have the Holy Spirit, the ability and intelligence, and the required knowledge to let the light and love of Christ flow through us and transform hearts of stone into flesh. But it’s not about IQ, bronze, resume, education level, or charisma; it’s about Christ, the “final temple,” in us. It’s about responding to the call, simply being ourselves, nothing more or less than what he created us to be: sinners saved by the grace through faith in the Artisan who makes everything beautiful in its time.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for calling and equipping us to be ourselves as ambassadors for our Master Craftsman, Christ. Would you please deepen our understanding of your grace that we might rest in the shalom of life in Christ as you intended, resisting worldly expectations and instead embracing the beauty of the Artisan who indwells us? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling