Exodus 36:1 (HCSB)
1 Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the skilled people are to work based on everything the Lord has commanded. The Lord has given them wisdom and understanding to know how to do all the work of constructing the sanctuary.”
We are reintroduced to Bezalel and Oholiab here, and the construction of the tabernacle is about to begin. There are two verses that stand out to me in this passage.
- Exodus 36:1 – The wisdom and understanding needed to construct the tabernacle came from God, not man. Make no mistake: the tabernacle is God’s house, designed by God, and built by God through men. And note that God empowers those He selects to do the jobs He appoints them to. What a great comfort this should be to us! There is nothing that God will expect from us that He has not prepared us for, or empowered us to do. God doesn’t put the construction on hold while He waits for Bezalel and Oholiab to go learn the required skills, or train under other great artisans. It was put in hold briefly due to the sin of the Israelites, but not because of some lack of ability. The whole first part of this pericope is about how skill and knowledge come from God, even the ability to impart one’s skill and knowledge on others. Perhaps this is to remind the Israelites, and us, before construction even begins, that God is orchestrating.
- Exodus 36:7 says, “The materials were sufficient for them to do all the work. There was more than enough.” We have more than enough to do the work God has called us to do! God might use our neighbors, our family, or even strangers, or He might simply provide what we need directly Himself, but He has given us all we need, more than we need. And again the contrast to Pharaoh, who certainly would never have stopped the Israelites from giving him something, even if it was over and above what may have been needed. Yet God does. God cares, He loves, He wants for us also. That manifests as Himself being glorified, but we get to bask in that as well, we get to enjoy the fruits of His blessings. The Israelites had more to give, yet God, in essence, says, “Keep the rest, it is for you.” So not only does God provide what is needed to do the work He calls us to do, but He provides extra to do it, and then He blesses us on top of that with excess. What a great God we serve!
Lord, thank You for Your blessings, for Your preparing us, and providing for us, to do Your work in the world. I pray that we would follow You, that we would carry out the building of Your spiritual temple, Your church, even today. Help us to remain faithful and loyal. Amen.