Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Love Divine All Loves Excelling"1 (Lyrics)
Exodus 36:2 – And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. (ESV)
I have a cupboard in my home office, and it is full of tools. In fact, the spare room is crammed full of toolboxes, and there are tools around the furniture. In mitigation, let me say that I do not bring carburettors into the kitchen and clean them in a roasting tin full of petrol on the table, because I am helpfully informed that this would be a bad idea!
The other night, as I put away a screwdriver, I was reminded of Bezalel and Oholiab, the craftsmen mentioned in today's Scripture verse, who were tasked with constructing the tabernacle.
God told Moses that these were the men set aside for the purpose of creating component parts for the tabernacle because He had given them the tools and skills for the job, and they did it.
After sixteen years of renting a flat and a house, I sensed that it was God's will for us to put down roots and buy a house. Much to my surprise (I knew it as soon as I walked inside!), I was shown this house here in Cheltenham where we believe God wants us to be a family.
God knows my skills, my history, and also how He stirred my heart to be bold and get on with it. So we did it, a day at a time, and now, three years later, we have a refitted kitchen and an upstairs bathroom, and as an added bonus, two more young children — and some personal memories that I would rather forget!
Now I discern that it was God's grace that empowered me to succeed, because, as I was willing, He worked out His purposes through me for my family too.
I wonder what Bezalel and Oholiab had to contend with in their daily work, apart from the enormity of the task — the heat, the sand, and limited resources, such as water. I imagine that it was not easy for them then, in a fallen world that has not changed much for us today.
Jesus is not put off by our circumstances or what the world thinks. He knows what He has called us to, because every good thing we have and are comes from God.
Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (ESV)
Prayer: Lord, You are always worthy to be praised, but all too often we have doubted You! Please forgive us, and grant us the confidence to ask, hear, and understand Your calling, even as You called the disciples. Please show each one of us the way in which we, too, should go, to worship You, and so use the skills and gifts You have freely given. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.