Today’s reading includes Exodus 35:10-36:38, Matthew 27:32-66, Psalm 34:1-10, Proverbs 9:7-8.
In today’s reading we are introduced to an important character in the Bible. He is not well-known like the Moses or Joshua or John the Baptist. His name does not ring a bell for most of us. But his name is the beginning of his purpose. His name was Bezalel. His name literally meant “”in the shadow [protection] of God.”
Living in someone’s shadow is often depicted as limiting. The person living in another’s shadow is often overshadowed by another’s talents or opinions and is not given the light to truly grow into all he or she was meant to be. However, living in the shadow of God is an altogether different thing. In fact, the reality that Bezalel lived in the shadow of God was the very reason he was selected to use his great talents to build the first ever earthly dwelling place of God.
At the very beginning of the Bible we find out a very important factor in the character of God. He is the Creator and is therefore the most creative of all. If we are made in His imagine, and we are, then it stands to reason that He has placed in us the ability to be creative, too. This does not mean we all can draw or paint or sew. Creativity is available to all of us in whatever realm of influence or business or calling God has placed us. Let’s look further at why Bezalel was selected.
Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 4 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 5 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!
Here we find several truths. Bezalel was called by God. The genealogy of his birth was important in the building of this most important structure and all it contained. What was his genealogy? He was the son of Uri, grandson of Hur, and ancestor of Judah. Let’s pause and think about who those people were. Remember that Hur was key in helping Moses hold up his arms in the first major battle they faced. He was Moses “right-hand man”, so to speak. He had proved himself faithful to God and faithful to Moses and had obviously led his family in doing the same. Most importantly, we need to remember who Bezalel’s ancestor was, of which tribe he was. He was of the tribe of Judah, the one of whom Leah declared, “this time I will praise the Lord”; and the line of whom the Savior of the world, Jesus, would eventually be born. Jesus is called the Lion of Judah, which declares His power as well as His lineage. As we remember and understand the Trinity, we realize that Bezalel was called by God to build a “family home” for Jesus by way of the Tabernacle.
Next, we see that he was filled by the Spirit of God which gave him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of work. Obviously, there were talented people among the Israelites. And those talented people had wrongly used that talent to build a golden calf. This was idolatry and obviously not inspired by the creative Spirit of God. Bezalel must have stayed out of the mix of that debacle or he would not have been selected to lead the work of the Tabernacle.
Talent alone was not the requirement for this great work. Talent and anointing by the Spirit of God was what was needed, and this is what Bezalel had been given. Why was it so important that Bezalel not rely solely on his talent? The answer is found in going back to the creation of everything.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.[a] 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
In the very beginning, the Spirit of God was there, hovering over what was to become the greatest creation. And in today’s reading we find once again that the Spirit of God was hovering over Bezalel, preparing him to create a mobile home for the presence of God. The Spirit of God prepared him by giving him wisdom and enhancing his ability and expertise—all for God’s glory and not his own.
Each of us have been given talents. Each of us are gifted in different ways. And we have a choice to make about what we have been given. We can use our talents for worldly endeavors which may lead to destructive things, like the builders of the golden calf, or we can offer our talents back the One who gave them to us and let the Holy Spirit have His way with us, all for the glory of God.
How do we do this? We dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Today, read Psalm 91 as a prepare of dedication. Pray for this protection of His shadow for you and your family, that each may use the God-given talents for the glory of the Giver and the further of His Kingdom.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”