This past week I have been reading through the last few chapters of Exodus and have been reminded of the detailed instructions given by God for the Tabernacle. As I have read it (or in fact listened to it as I have driven along), I have seen God’s creativity when applied to how He chose to be worshipped by His people. From the weave of the fabric used in the priest’s tunic to the fashioning of the implements used for worship, God outlined how He was to be praised and glorified as He dwelt with His people in the Tabernacle.
God however didn’t just provide some highly detailed Ikea-like construction plans alongside the materials, God equipped artisans to serve Him. In Exodus 31: 1-11 we read:
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. 6 And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, 8 the table and its utensils, and the pure lamp stand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, 9 and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, 10 and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”
Here, we read of the Holy Spirit coming upon Bezalel to equip him “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…” God then raises up Oholiab to help Bezalel and gives ability to “all able men” to make what God required.
God gives Bezalel the skills to create and then the ‘intelligence’ and freedom to use these skills to come up with designs. In this, God shows His delight in beauty and craftsmanship and also I believe allows Bezalel to delight in using his God-given gifts to glorify God. For Bezalel, the Holy Spirit equips Him with artistic prowess and design capabilities to be used for God’s glory.
What delights you? What takes your time and energy? Are you using this to glorify God? Like Bezalel, God has equipped us with abilities and intelligence in different forms ultimately to bring Him glory. Unlike Bezalel, the Holy Spirit doesn’t need to come upon us, at conversion, the Holy Spirit is in us.
God uses whatever means He desires to bring glory to Himself because as a Holy God it is what He requires. He has designed our personalities and His Holy Spirit refines us in order for us to bring Him greater glory. Like the Psalmist in Psalm 90:17, may our life’s prayer be “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” not for our success but for God’s glory. As we find things that delight us, may we ensure that they delight God through our hearts and hands being in submission to God, being used for His glory.