Exodus 36

Gifted by God

“Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other craftsmen whom the LORD has gifted with wisdom, skill, and intelligence will construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the LORD has commanded. Exodus 36:1 NLT

God designed the Tabernacle, but men were going to build it. This was a partnership. God’s design. Man’s ability. But God would even equip them with the skills, talents, wisdom, and intelligence to accomplish the task set before them. Not only that, He would instill in them a desire to give all the materials needed for the structure to be completed. In fact, they gave so much that they had to be asked to STOP giving. “So Moses gave the command, and this message was sent throughout the camp: ‘Bring no more materials! You have already given more than enough.’ So the people stopped bringing their offerings” (Exodus 36:6 NLT). These people had been moved by God to give to the project … “everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments” (Exodus 35:21 NIV). This entire project was God’s idea, but He chose to use men and women to accomplish it. He gifted the, guided them, and prompted them to give of their talents and treasures in order that His plan could be accomplished. Even the materials they gave were a gift from God. When they had fled from Egypt, God had prompted the Egyptians to shower the people with treasures. “And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed and asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold. The LORD caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So, like a victorious army, they plundered the Egyptians!” (Exodus 12:35-36 NLT). So even what they gave to complete the Tabernacle had been given to them by God. Their talents and abilities were gifts from God. Their treasures were gifts from God. The plans for the Tabernacle were a gift from God. This was a God-inspired, God-provided venture from start to finish.

But what is amazing is that God bothered to use them at all. He could have done it all Himself. He didn’t NEED their help. They needed His. And if the truth be told, He didn’t really need a place for His presence to dwell. “This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you ever build me a temple as good as that? Could you build a dwelling place for me?” (Isaiah 66:1 NLT). God didn’t need a dwelling place. This was all about Him giving a lesson to the people of God. Every detail of the plans for the Tabernacle are a lesson on God and His holiness. The gold and precious jewels all speak of His infinite value. The layout of the Tabernacle speaks volumes about His holiness and unapproachability. His detailed instructions speak of His expectation that His people obey His Word to the smallest detail. This place was going to be a constant, daily reminder of His presence, power, and provision.

And God is still giving us lessons today. He is still equipping, empowering, gifting, and directing His people today. He is still using people like you and me today. Not because He has to, but because it is how He teaches us about Him. He is accomplishing great things and He chooses to include us in His plans. He wants to reveal Himself to us as we work alongside Him. He could do all that He does without us, but He doesn’t. We have the opportunity to give, work, and watch as God uses His people to accomplish His will in the world around us. And as we watch we are reminded of His power. We see His handiwork. He gets the glory and we get reminded of just who it is we worship. The Almighty God of the universe. The creator of all things. The holy, righteous, all-powerful God.

Father, it always amazes me that You use me in any way. You have gifted me and You have equipped me to serve You. And I am surrounded by people whom You have done the same thing for. You want to accomplish great things through us as You work in us. May we be as faithful to give and serve as the people of Israel were. Show us what You are getting ready to build in our day. Not buildings, but Your kingdom. May we be willing servants for You. Amen.

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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