This week is Number 6 in our “Small Matters” Sermon Series. For the past 5 weeks, we have focused on characters in the Bible who had a very small footprint, but gave us some very important lessons! Last week, our “Small Matters” character was a young servant girl, Rhoda who inspired us with her faith and belief in a God who most certainly answers all our prayers!
This week’s “Small Matters” character is a man named Bezalel! Bezalel is especially significant because of the powerful reference of God’s empowerment by the Holy Spirit for specific skill to complete the necessary tasks at hand. In fact this is one of the earliest references to being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Bezaleel joins the ranks of our “Small Matters” lineup because his contribution to the history of God’s people is principally because of a physical talent – as a skilled craftsman! Often and mistakenly so, we might assume that being filled with the Holy Spirit would most certainly result in a magnificent sermon, or spiritual poetry or profound prose. Bezaleel’s skills, accentuated by the Spirit of God, gives him an important place in Biblical history.
Let’s take a look!
Exodus 31:1-11: 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! 6 “And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make:
7 the Tabernacle;[a]
the Ark of the Covenant;[b]
the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement;
all the furnishings of the Tabernacle;
8 the table and its utensils;
the pure gold lampstand with all its accessories;
the incense altar;
9 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils;
the washbasin with its stand;
10 the beautifully stitched garments—the sacred garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests;
11 the anointing oil; the fragrant incense for the Holy Place.
The craftsmen must make everything as I have commanded you.”
Look at the lineup of what these skilled craftsmen were tasked to make! Their incredible contribution certainly challenges our tendency to think that only those up front and/or in leadership positions are the most important. Without fulfilling God’s specific commands on how to construct all of the parts of temple and it’s furnishings, the rest of his commands concerning the usage of the temple would have been unnecessary.
You have all been given gifts by God – you, like Bezalel have been chosen! Chosen to use your gifts for God and the building of His Kingdom. Are you ready, willing and able to allow the Holy Spirit to use your gifts for God’s use?
Let’s look at Paul’s take on each person being used and necessary in the King of God!
I Corinthians 12:12-26:
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? 18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
Three important traits mark Bezalel and these traits are also present in us!
1. In our earlier text we read of Bezalel’s incredibly skill as a craftsman. Let’s read Exodus 35:31-35 - The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. 32 He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. 33 He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft. 34 And the Lord has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others. 35 The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers. No matter your talent, it’s been given to you by God!
2. Trait #2, He had the ability to teach others his skills. The important thing is that you can also use your gift(s) to teach and inspire others (vs. 34). Will you
3. He had a great attitude and was eager and willing to use his gifts! Exodus 36:1-2 “The Lord has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded.” So Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and all the others who were specially gifted by the Lord and were eager to get to work. He was eager to get to work! He had the right attitude – and because it was not about him and all about God – it showed – in an eagerness to get to work!
Challenge for us today!
1. How about you? Do recognize that you have skills the Lord can use? What are some of them? He’s given us all skills, abilities, talents and gifts.
2. Are you willing to share your gifts with others?
3. How’s your attitude about giving time to God to be a part of His team? Are you “eager” to use your gifts for God?
When you discover your talents God has given you, you will experience a fullness in Christ like never before. Why? Let’s look at Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
You are God’s Masterpiece!!!! Just like Bezaleel! God wants you to be a Bezaleel!
Give Him your whole life and see what happens! Get ready to be used!
Give Him what you are able to give - what He's given you!
From a sermon by Rev. Dr. Marc Axelrod, Pastor, Peace Evangelical and Reformed Church, Potter, Wisconsin: There’s a great story about a California lady named Francis Green. She was 83 years old. She lived on Social Security. She had little money, but for eight years she’d been sending one dollar a year to the Republican National Convention. Then one day Frances got an RNC fund-raising letter in the mail inviting her to the White House to meet President Reagan. She never noticed the little RSVP card that suggested a positive reply needed to be accompanied by a generous donation. She thought she'd been invited because they appreciated her dollar-a year support. She took a train and rode for four days across the country in coach seating to meet the President. But when she got to the White House gate, her name was not on the list. She was heartbroken. But a Ford Motor Company executive was nearby. He talked to the guard. He spoke with a White House Presidential aide. And he said to Francis Green, "Come back here tomorrow at 9 a.m." The next day was anything but calm and easy at the White House. Ed Meese had just resigned. There had been a military uprising abroad. Reagan was in and out of high-level secret sessions. But Frances Green showed up at nine o'clock, full of expectation and enthusiasm. The executive met her, gave her a wonderful tour of the White House, then quietly led her by the Oval Office, thinking maybe, at best, she might get a quick glimpse of the president on her way out. Members of the National Security Council came out. High-ranking generals were coming and going. In the midst of all the hubbub, President Reagan glanced out and saw Frances Green. With a smile, he gestured her into his office. As she entered, he rose from his desk and called out, "Frances! Those lousy computers, they messed up again! If I'd known you were coming I would have come out there to get you myself." He then invited her to sit down, and they talked leisurely about California, her town, her life and family. The president of the United States gave Frances Green a lot of time that day- more time than he had. He knew this woman had nothing to give him, but she needed something he could give her. And so the Ford executive and the President took time to be kind and compassionate.
The President of the Universe wants to do the same thing for you! He has time for that, and He has time for you!
Give Him your gifts and your talents, not matter how small you think they might be, talk to Him about anything that's on your mind, and He will listen and respond in His sovereign timing – and… he will use your gifts for His glory – but you must willingly give!