God’s gift for the working man!
Exodus 35:31-35 CEB
The Lord has filled him with the divine spirit that will give him skill, ability, and knowledge for every kind of work. He will be able to create designs, do metalwork in gold, silver, and copper, cut stones for setting, carve wood, do every kind of creative work, and have the ability to teach others. Both he and Oholiab, Ahisamach’s son from the tribe of Dan, have been given the skill to do every kind of work done by a gem cutter or a designer or a needleworker in blue, purple, and deep red yarns and in fine linen or a weaver or anyone else doing work or creating designs.
Sometimes we get the idea that God only gives gifts that are spiritual in nature. Such as teaching, preaching, singing, etc… However, this is far from truth, in fact, some of the gifts that God first gave to mankind had ‘real world’ applications well beyond church.
The passage of Scripture just above refers to two men and the group that they led. The one speaking is Moses and he is addressing the entire nation of Israel. They are on the cusp of building God’s Tabernacle and everyone is taking account as to what items have been donated, the gold, silver, and jewelry, and also who has certain capabilities. These two men are called out by Moses because they had special abilities in woodworking, metalwork, sculpting, stone cutting, gem work, and practically anything else you could do with your hands. These men were the renaissance men of their day, they could do it all, and they could teach others as well.
What’s interesting about this is that this passage doesn’t say that God ‘just now’ gave them these gifts, but that he had (past tense) given them these gifts. Which means that for years they had been honing and practicing their craft and now God was giving them an opportunity to use their skill in the building of his holy Tabernacle. This was an honor that no one else in all of Israel shared except these two men.
This teaches us a couple of things: First, God has given all sorts of working gifts, and they are far from limited to a ‘spiritual’ setting. Don’t ever say, ‘I’m just a welder…carpenter…electrician…plumber’ God gave you those skills, use them, expand them, and teach them to others. God is honored by this!
Second, God gives each of us special opportunities when we are willing to use our gifts diligently and sometimes in obscurity. He loves to take the faithful workers and bring them to the forefront for everyone to celebrate. So, prepare for your moment, watch for it, and when God calls, jump on it!
Join me this Sunday as I talk about the benefits of working hard!