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Scripture reading – Exodus 31

We continue our study in Exodus and find Moses concluding his appointment with the LORD on Mount Sinai. He had received the design and dimensions of the Tabernacle, its various pieces of furniture to be constructed and used in Israel’s daily worship, and the description of the garments to be stitched and embroidered for the high priest.

The Tabernacle, its furniture, the holy place with the Ark of the Covenant, and the brass altar with its various implements were central to Israel’s worship and daily offerings. Because they were to be sanctified and dedicated to the LORD as holy, great care was taken in their manufacturing and the selection of the craftsmen. Two men were named who served as lead artisans in manufacturing the Tabernacle and its furnishings (31:1-11).

The Craftsmen Chosen to Serve the LORD (31:1-11)

After dictating the design and creation of the Tabernacle and its furnishings, the LORD ordained workers by name whom He chose to labor in producing them (31:1-6). First, there was “Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah” (31:2). He was a skilled artisan, and the LORD said, “I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (31:3-5).

A second craftsman, “Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan,” was appointed to assist Bezaleel (31:6). He was named among those “that are wise hearted” and in whom the LORD declared, “I have put wisdom, that they make all that I have commanded” (31:6).

An Inventory of Articles Required for the Tabernacle (31:7-11)

The LORD tasked Moses with employing craftsmen and artisans to make items used in worship and offering sacrifices (31:7-11).

The Sabbath Day and its Meaning (31:12-18)

The LORD commanded Moses to teach Israel to keep the Sabbath as “a sign between [Him] and [Israel]throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify [set apart] you” (31:13). Knowing the temptation to be zealous in the work He had given His chosen craftsmen, the LORD instructed Moses to remind them: “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death” (31:15). As a sign of His “perpetual covenant” with Israel, the people were commanded to “keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations” (31:16).

As promised, when the LORD’s communion with Moses on the mount was ended, He gave him “two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (31:18). Those tablets of stone represented God’s Covenant with Israel (31:18; 24:12).

Closing thoughts:

What spiritual lesson can we take from the LORD’s attention to choosing craftsmen to manufacture the Tabernacle, its furniture, and the garments He appointed for the high priest? (31:7-11)

Consider five qualities ascribed to Bezaleel that qualified him to serve the LORD as His master artisan (31:3).

First, he was a talented craftsman “in all manner of workmanship” (31:5). Secondly, he possessed spiritual qualities that made him supremely qualified to produce articles the LORD deemed holy and sanctified. Thirdly, Bezaleel was identified as a man filled “with the Spirit of God” (31:3) and thereby sensitive to His will and leading. Fourthly, he was numbered among men who were blessed “in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge” (31:3). Finally, he possessed not only the talents and aptitude for the task, but he was committed to obeying the LORD in His design,

Application – It has been said, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” That was especially true of the LORD. He knew the talents and skills of Bezaleel and Aholiab; however, their spiritual character made them supremely qualified to serve Him.

What about you? You may have valuable talents and skills and even be considered gifted. But, do you have a heart for the LORD? Are you filled and sensitive to His Spirit? That is the kind of man or woman God chooses to serve Him.

Lesson – God was interested in “getting the job done” and the character of those who served Him. (31:1-6)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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