May 16, 2019

Work It Like Bezalel!

Exodus 37

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Making the Ark

Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. Two cubits1 and a half was its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. And he overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside, and made a molding of gold around it. And he cast for it four rings of gold for its four feet, two rings on its one side and two rings on its other side. And he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold and put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark. And he made a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half was its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. And he made two cherubim of gold. He made them of hammered work on the two ends of the mercy seat, one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat he made the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat were the faces of the cherubim.

Making the Table

10 He also made the table of acacia wood. Two cubits was its length, a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. 11 And he overlaid it with pure gold, and made a molding of gold around it. 12 And he made a rim around it a handbreadth2 wide, and made a molding of gold around the rim. 13 He cast for it four rings of gold and fastened the rings to the four corners at its four legs. 14 Close to the frame were the rings, as holders for the poles to carry the table. 15 He made the poles of acacia wood to carry the table, and overlaid them with gold. 16 And he made the vessels of pure gold that were to be on the table, its plates and dishes for incense, and its bowls and flagons with which to pour drink offerings.

Making the Lampstand

17 He also made the lampstand of pure gold. He made the lampstand of hammered work. Its base, its stem, its cups, its calyxes, and its flowers were of one piece with it. 18 And there were six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; 19 three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. 20 And on the lampstand itself were four cups made like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and flowers, 21 and a calyx of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out of it. 22 Their calyxes and their branches were of one piece with it. The whole of it was a single piece of hammered work of pure gold. 23 And he made its seven lamps and its tongs and its trays of pure gold. 24 He made it and all its utensils out of a talent3 of pure gold.

Making the Altar of Incense

25 He made the altar of incense of acacia wood. Its length was a cubit, and its breadth was a cubit. It was square, and two cubits was its height. Its horns were of one piece with it. 26 He overlaid it with pure gold, its top and around its sides and its horns. And he made a molding of gold around it, 27 and made two rings of gold on it under its molding, on two opposite sides of it, as holders for the poles with which to carry it. 28 And he made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold.

29 He made the holy anointing oil also, and the pure fragrant incense, blended as by the perfumer.

Footnotes

[1] 37:1 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[2] 37:12 A handbreadth was about 3 inches or 7.5 centimeters
[3] 37:24 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms

Work It Like Bezalel!



Key Verse | Exodus 37:1a, 10a, 17a, 25a, 29

Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. . . . He also made the table of acacia wood. . . . He also made the lampstand of pure gold. . . . He made the altar of incense of acacia wood. . . . He made the holy anointing oil also, and the pure fragrant incense, blended as by the perfumer.

 

Bio | Nicole Sims

Hello! My name is Nicole Sims. I am blessed to be married to Chris Sims.

My job description used to be focused on patent litigation as an attorney, but God shifted my focus to primarily caring daily for our four gifts from God, ages 12 to 2. It involves a lot more driving, teaching, and laughing these days! My job description also includes serving as a teacher in the Watermark Flight School, the Bible study for preschoolers whose mothers are attending the Wednesday Morning Women's Bible Study.

Happy birthday, Mom!

Central Truth

Just as Bezalel is remembered for using his talents to serve God, God has given each of us a job to do using our talents for His glory. As the missionary C. T. Studd has famously declared: 

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Devotional | Exodus 37

Wanted: A skilled craftsman of acacia wood, gold, anointing oil, and incense. Exact compliance to detailed instructions is imperative.

That is Bezalel's job description. In this chapter, he implements...

Wanted: A skilled craftsman of acacia wood, gold, anointing oil, and incense. Exact compliance to detailed instructions is imperative.

That is Bezalel's job description. In this chapter, he implements God's plan to make important items for the temple, including the Ark of the Covenant. He is not a priest or a king, but instead he is remembered in the Bible as a skilled craftsman whom the Lord entrusted with this important job.

Bezalel's work was of extreme value and importance. What made him successful? He knew his boss. Proverbs 22:29 says, "Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men." Bezalel stood before the Lord.

Even though his job description sounds a lot different than ours, we have a lot in common with Bezalel.

First, we have the same boss. "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men . . . . You are serving the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23-24) Are you caring for your family by changing diapers, driving carpool, or folding laundry? Are you a lawyer, doctor, engineer, teacher, mechanic, accountant, or bus driver? Are you serving your church family in the parking lot, classroom, or community? Be skilled at whatever you do and serve with excellence, because you stand before the King and your work has value and importance. 

Second, the Lord gives us each work to do. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Bezalel was created to glorify God through his work on the tabernacle items. We each have good works prepared for us that will glorify God if we walk in them.

Third, we can make a lasting legacy. The magnificent items Bezalel made are gone, but his good work is remembered. Even less lasting are the physical things that we make today. But God sees when we serve Him (Hebrews 6:10). Work done for the Lord is noticed by God Himself.

Let's get to work!

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Discussion Questions

1. What is a specific talent the Lord has given you to use for His glory?

2. Does the way you work show that you are working for the Lord?

3. Do you believe that the Lord sees your work and the love that you show? 

4. How would you describe your job description for today?

10 Comments available

Yolanda Escobar 4 days ago

It is great to see the perfect way for God to work in the human being, and the perfect plan for his glory. I see in every detail how the exact person Bezalel is used, trive from Juda the same genealogy and pointing to Jesus. The materials used as acacia wood is one of the most difficult to work on it in the way that many times as human beings we are difficult. And the most valuable gold of precious stones as it reflects the deity and purity of God. thank you for such a beautiful teaching

Jay Caruso 6 days ago

Thank you Nicole. Being home taking care of the home husband and children is a very rewarding job as I have had to privilege to watch my wife take care of our home with the love of Christ and I am very Thankful. These words mean a lot You are serving the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:23-24) Are you caring for your family by changing diapers, driving carpool, or folding laundry? Are you a lawyer, doctor, engineer, teacher, mechanic, accountant, or bus driver? Are you serving your church family in the parking lot, classroom, or community? Be skilled at whatever you do and serve with excellence, Thanks again for your devo

Sue Bohlin 10 days ago

Thanks so much, Nicole, especially the Proverbs reference. This was the third time we read about God’s instruction for building and creating the artifacts for worship, and the word (and idea of) “skilled” keeps popping up.

So I’ve been thinking about what that means. Skills are not dropped from heaven into our heads and muscles. God provides the ability to grow and develop our skills, but we have to do the work to sharpen them. That looks like a lot of practice. It looks like doing a lot of seemingly mundane things we don’t necessarily want to do. But it’s how we get better and skilled, whether it’s hammering gold, or doing hand-lettering (my jam), or becoming educated and developing the ability to think critically. (This is on my mind as I’ve been recording grades for the high school science classes my husband teaches at Richardson Home School Association.)

Michael Scaman 10 days ago

Here’s how to make it (earlier chapters). Now make it.

God’s blueprint in earlier chapters started with the ark and went on to the rest of the tabernacle. Doing the work of building the tabernacle now begins not with the ark but with the curtains and tent which will house the holiest things, gotta cover them up when done.

First curtains, then the ark, table, altar of incense and lamp stand are described as being made. There will be a total of 14 images of cherubim one way or the other. There will be Eden like plant images various places.

( I think when Luke describes Zechariah’s experience seeing the angel in the Holy Place standing ‘to the right’ of the ‘altar of incense’ that sort of detail is consistent with eyewitness testimony )

greg jones 10 days ago

For many years I was heavy truck alignment mechanic. I worked for a company with an instantly recognizable name. Many times I would work on fleet trucks with instantly recognizable names on the doors. I often had to remind myself a company didn’t represent me I represented a company, I didn’t bill companies, I billed individuals who represented companies.

Many people say you don’t have to be a God follower to think and act that way. They’re probably right. My experience has been, of the constant reminders it took for me to keep that kind of thinking, being a God follower was the difference between it being a, ought to, or a, want to, way of thinking and living.

Rita Satagaj 10 days ago

Good morning Nicole! How wonderful that you have 4 little gifts from God AND teach littles so others may attend WBS. Loved your quote from C.T. Studd. I too see Colossians 3:23-24 in Bezalel long before his workings on the ark. You linked all this so beautifully to our every day lives. We too are to follow this pattern of working for the Lord. I pray that I seek the Lord in all that I do and do it to His glory.

Michael Scaman 10 days ago

On the table is a ‘flagon’ for the poured offering. Priests were not to drink strong drink, but here is a provision for a strong drink to be used as a ‘poured offering’ It is not poured on the altar of incense. It is poured on the burnt offering. A strong wine might represent Jesus blood poured out for us.

Paul speaks of his life being poured out on the offering of the gentiles faith to God in Philippians The poured offering can also represent the blood of the martyrs.

Lindsey Driscoll 10 days ago

Sweet Nicole, thank you for your devo and thank you for serving so many little humans in our church body by disciplining them! What incredible obedience Bezalel had to follow the Lords commands exactly as they were given to make the sacred objects for the tabernacle to worship the Lord. These items were made to the exact specifications given in to Moses which we read in Chapter 25. The Lord gives us specifications of his word to guide us in exactly how we should work and what we should do. He reminds us we are accountable to him Col 3:23, we can cast any anxiety on him 1 Peter 5:7, and through Proverbs ways to work wisely.

Hope Harris 10 days ago

Work and service are where we use our skills, talents and gifts to honor God.

John Piper says this about work: “God made men and women to use, not squander, the energy he gives us daily through food and rest, to accomplish his mission — the work — he gave us to do in the world. Work, then, we might say, is the exertion of energy, investment of time and attention, and application of skill toward the ends of God’s calling to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, as well as subdue it and have holy dominion. Such work is a central aspect of what it means to be human.”

Hugh Stephenson 10 days ago

What was Bezalel thinking as He did all this work; especially the mercy seat and cherubim? (Bezalel means “in the protection of God” (Strong’s).

He was a witness to recent events. He was not part of the horrific rebellion of the golden calf; Aaron made the calf, he did not. He knew the incredibly sacred objects that would go into the ark and that the Glory of God would be over it.

It’s hard for me to imagine the skill and diligence that was needed. I assume he knew God created him with this skill and for this purpose.

I also link to Colossians 3:23-24. Long before Paul wrote those words Bezalel know he was working for God and it was from Him that his gifts came and from whom he would receive his inheritance.

God calls me to work for Him as Bezalel does.

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