Bezalel and Oholiab

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In this message we will be getting to know Bezalel and Oholiab who the Bible mentions in Exodus 31, 35 and 36 as the two artists chiefly responsible for creating the tabernacle, its decorations, the ark of the covenant and the garments worn by the priests. In Exodus 31 we are told that God “called them by name,” and that they were “[filled] with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship.” Exodus 35 tells us that they were “inspired to teach” and that God “filled them with skill.” Chapter 36 speaks to their motivation saying that their hearts stirred them up to come do the work.

Human beings are creative because we are made in the image of a creator God. We create because we are created. It was through an act of divine creation that this world was brought into being in all of its raw beauty and all of its usefulness. It was also through an act of divine creation that we were made new in Christ (Ephesians 2:10). Our God is the creator of the quiet woods, the foggy swamp, the pounding surf, the purple twilight. He is the God who gave fresh cut grass its smell. He is the author of all the flavors and the composer of all the sounds. He is the God of a cool breeze on a hot day, and a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning. He is the one who gave us laughter and friendship. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He is the Creator, and we who make up the church, His special people, have been called into relationship with Him that we might share in His creative nature by producing and creating in a way that is beautiful and useful and helpful to others. That same creative genius who spoke the world into being is today doing a creative work in and through the church. Bezalel and Oholiab are early examples of this truth, and by studying what the Bible tells us about them my hope is that God would inspire some in our own midst to use their God-given talents and abilities to create beautiful things unto the glory of God.