Exodus 35:30-36:7 The gift of the Spirit glorifies God
Exodus 35:30-36:7 The gift of the Spirit glorifies God
Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet material, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.
“Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom the LORD has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.” Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it. They received from Moses all the contributions which the sons of Israel had brought to perform the work in the construction of the sanctuary. And they still continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. And all the skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing, and they said to Moses, “The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform.” So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.
After Moses requested for contributions towards the building of the tabernacle, the people responded with overwhelming gratitude and generosity. And God gave Bezalel and Oholiab spiritual gifts so that they could craft and assemble the tabernacle. The tabernacle became God’s dwelling place through which He projected His glory to the world. Spiritual gift is an indispensable component to the building up of the body of Christ. In so doing, the church may be God’s dwelling place and project His glory to the world. That said, many stagnate and could not grow in spiritual gifts because they are not humble and their focus is wrong. Today’s devotion teaches us: The gift of the Spirit glorifies God.
Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship.
After the precious materials had come in, skills were needed to craft and assemble them. Here, God supplied His Spirit to equip Bezalel and Oholiab with wisdom, understanding and knowledge in all craftsmanship. Such craftsmanship came down from the tabernacle of heaven, and is not derived from man’s natural abilities.
He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
Bezalel and Oholiab, having acquired directly from God the Spirit of wisdom, understanding and knowledge proceeded to teach others. Unlike the usual process of observation and emulation, this process is in its core spiritual in nature. As the people under the mentorship of Bezalel and Oholiab, God took some of the Spirit that is in the two men and imparted it into them. This worked the same way when God called the seventy elders to share in the Spirit that Moses possessed (see Numbers 11:16-30).
So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.
The responses from the people towards the building of the tabernacle were heartening. Indeed, there was a great change in the people’s attitude towards God, a marked difference from the episode of the golden calf. The people’s love for God was reflected in the way they contributed towards the tabernacle. For they gave liberally and with true gratitude.
A thankful people is a gifted and blessed people
The people’s response to Moses’s invitation to contribute displayed their overwhelming gratitude towards God. Their positive attitude and acts of giving resulted in the impartation of spiritual gifts. Indeed, thankfulness moves God to pour out His Spirit on us. The full blessing of God is withheld until people learn to give thanks for what they already have. Indeed, the people gave even though they were in the wilderness. In the case of the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus, only one returned to give thanks and receive the full blessing of God (see Luke 17:11-19). The rest of the nine received healing for their diseases but missed out on God’s full blessing. Today, many came to God desiring for more even though they were not in lack. They were never contented with what they already possessed. Even though they gave, they do so with the expectation of receiving more. Such will never experience the full blessing of God. God endows with spiritual gifts and blessing to a people who serve and give without expecting anything in return.
Spiritual gifts bring blessings
Spiritual gifts and blessings are inseparable. In fact, spiritual gift is the seed of all blessings. When God blesses a people, He begins by imparting spiritual gifts to a few who will in turn teach the rest. Spiritual gifts comprises three categories:
The gifts of virtues
- The gift of tongues
- The gift of interpretation of tongues
- The gift of faith
The gifts of wisdom
- The gift of the word knowledge
- The gift of the word of wisdom
- The gift of discerning of spirits
The gifts of power
- The gift of working miracles
- The gift of healing
- The gift of prophecy
By acquiring the above spiritual gifts, God’s people will acquire the necessary virtues to overcome tribulations. They will know God’s mind and acquire the wisdom to solve complex problems. They will also exercise divine authority to destroy the devil and his work.
The gift of the Spirit glorifies God
Manifestations of spiritual gifts accentuate God’s glory in the world and draw all men to Him. The Israelites used spiritual gifts to craft and assemble the tabernacle which is the dwelling place of God. As a result, God’s glory was clearly visible to the nations as a cloud over the tabernacle by day and a pillar of fire by night. And the nations came to recognise the Lord as God.
In a fuller sense, the tabernacle represents the body of believers. And spiritual gifts are given for the purpose of building up the body of Christ to reflect God’s glory. Paul instructed the church in the course of loving one another to earnestly desire spiritual gifts for this purpose (see 1 Corinthians 14:1). That said, the quickest way to acquire spiritual gifts is to be discipled by a man or woman of God. Jesus imparted spiritual gifts to 12 of His disciples and then subsequently to 70 (see Luke 9, 10). It is regrettable that many are steep in religion having no power over diseases or the devil.
That said, many who exercises the spiritual gift stagnate in their use of it. For example, those who exercise the healing gift often experience uneven degrees of effectiveness depending on the severity of the disease or the type of it. They quickly conclude that their gift is limited to healing heart diseases and are powerless against other diseases like cancer. Such likened themselves to a doctor who specialises in one branch of medicine and not in another. Is God Creator of the heart only? Or is He Creator of the whole body? Therefore, God must be glorified not only through the healing of the heart, but the whole body! More than often, because of the lack of faith, God cannot receive the glory due Him.
Believers must humble themselves to seek God’s face, not His gifts
Therefore, the issue lies not in the spiritual gift per se but the person who exercises the gift. One who focuses on acquiring spiritual gifts will most certainly stagnate. But the one who seek God’s face through communion will receive all spiritual wisdom and power to glorify Him. In other words, not only will such a one heal all kinds of diseases, he will also operate in all the gifts of the Spirit. Moses sought to know God and see His face. As a result, Moses was given the tablets of the Law (divine wisdom) on one hand. On the other hand, he held the staff that wielded great power. And from his face he projected the very glory of God. Why did Moses possess divine wisdom, power and glory? Because he is humble so much so the Old Testament author describes him as the most humble man on the earth (see Numbers 12:3). Many in established churches could not operate in divine wisdom and power because they often think of themselves as right, as better than others. They hold onto their convictions while tearing down the testimonies of those who operate in ways they could not understand.
What have you done so far to acquire spiritual gifts? Are you preoccupied with the trappings of Christianity? Or are you seeking to see God’s glory and to be like Him?
Be proactive in seeking to see God’s face and to acquire spiritual gifts. Humble yourself and be discipled by gifted men/women of God. Establish a process with your disciple maker/Pastor how discipleship can be carried out. In so doing, you may commune with God and acquire spiritual gifts to glorify God in the community.
Dear Lord, I humble myself to seek your face. Reveal to me your name and your glory. Help me to hear you, to see you and to feel your presence so that I may commune with you clearly and deeply. Grant me wisdom, power and spiritual gifts so that I may glorify you among the people. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.