October 2, 2014

Bezalel (Heroes of the Faith)

Today I’m thrilled to have Kimberly Pina sharing about one of her favorite heroes of the faith, a lesser-known Bible character named Bezalel. To be honest, when she first mentioned his name, it sounded familiar — but I had no idea who he was or what he had done. So I asked if she would share, and I’m so glad she did. I hope this article encourages and ministers to you, as it did to me. Thanks so much, Kim, for sharing!

Bezalel: Building in the Shadow of God

The wilderness. This barren and uninhabited land is mentioned about 280 times in the Bible. It’s where we read about how the Lord interacted with well-known Biblical heroes in a lonely place – Moses and the Israelites, David, Elijah, John the Baptist and our Savior Jesus Christ.

Yet, in the wilderness is where a lesser known Biblical hero was called by God to do an amazing work. Found in the book of Exodus, Bezalel (pronounced Betsal–el) was the man the Lord selected to bring Him glory by constructing the sacred tabernacle (Exodus 31-40). God wanted to meet with His people in a special dwelling place (Exodus 25:8). Precise plans were given to Moses for the tabernacle’s construction and a specific builder was chosen:

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship.”
Exodus 31:1-5 (NASB)

Serving as lead constructor, Bezalel, with other skilled craftsmen, followed meticulous details to build the moveable tent of meeting including the ark of the covenant, mercy seat, altar and other necessary components.***

The Tabernacle, God's Special Dwelling Place

 Yet, the Lord didn’t leave Bezalel on his own — God filled him with wisdom and skill to complete the work. And God used this ancient hero for His glory. As believers in Christ, we aren’t much different.

God called Bezalel and He calls us.

The Lord said, “See, I have called by name Bezalel.” In Hebrew, Bezalel means “in the shadow or protection of God.”  What a powerful name describing Bezalel’s task – building the tabernacle in the shadow of God. This wasn’t a job Bezalel volunteered for – God chose him to do this work and he was being protected by El, the One true God. And God calls us as well. He called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9), giving us forgiveness of sins through His Son so we could do good works for Him (Ephesians 2:10). As we do the work He has called us to with Him as our guide, we like Bezalel are working under His protection and in His shadow. The Lord will help us fulfill the work He has given us and we can trust Him with the results (1 Corinthians 3:7-9).

God filled Bezalel and He fills us.

The Lord said, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship.” An empty vessel, Bezalel was filled with the Spirit of God so he would first have wisdom, understanding and knowledge, as well as skills needed to construct the tabernacle. Rather than using the wisdom and skill from God for his own benefit, Bezalel was led by the Spirit to work according to God’s plans. This is wisdom – obeying the Lord and His commands rather than following our own way. The Lord fills us with His Holy Spirit upon conversion (Ephesians 1:13-14) so we will have Biblical wisdom and understanding, and also with specific gifts to serve Him and build His church (Ephesians 4:11-12). We live our lives and do God’s work walking by the Spirit rather than following our fleshly desires (Galatians 5:16). The Spirit brings God’s Word to our minds so we can walk wisely in our homes, workplaces, churches and communities.

God used Bezalel and He uses us.

“Now Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord had commanded Moses” (Exodus 38:22). Bezalel remained committed to God’s work, relied on the Lord’s strength and completed the tabernacle (Exodus 40:17). And the result? God’s glory dwelt among His people. “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34). God used Bezalel to build His dwelling place, used for meeting with His people and to atone for their sin. While the physical tabernacle exists no longer, believers in Christ are now the tabernacle of the Lord where He dwells for His glory (2 Corinthians 6:16). Jesus, our Master Builder, strengthens and equips us to build His church and fellow believers, to build homes for Christ and to build legacies that will honor His name (1 Peter 4:11). All for His glory.

An obscure hero submitted to the Lord, Bezalel honored God with his work that served a significant purpose. Let’s do the same and build our homes for the Lord’s glory (Proverbs 14:1).

***Suggested resources for further study on the Tabernacle: Tabernacle pamphletTabernacle Workbook (for adults & children); Seeing Christ in the Tabernacle

Kimberly Pina

Bio: A wife, mom and journalist from Texas, I strive to live my life for Jesus Christ as a result of being called out of darkness into the Lord’s marvelous light. Reading, writing, baking, homeschooling, continuously cleaning and spending time with my husband and two (soon to be three!) children are some of my frequent pastimes. When time allows, you can find me blogging at Fancied Freedom.

 

Image used with permission from Tim Challies

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