Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: God's Sustainment Of Israel In The Wilderness Wanderings Amid Humanly Hopeless Trials
M. God's Establishment Of The Tabernacle Of Meeting
16. The Builders: God's Provision Of Skilled Parties To Do His Work
(Exodus 31:1-11)
  1. Introduction
    1. When God directs His people to achieve a certain objective, He equips them to do it well, Eph. 4:7-16.
    2. In God's directive to Moses on constructing the tabernacle, significant practical obstacles existed toward completing the project as we will later view in section "II,A" below.
    3. Accordingly, God supernaturally equipped certain men so these obstacles could be overcome to His glory:
  2. The Builders: God's Provision Of Skilled Parties To Do His Work, Exodus 31:1-11.
    1. In the logistical realm, great obstacles existed toward achieving the construction of the tabernacle:
      1. God had directed the tabernacle to be built from a wide variety of materials, Exodus 25:3-9.
      2. It was also to be built after the exact pattern God had shown Moses on the mount, Exodus 25:9, 40.
      3. As well educated as Moses would have been in Pharaoh's court to know how to build the structure, he was too busy judging Israel (cf. Exodus 18:1-27) to have constructed the tabernacle all himself.
      4. Yet, Moses could not just assign the work to others, for Israel had just come out of slavery, making for a vacuum of skilled men to do the work, Ex. 3:7-8; Zond. Pict. Ency. of the Bible, v. One, p. 554.
    2. Hence, God gifted one man under Moses to be highly, comprehensively skilled, and supplied him a less-gifted helper who would help him lead others to produce a quality tabernacle, Exodus 31:1-11:
      1. God explained to Moses that, to meet the logistical needs involved, Moses would observe that God had called and filled one man, Bezalel of the tribe of Judah, with "ability, intelligence, knowledge and all craftsmanship" to oversee all of the workmanship needed to construct the tabernacle, Ex. 31:1-5 ESV:
        1. Since Moses who had seen the pattern to follow needed to communicate that plan to the man who would oversee the tabernacle construction, and yet as there was a lack of skilled artisans in Israel, God had one man gifted with many gifts himself to be accountable to Moses to copy the pattern.
        2. The gifting given to Bezalel was that of the Holy Spirit, Exodus 31:3a, the same Person who gifts believers today with spiritual gifts to produce adequate ministries in the Church, 1 Cor. 12:3-6.
        3. Now, Bezalel also needed to be comprehensively skilled in all of the needed crafts to direct all the workers so the construction effort would proceed efficiently and produce a good product, 31:3-5!
      2. Conversely, for one man like Bezalel to head up so many diverse projects such as "metallurgy, casting, engraving, jewelry making, and wood carving (Exod. 31:3-5 and 36:1)," he needed a helpful assistant to direct and teach the many other artisans who were needed to build the tabernacle (Ibid.); thus, God gifted an assistant with less skill than Bezalel, a man named Aholiab, to help Bezalel in this work so that Bezalel could devote the bulk of his time to oversee the construction, Exodus 31:6. [The pronoun, "I" in verse 6 is written separate from the verb, "have given," indicating God was saying, "And behold! I Myself have given to him (Bezalel) Aholiab . . ." to show God sovereignly set up the chain-of-command! (Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 127)
      3. For unity in the effort, God chose the lead man, Bezalel, to be from the tribe of Judah, and his helper, Aholiab to be from Dan: the first descended from the sons of Jacob's unloved wife, Leah and his helper descended from Bilhah, maid to Jacob's favored but ba rren wife, Rachel, Ex. 31:2, 6; Gen. 29:31-30:6.
      4. God also equipped many other men under Bezalel and Aholiab with the skill needed to work with the different materials involved, a division of labor that equipped the job to be done well, Exodus 31:6b.
      5. Thus, those involved would heed first Moses who in turn told Bezalel about the pattern, and he in turn would lead Aholiab and they two would teach the other men how to build the tabernacle, Ex. 31:11b.
Lesson: To meet the varied needs involved, God gifted men to lead and teach in building the tabernacle.

Application: (1) May we TRUST God's SOVEREIGN oversight to equip and reveal who He wants to fulfill His ministry plan, and how so. (2) May we USE the gifts God gives US to do His assignment, trusting His gifting and assigning of US to be what is the very BEST POSSIBLE route in His plan!