The LORD appointed Bezalel and Oholiab to work as master craftsmen on the tabernacle. He filled them with the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish this task.
Moses then reminded the Israelites of what the LORD stated to him on the mountain in Exodus 31:1 – 6. He told them to see, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. Moses stated that the LORD has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship. The word wisdom means “skill” or “the ability to excel.” The word for understanding emphasizes the ability to compare concepts and choose the best way to go. The word knowledge involves the accumulation of knowledge.
Bezalel was divinely enabled in all of these concepts. As such, he was able to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, plus he was highly skilled in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. The LORD gave unique skills in metal working and carving both stone and wood to make beautiful items for the tabernacle. Through the Holy Spirit’s filling, the LORD gave Bezalel the artistic ability to do everything necessary for the construction of the tabernacle.
In addition to giving him superior artistic ability, He also has put in his heart to teach, meaning the ability to communicate to others about how something needs to be done. The ability to teach was not mentioned in Exodus 31:1 – 6.
Bezalel was not the only one who was filled with the Spirit to construct and to teach—it was both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. These artisans were specially appointed by the LORD. Along with all of the other abilities the Spirit gave to Bezalel and Oholiab, 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. Thus, through the Spirit’s enablement, they were able to both do the work listed here (engraving, designing, embroidering, and weaving) as well as teach others how to do these types of work.
How wonderful it was that the LORD not only gave the requirements for building the tabernacle but also gave the workers a special enablement (the filling of the Holy Spirit) to do what He wanted them to do. In the Old Testament, the filling of the Holy Spirit was selective; God filled people with His Spirit to perform special tasks for Him, as in this chapter.
In the New Testament, all those who believe in Jesus are indwelt by the Spirit, who provides the power to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). Every New Testament believer is also given spiritual gifts so they can do the work He wants them to do (1 Corinthians 12 – 14; Romans 12:6 – 8; Ephesians 2:10, 4:11 – 16; I Pet. 4:11). New Testament believers are encouraged to meet together to sing, give thanks, and serve as a means of exposing themselves to being filled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:17-21). This would indicate that in the New Testament, being filled by the Spirit comes through both the action of God as well as fellowship with other believers—the inference being that this filling would provide supernatural wisdom to serve one another in love.
30 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. 31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; 32 to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, 33 and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. 34 He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 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.
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