(Excerpt from our book, Tales from Heritage Farm)
There are many famous and colorful characters mentioned in the Bible. Several of them are well-known even to small children. For example, there are Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Samson, King David, Queen Esther, and Simon Peter to name a few. In the Bible, God has recorded their stories as a written lesson for those who will come after them. They are intended to be an example for our learning.
So, who, you may ask, are Bezalel and Oholiab? They also are members of this elite group of characters whose lives are recorded in the Bible. Although their reputations have not become as well-known as the other aforementioned people, their lives, too, are patterns from which to learn. Let us examine their story and learn a lesson that God wants us to discover from them.
Their interesting, though unlauded, story is recorded in chapters 35-39 of the Book of Exodus in the Holy Bible. Now at face value, I will admit, it is not a narrative of intrigue, suspense or romance. However, upon close examinaton, the story that is printed there supplies the pondering reader with some intriguing truths to consider.
Along with Moses, the main characters in this story are Bezalel and Oholiab. They were excellent and successful craftsmen in their trades.
Moses was told by God to get skilled people engaged in constructing His dwelling place called the Tabernacle. Besides that, the artisans were to fashion the Ark of the Covenant and the funishings of the Tabernacle. The job included the making of tables, the altar, and the curtains, the metal and the needlework which were to be used in the Tabernacle. Because these furnishings were to be used solely in the worship of the Lord God, it was essential that the makers of such unique articles be superb in workmanship and in several artful skills including those of organization and management. Since their responsibilities were to build such holy, consecrated items, it was appropriate and necessary to employ the services of extremely talented individuals. Consequently, Moses chose Bezalel and Oholiab who were competent tor this undertaking.
The scripture indicates in Exodus 35:30-34 (RSV) that Bezalel was “called by God and filled with the Spirit of God with ablility, with intelligence, with knowledge and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic design, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft.” Of Oholiab and Bezalel, Exodus 35:35 (RSV) states that they were both “inspired to teach…filled…with ability to do every sort of work done by a craftman or by a designer or by an embroiderer…or by a weaver…” They knew how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary. The Lord made them able and had stirred their hearts to do the work (Exodus 36:1-2).
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