Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. — Exodus 36:1
For more than a century, one of the main types of evangelistic work carried on by the Apostolic Faith Church has been the publishing of Christian literature. Many consecrated people have participated in this outreach, but perhaps one of the most notable was a man named Cliff Baltzell, who began working in the print shop at Front and Burnside in Portland, Oregon, when he was just fifteen years of age.
Born in 1904, Cliff would tell in his testimony how he thought of becoming a missionary when he was a child. When he was just thirteen years of age, he was saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit in a little log cabin in Wyoming after his family received some Gospel literature from the Apostolic Faith. Two years later they moved to Portland to worship with the Apostolic Faith people. In the camp meeting that year, Florence Crawford told of the need for workers at the headquarters printing plant. Cliff recounted, “My young heart responded to that call, and God gave me the privilege of helping to send the Gospel message into all the world.”
From the very beginning, Cliff put his whole life into the Lord’s work. His first responsibilities were those of stocking supplies and working as a job pressman. His dedication was obvious; he was a quick learner, and before long those around him realized he had a definite call from God upon his life. In time he became the printing plant manager, and served in that role for many decades. In addition to his printing work, he was a talented musician, playing French horn in the church orchestra for about sixty years, singing in the choir, and even composing Gospel hymns. He testified, “Sometimes at the plant a new song of praise wells up in my soul, and I lay my work aside to put on paper the words and notes of another hymn.”
Though his responsibilities were many, Cliff never neglected an opportunity to share his talents and experience with beginning Gospel workers. Until the day God called him home, he labored faithfully for his Master, and without doubt his efforts were instrumental in bringing many souls into the Kingdom.
Through the ages of time, God’s Holy Spirit has selected and equipped individuals for particular tasks in the Lord’s work. Today’s text tells of two craftsmen, Bezaleel and Aholiab, who were chosen from among the Children of Israel and equipped with the skills to create beauty in the material furnishings of the Tabernacle. They were also instructed to teach others who could help in this part of God’s work.
Our call may not be to publish Gospel literature like Cliff, or to create beautiful furnishings for the house of God like Bezaleel and Aholiab. However, God does have a particular plan for our lives and a specific way He wants us to serve Him. God’s work requires different types of laborers, and He will bless and equip us for whatever our assigned task may be, whether spiritual or physical in nature. Let us join the ranks of those who have willingly offered themselves to God throughout the ages, and ask Him to use our time and talents for His glory!
The closing chapters of Exodus describe the building of the Tabernacle — a place where Jehovah’s presence could dwell continually among the Children of Israel. Much of this portion of Scripture repeats the instructions that had been given to Moses earlier.
Verses 1-3 describe how Moses communicated the revelation he had received on Mount Sinai to the Children of Israel. Once again, God’s chosen leader stressed the importance of honoring the Sabbath. The intent of this cautionary preamble may have been to make sure the people’s zeal for building the Tabernacle did not impact their observance of a day of rest.
In verses 5-29, instructions were given concerning offerings for the construction project. Moses detailed the supplies that would be needed, and the people responded by bringing “a willing offering unto the Lord.” The Hebrew word translated willing as used here means “spontaneous, abundant, or enthusiastic.” In fact, so much was given that Moses eventually told the people to cease from bringing donations (Exodus 36:5-6). Moses also instructed the wise-hearted and skillful men among the people to assist with the labors involved in construction.
Verses 35:30-35 and 36:1-7 concern the two craftsmen, Bezaleel and Aholiab, who were appointed to oversee the physical work of the construction project. God gave these men a special enabling to do their required task. The first verses of chapter 36 record their explicit obedience in response to the instructions God had given Moses.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
V. The construction of the Tabernacle
D. The construction of the building
1. The Tabernacle assembled
a. The gathering of materials (35:1 — 36:7)
(1) The uniqueness of the Sabbath (35:1-3)
(2) The materials obtained (35:4-29)
(3) The craftsmen available (35:30 — 36:2)
(4) The abundance of provisions (36:3-7)
When we are willing to do what God asks of us, we will be blessed!