August 19, 2014

Bezalel and Oholiab II: By Grace, So No One Can Boast

Profoundly ordinary. Stay with me folks, I'll be trying to tie a few ideas together in this post. Admit it, the very characteristic that made Bezalel and Oholiab special to God would usually be overlooked by worldly men. In the narrative of these men we see that even in mundane tasks like carpentry and metalwork there is tremendous honor when the glory of God is involved. There is tremendous honor when it is being done for God or the glory of God. Please take note all those who believe that they might be spinning their wheels in a “dead-end” job. If you are in a given situation…it is because God has you there for a reason

The best things you could do is allow the Spirit to work through you in your work to produce a phenomenal output. I see it in my work often. Sometimes the things I do can only be accounted for by divine grace and supernatural assistance. My employers have even acknowledged this. When we look at good preachers of the Gospel we see the same thing. We see a message that supersedes the messenger. If a preacher has done his job he is merely a medium for the message of the Gospel.

1 Peter 5:6 ~ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

So what we may see from our vantage point may seem insignificant but when viewed from God’s side of eternity…everything else will pale by comparison. It shows that the insignificant things of the world are exalted by God. Not because of anything in and of those people but merely because of God’s presence in mercy and grace. Bezalel and Oholiab’s are forever immortalized in their task because of something God had them do. More specifically they are immortalized in the Bible because of something God did through them.

By creating the Ark of the Covenant they created that pattern or shadow of Christ for the Israelite people. They literally created the place on earth where God specifically designated that He would meet His people. This junction point would of course become Jesus Himself.

Exodus 25:22~ “There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.”

As Byron Forrest Yawn said in his book What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him:

True strength is found in restraint, and not dominance. Fortitude is seen in quiet suffering, and not hardheadedness. Character is visible in consistency, and not status. Determination is evident in patience, and not headstrong belligerence. Real zeal is aimed toward God, and not found in self-determination. Real power is doing what you should, instead of what you want. In a word, strength is restraint.

If Jesus is the most perfect example of what it means to be human, then a definition of Christian humanity will have humility (Philippians 2) and an aura of ordinariness attached to it (Isaiah 53). It will have a cross in it. Perhaps not literally but at least figuratively. When we come to the cross and come face-to-face with what we are called to be in the Faith we see sacrifice of our wants and needs for a greater cause. The cause of the Gospel. The cause of Christ's cross. Sacrifice, just as Jesus did on the Cross.

Matthew 11:29 ~ “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 16:24 ~ “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Not only must we take up our own Cross (Matthew 16), we must take up Christ's too (Matthew 11). An absence of sacrifice or absence of the preaching of demands on believers from the modern pulpit therefore amounts to a failure to preach the true Gospel and capture the reality of a real Christian life. We totally miss Jesus hanging on the Cross and flash-forward directly to the Resurrection bypassing the scourging and nails foretold in Scripture.

Where is God planning to meet you in your life? What is he asking you to do that will map your course for eternity? Are you prepared for the momentous effort you may need to expend to do what God calls you to do or have you fallen victim to "easy believe-ism"? Do you realize that what you are called to do others could do also but because God chose you, only you are allowed to do it? Do you see a sense of value instilled in you because of mercy and grace? You should. It is the old adage: "Everyone's replaceable". It is because God chose you and called you to the task you've undertaken that makes you irreplaceable. It isn't your work, it's His grace.

Bezalel and Oholiab knew what they were building was specifically for God’s purposes. They knew that what they created would probably outlast them. Do you not realize that everything that you do and say has the same potential effect or significance? Everything you do is a reflection of God's plans for either you or someone else. If they are His plans they are more than just yours individually, they could be for multitudes. They are not transient like we are but have the potential to last eternally. 

When we see two men like Bezalel and Oholiab working together we see the Kingdom proliferate and it stretches beyond the horizon into eternity. All this starts with an ability to humble one's self to work with another of equal worth to create something greater than both of them put together. In this way we see the symbiotic and synergistic nature of the Kingdom of God. 

Where we see this compounding effect we see mercy and grace. Where we see this power...we see the Gospel. Grace, Mercy, Kingdom, the Gospel...they are synonymous because they are of God and His holiness.

Yawn, Byron Forrest (2012-02-01). What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him (pp. 44-45). Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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