Gifts from God

8.3.22 Devo Image

“Then Moses said to the Israelites, ‘See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.’” – Exodus 35:30–35 (NIV)

“That person has God-given talent!” is an expression often used to denote a person’s extraordinary level of skill or ability in a particular craft, sport, profession, teaching, etc. Certain athletes, musicians, movie stars, and a host of others may come to your mind when you hear that expression. In today’s passage of Scripture, we see God gift Bezalel, Oholiab, and other individuals with specific skills and abilities. 

Bezalel and Oholiab were given remarkable gifts in craftsmanship, design, and teaching. However, they still needed to act in obedience by practically using the gifts God had given them. Building the tabernacle was a huge undertaking, so these two needed a lot of help. God provided help in three ways:

  • With other skilled workers who were teachable
  • With the provision of materials from the rest of the Israelites
  • With the blueprints and precise measurements for the designs

Imagine seeing the finished tabernacle along with the furnishings made from all kinds of precious metals, gems, wood, stone, and fine linen. It might be like seeing one of the “Wonders of the World,” which are incredible feats in human architecture, engineering, and design—all inspiring and awesome to behold!

It can be such an inspiration to watch someone like Bezalel build and design something beautiful like the tabernacle. We generally heroize such gifted individuals, and as children we often imitate them. We envision ourselves having their level of skill or ability in whatever we’re doing. 

However, it’s not always inspiring for us to watch someone with such gifts or abilities excel. It can be discouraging or agitating to us. We may compare ourselves to them and wonder, “Why do some people seem to have it all? Why does it seem so easy for them to succeed? My life would be so much easier if I had what they had.”

Don’t lose sight of the source of anyone’s skills or abilities. Let’s look at the wording used in today’s passage of Scripture: 

  • “He has filled him . . .” (v. 31)
  • “He has given . . .” (v. 34)
  • “He has filled them with skill . . .” (v. 35)

Skills and abilities are a gift from God, He is the source. Therefore, we shouldn’t exalt someone who displays incredible giftedness, nor should we look down on those whose giftedness is not readily apparent to us. Rest assured, God is the one who gives us skill and ability, fills us with His Spirit, and provides us all that we need to live a life that glorifies Him.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.—Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

Pause: Read 2 Peter 1:3–11.

Practice: Ask three people who you trust and do life with this question: “What skills or abilities do you see me displaying?” Pray over their responses to you, and ask the Lord to reveal the gifts He has given you. Then consider how you can put these skills and abilities to good use for God’s glory.

Pray: Lord, you created me and gave my life purpose and significance. Help me to recognize that all skills and abilities are a gift from You, so I will not covet or feel insecure. Help me to use my skills and abilities to help others and to bring You glory. Amen.

About the Author

John Madge