As with everything that God does, He was particular not only with how the sanctuary was made but with those who were to make it. God told Moses the type of people that he would require for making a sanctuary of such immense beauty while living in a desert, and He even named two of them.
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: … And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan:" (Exodus 31:1, 6.)
It is easy for us to believe that God calls consecrated, godly men to the ministry, or to fill some other position of importance and sacred responsibility in His work. But how about men who work with their hands? Is the work of a carpenter or a worker in metal and stone of sufficient importance for God's notice? This was true of Bezaleel, why not of godly workmen today? Of Bezaleel God said, "And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship." (Exodus 31:3-5.)
Aholiab was called of God "to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work." (Exodus 35:34, 35.)
So who were these men, Bezaleel and Aholiab, whom God called by name?
The name Bezaleel means "in the shadow of God." This would suggest that when he was born his parents were suffering the cruelties of Egyptian bondage, and to them it seemed as if they were under a cloud, "in the shadow of God;" but their trust was in Him. Bezaleel's father was Uri, whose father was Hur, of the tribe of Judah. Hur held a prominent position is Israel (Exodus 24:14), and he along with Aaron stayed up the hands of Moses in the battle with Amalek at Rephidim on their way to Sinai (Exodus 17:10-12).
The name Aholiab means "tent of his father." He was the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan, and the only record we have left of Ahisamach is that he was the father of Aholiab. Had it not been for his noble son, the name Ahisamach would never have been mentioned in the Bible.
God not only called these two men, who are the only ones mentioned by name, but He also called all the wise hearted. Those who made the priests' garments were called to this work by God, when He said to Moses, "... speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments..." (Exodus 28:3.)
It was not only men who were called but women also, "And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair." (Exodus 35:25, 26.)
All that the women spun was woven and embroidered by wise-hearted men under the direction of Aholiab, the master weaver and embroiderer, into hangings for the gate, the door, and the vail, and in the first and second coverings of the sanctuary, and for garments of the priests.
God said, "... in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee..." (Exodus 31:6). This is just as true today as it was in the days of Moses. God has given every single person at least one talent which if they use it to bring honour and glory to God and do His biddings, will multiply just like the story Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-31.
"God desires that His workers in every line shall look to Him as the Giver of all they possess. All right inventions and improvements have their source in Him who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. The skillful touch of the physician's hand, his power over nerve and muscle, his knowledge of the delicate organism of the body, is the wisdom of divine power, to be used in behalf of the suffering. The skill with which the carpenter uses the hammer, the strength with which the blacksmith makes the anvil ring, comes from God. He has entrusted men with talents, and He expects them to look to Him for counsel. Whatever we do, in whatever department of the work we are placed, He desires to control our minds that we may do perfect work." Christ Object Lessons by E. White, page 349 par. 2.
Paul tells us what some of the talents are that God's gives to people :-
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" Ephesians 4:11-13.
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: … And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, 28.
"The fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians contains lessons given us by God. In this chapter one speaks under the inspiration of God, one to whom in holy vision God had given instruction. He describes the distribution of God's gifts to His workers, saying: "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-13. Here we are shown that God gives to every man his work, and in doing this work man is fulfilling his part of God's great plan." Testimonies to the Church Vol 6 by E White, page 243 par. 1.
"Those who will not improve the talent which God has given them will fail of everlasting life. Those who have been of but little use in the world will be rewarded accordingly, as their works have been. When everything goes smoothly, they are borne along on the wave; but when they need earnestly and untiringly to apply the oar, and row against wind and tide, there seems to be no energy in their Christian character. They will not take the trouble to work, but lay down their oars and contentedly let the current carry them downstream. Thus they generally remain until someone takes the burden and labors earnestly and energetically to pull them upstream. Every time they yield to such indolence they lose strength and have less inclination to work in the cause of God. It is only the faithful conqueror who wins eternal glory." Testimonies to the Church Vol. 1 by E. White, page 453 par. 1.
© S. D. Goeldner
© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2011. Last updated August, 2020.
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