When You Need Extra Knowledge or Ability from God
Inside: What tasks of your daily life are beyond your own capabilities? When you face a challenge you cannot figure out on your own, you can seek extra knowledge from God! He is able, and he hears your prayers for assistance.
Try not to collapse that we are reading from the later chapters in Exodus today. If I could get you to read all of chapters 24 to 40, I would. I read them several months ago and found this little passage in Exodus 31 jaw dropping.
In chapters 25 to 31, Moses is on Mount Sinai, in special communion with God. We picture this as a short visit, with God giving Moses the Ten Commandments. But this visit of Moses with God on Mount Sinai lasted 40 days and 40 nights. In addition to giving Moses the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments, God gave him painstakingly detailed instructions for how to build the tabernacle, which would be the Israelites’ traveling place of worship until the temple in Jerusalem was built.
Stick with me. I have been able to whittle today’s reading down to just 11 verses! Notice how God gifted the craftsmen to do their work.
Exodus 31:1-11 (ESV)
The LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. 6 And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, 8 the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, 9 and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, 10 and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”
Digging into God’s Word
I find my job intellectually and relationally challenging. As an editor of exercise science textbooks, I regularly encounter problematic passages that need to be sorted out, and yet the solution is beyond my grasp. Add to that editor-author-publisher relationships that are tricky at times and deadlines that cannot be met. If only I had a superhero cape to figure it all out!
It took me a while to recognize help was near, and since the first time I did, it has been a godsend, literally. I started bringing these work-related problems to God in prayer. I would fall asleep asking for help in figuring out how to piece a chapter together or how to navigate the dynamics of the personalities involved, and, lo and behold, the next morning the solution would come to me. God had provided the knowledge and wisdom I needed.
Reread our passage for today and notice especially verses 2 to 6:
The LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. 6 And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you.
Look at that! God filled the craftsmen with the
- Spirit of God,
- ability and intelligence, and
- knowledge and all craftsmanship.
Furthermore, as seen in verse 6, God had given “to all men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you.”
God did not give Moses the plans for the tabernacle without also gifting the people to build it. Along with what we might expect for those abilities–craftsmanship to devise artistic designs, cut stones, and carve wood–God poured out His Spirit on Bezalel. Can we just step back and say, “Wow”?
Many translations include wisdom in the descriptors in verse 3. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) reads as follows:
I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship
Do you need wisdom in what you are tackling today? Do you need knowledge or ability in how to raise your children, resolve a situation at work, or handle a volunteer effort? Ask God, who fills us with the Spirit of God!
As you are able, spend time with God, reflecting on these questions or journaling your thoughts.
- What tasks of your daily life are beyond your own capabilities?
- Spend some time asking God to help you with your daily work. You could use the words from verse 3: “Dear God, I ask you to fill me with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to [fill in the blank with what you need help with].”
- I find so many things about today’s passage exciting. Look at how personally God works in our lives! Praise God in a way that suits you: sing a song, dance around, kneel or bow in humility, or write a poem or prayer of praise and thanksgiving. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
The photo with this devotion is of a replica of the ark of the covenant (remember Indiana Jones?), which was placed in the Holy of Holies within the tabernacle. Some translations call this the ark of the testimony and the room that housed it the Most Holy Place. I spotted this replica at Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee.
The ark of the covenant was topped with the mercy seat and replicas of cherubim. The ark held the tablets of the Ten Commandments, a golden pot of manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded. You can read more about the ark of the covenant in Exodus 25:10-22, Hebrews 9:4, and Revelation 11:19.
I’m glad you are here!
- You can find all of the devotions for the series “All in a Day’s Work” at this link.
- Be sure to SIGN UP to have devotions delivered straight to your inbox.