The gifted

Exodus 35:30-35 “Then Moses said to the people of Israel, ‘See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan.He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer.’”

Everyone is good at something, and some are good at many things.  I have a son who is skilled in art, music, and photography. I’m amazed at his gifts. He just has an eye for beauty and the skill to create things that are beautiful.  My other children have gifts as well, some that are similar, and some that are different.  In fact, we all have them.  Some people can sing. Some are gifted at teaching. Some have an in-born love for something like horses, and they are good with them, and skilled at caring for and riding them.  Others are skilled at investing money, and they are tremendously helpful to others who need guidance in that area.  Some are mechanically inclined. They just know how to build things and fix things.

So, where do all these talents, interests, and abilities come from? Why are we so different from one another?  The answer is found in the following rhetorical questions from 1 Corinthians 4:7 “For who makes you different from anyone else?”  The answer to this is, clearly, God. He’s ordained our differences, and given us our individual gifts.  It’s such a wonderful thing to think about, all the diversity that God has built into us.  But we should remember that God is a God of purpose. He does everything for a reason.  He gave you your gifts and me my gifts with His purposes in mind, and He’s given us much guidance as to how He would have us to use them. 

In the example of the skilled craftsmen Bezalel and Oholiab in the verses above, the skills and talents God had given them were to be put to use to do His will.  In this case, it was for all the beautiful work that was to be done to build the tabernacle. As they put their talents to work and in teaching and guiding others, they were bringing glory to God and blessing to the whole nation of Israel who would take part in the fruits of their work.  And that’s the way it is for everything we’ve received from God, as well, be it talent, knowledge, or physical things.  While it is an obvious blessing to each person who possesses such things, it is never to stop there, but to be used in ways that bring glory to God and blessing to others.

This is obviated by such commands as this one: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).” With anything we receive from God, with anything we do, God has given us the ability to glorify Him. With His gifts He has given us ways and means to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves.  That’s the way it is for anything we receive, either from God directly, or indirectly as He blesses us through others. 

A good example of this is found in these words from the apostle Paul: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  So not only skills, talents, and physical possessions, but also things like comfort that we receive from God are things that are not to stop and be stored up by us, but things by which we are to bless others. 

May God help us to glorify Him with the things He has given us, for everything we have is nothing more than a gift from Him and an opportunity given to us from God to bless others that He has sovereignly placed in our lives.

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