Builders Are Important, Too


Exodus 36:2Why doesn’t anyone name their son “Bezalel”?

Names like Caleb, Joshua, and Aaron abound. Their importance in the Bible is well-known. They were leaders and whole-hearted followers of God.

But Bezalel and Oholiab were important, too. Of course, their names are harder to spell and pronounce. But they are worthy of respect.

In Exodus starting in chapter 26, we find God giving extensive instructions for creating the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle to be used by the Hebrews. In chapter 26, God specifically names Bezalel: “See, I have called by name Bezalel … and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.

He goes on to specify Oholiab and says, “I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you.”

In the following chapters, the crafting of the ark, the tabernacle, and the holy garments for the priests are described again in detail as they were made by Bezalel and Oholiab and other “able men.”

These men were not prominent leaders, preachers, or celebrities. Their stories are not featured in Bible storybooks for children, and they are not revered or held up as people to be imitated. But maybe they should be.

Without their ability and willingness to make the frame and the coverings for the tent, to build the ark and craft the altar and all the other holy furnishings, and to sew and decorate the priestly garments, the people of God would not have had a place to worship. These men were willing to follow instructions, even though they were not celebrated or revered as Moses was.

The fact that their names are preserved in the scriptures tells me they were important in God’s plan. He called them by name, and He gave them the skill and intelligence to do the work He wanted them to do. More, they followed His instructions carefully.

Each one of us should aspire to be like Bezalel and Oholiab. We may not be prominent speakers, best-selling writers, or renowned Bible teachers. We may not have the artistic ability to devise excellent artwork or to craft objects of gold, silver, and bronze.

But God gives us the abilities we need to carry out His plan for us. No matter what our responsibility, our work is important to the Kingdom.

God has called you by name. What task is He giving you today?