This passage contains the story of the construction of the Tabernacle at Sinai. This great work was accomplished by skilled laborers. The various needs in the construction project were met by men who were gifted to play significant and specific roles for its completion. God has gifted all of us for His glory. This lesson is designed to assist class members in assessing their giftedness and make appropriate connections to their respective work places.
“One dangerous yet widely spread belief today is that God gives His Spirit to people in the form of spiritual gifts solely for ministry in the church. But spiritual gifts are intended for all the people of God so that they can enter into God’s beautiful work of transforming creation, culture and people. And we learn from this that the most significant way in which God’s spiritual gifts are demonstrated in the world is through our work.”
-R. Paul Stevens, Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2012, p. 40.
“The Spirit is the giver of all life, and hence all work, as an express of human life, draws its energy out of the fullness of the divine Spirit’s energy. When human beings work, they work only because God’s Spirit has given them power and talent to work. Without God’s preserving and sustaining grace, no work would be possible.”
-Miroslav Volf, Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 121.
Exodus 33:18-34:7; 35:4-36:7
As Israel was preparing to construct the Tabernacle, one obvious need was in the area of gifted builders and artisans. God recognized this need and He appointed Bezalel and Oholiab to lead this great project. In fact, Bezalel bears the distinction of being the only person in all of the Old Testament who is referred to as being “filled with the Spirit of God” (Exodus 35:31). We learn from both Scripture and experience that God gifts people for meaningful work. His desire is for us to utilize our giftedness for His glory as we engage in our everyday work life.
WEEKLY READINGS OVERVIEW
In our readings this week, we read of an incredible encounter between Moses and God – where God offers Moses a glimpse of His glory. It was overwhelming to Moses. God then leads Israel to construct the Tabernacle where His glory would be on display on earth. The building of this extravagant tent required skilled laborers and gifted leaders. God provided the necessary gifts in various workers so that His will could be accomplished. Today – we may not be building the Tabernacle, but God is still gifting us to allow us to engage in meaningful work that can reflect His glory. How has He gifted you for your calling? Your career? Your current job?
ISSUES/QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS
1. Theology of Work – how is the class progressing in developing a theology of work?
2. What is the glory of God?
3. Why is it important to understand our spiritual gifts? How can our spiritual gifts be displayed in the workplace?
4. What are the evidences of God providing gifts to match His calling in the lives of His people? How do these gifts/talents connect workers to their calling?
5. How does God use His people to reflect His glory through their work?