March 8, 2017


Exodus 31:6 “Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you.”

Where the Japanese, following the Hebrew, says “wisdom,” the NIV says “skill,” but that’s not unreasonable in this context. The point is, abilities are gifts from God, and as such we are responsible for their stewardship. Oholiab and others were appointed to help Bezalel, so part of their responsibility was to do what he said. We sometimes balk at the idea of serving God by being obedient to a person, but that idea comes out many times in the Bible. If we don’t know how to be obedient to a person, we aren’t going to be very obedient to God. The other side of that is that Oholiab and others were given to Bezalel, and all of them were given to Moses, to get the work done. God had given detailed plans to Moses, but I’m sure that if he had tried to do the actual work himself it would never have gotten completed, and would probably have looked horrible in the process. Many times in the Bible God gives people tasks that are beyond their ability, and He still does that today. Sometimes He gives the ability called for, like He gave Moses management ability that he certainly didn’t have when he started, and sometimes He gives people who are gifted in that area to come alongside and enable the work to be done, as is going on in this verse. When God tells us to do something we know full well we can’t do, we need to ask Him which way He wants to get it done, rather than simply running from the issue.

This is very appropriate and topical for me. The land next door seems to be taken out of our hands, but at the same time it seems clear that God wants us to build an assisted living facility, elsewhere if He doesn’t work a miracle about the adjoining land. The thing is, I am quite aware that I don’t have the management skills necessary either to navigate the maze of necessary permits and get it built, or to run it effectively once it’s built. I am not to be afraid to tackle things I’ve never done before, because God might give me what is needed, but I also must not let pride keep me from recognizing when He has someone else for a particular task. That in no way detracts from His having given me the vision, any more than it did for Moses. God has created us to need and to work with each other, and that’s a good thing.

Father, thank You for this reminder this morning. Thank You that You indeed do all things well. Help us rest in that assurance so that we will keep ourselves available to You however You want to use us, not insisting that it be one way or another but allowing You to fit us into Your overall plan in the way that You know is best, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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