Bezaleel and Aholiab Called "by Name." The Lord said to Moses, "I have called by name Bezaleel, and I have given with him Aholiab." It is easy for us to believe that God calls consecrated, godly men to the ministry, or to fill some other position of importance and sacred responsibility in His work. But how about men who work with their hands? Is the work of a carpenter or a worker in metal and stone of sufficient importance for God's notice? This was true of Bezaleel, why not of godly workmen today? Of Bezaleel God said, "I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and In knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass and in cutting of stones to set them, and in carving of timber." Ex. 31:1-6.
Aholiab was called of God "to work all manner of work of the engraver.... and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver." Ex. 35:34,35.
All the Wise Hearted Were Called. Nor were Bezaleel and Aholiab the only ones whom God called to the work of the sanctuary. Those who made the priests, garments were "called" to this work by God, when He said to Moses, "Speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments." Ex. 28:3. Women also "that were wise hearted" were laborers together with God. They "did spin with their hands... both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. All the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom, spun goats' hair," Ex. 35:25,26. And that which they spun was woven and embroidered by wise-hearted men under the direction of Aholiab, the master weaver and embroiderer, into hangings for the gate, the door, and the veil, and into the first and second coverings of the sanctuary, and for the garments of the priests.
Moreover, God said to Moses, "In the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee." Ex. 31:6. God puts wisdom in "all who are wise hearted," that is, all who from the heart dedicate their talents to Him.
Who Was Bezaleel? Who were these young men, Bezaleel and Aholiab, whom God called "by name"? The name Bezaleel means in the shadow of God. This would suggest that when he was born his parents were suffering the cruelties of Egyptian bondage, and to them it seemed as if they were under a cloud, "in the shadow of God;" but their trust was In Him. So they named their child Bezaleel.
Bezaleel was of the tribe of Judah, the strongest and most influential of all the tribes. Of Judah it is said, â€œThou art he whom thy brethren shall praise." Gen. 49:8. And again, "Judah preveil ed above his brethren." 1 Chron. 5:2. Why was this? It was because of Judah's personal character of justice and unselfishness, and his strict integrity to principle. It is said of him that â€œmore traits are preserved than of any other of the patriarchs, with the exception of Joseph." S.B.D. Judah was the only tribe that was loyal to David when the disruption of Solomon's kingdom took place, and this tribe was the last to be captured by Babylon. I Chron. 9:1.
An illustrious line of descendants is the fruitage of a character like that of the tribe of Judah, Daniel, who stood the test of the lion's den at the court of Babylon, and his three worthy companions who stood the test of the fiery furnace, Dan. 3,6, were of the tribe of Judah. Dan. 1:6. Christ Himself was of this tribe; He was the "Lion of the tribe of Judah." Rev. 5:5; Gen. 49:9,10.
Bezaleel was great grandson of Caleb - which name means capable - and this Caleb was the grandfather of Caleb the spy, who with Joshua on their return from spying out the land of Canaan, stood so nobly in the face of unbelief and opposition of all the other spies, and declared with loyalty
and courage, "Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it." Num. 13:30.
Bezaleel was grandson of Hur - the same Hur who with Aaron stayed up the hands of Moses in the battle with Amalek at Rephidim on their way to Sinai. Jewish tradition is that Hur was the husband of Miriam, the prophetess, who after crossing the Red Sea, led all the women in the joyful song of deliverance in the words: "Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously." Ex. 15:21. What famous pedigree Bezaleel had!
Who Was Aholiab? How different was the ancestry of Aholiab! He was of the tribe of Dan. Of their father Dan, it is written: "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward," Gen. 49:17. And because of this backbiting, criticizing disposition and practice, which he never overcame, the name Dan is omitted from the genealogies of the tribes in 1 Chronicles, and also from the list of those who are sealed, as given in Revelation 7. If we are ever tempted to "backbite" or speak unfavorably of anyone, or indulge in unkind criticism, we would do well to remember the fate of Dan.
Another glimpse into the character of the tribe of Dan is given in Leviticus 24:10-16. Here is a son of the tribe of Dan whose mother was an Israelite and his father an Egyptian. One day the son strove with a man of Israel in the camp, and in his anger he "blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed." To speak lightly or disrespectfully of the name of our Creator and Redeemer, that name "which is above every name," that name at the mention of which â€œevery knee should bow," Phil. 2:9-11, that name which "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" Acts 4:12, is regarded by God as one of the chiefest of sins, a sin punishable in a most terrible manner, that of stoning to death. Lev. 24:13-16. Because of this sin, this son of the tribe of Dan was put "in ward," and finally stoned outside the camp. Later it is written of the children of Dan that they set up "Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh." Judges 19:30,31.
The noble character of Aholiab, though a descendant of the tribe of Dan, shows that no matter what our environment or pedigree, we need not be like those who disobey God, even though our lot may be cast among them.
Aholiab was the son of Ahisamach. And who was Ahisamach? The only record left is that he was the father of Aholiab, - surely an honored father of a noble son. Had it not been for his noble son, the name Ahisamach would never have been mentioned in the Bible. Probably both these young men, Bezaleel and Aholiab, had wise, devoted mothers.
The history of Bezaleel and Aholiab furnishes a most excellent demonstration of the truth that "God is no respector of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him." Acts 10:34,35.
Bezaleel and Abolish as Teachers. God put it in the heart of Bezaleel "that he may teach, both he and Aholiab." Ex. 35:54. Why did God thus honor these young men? First, doubtless, because while in Egyptian bondage, not only had their hearts been loyal to God under difficulties, but they had improved their opportunities to learn carving timber, engraving, and setting of stones, embroidery, and weaving. And whatever tasks were given them by their taskmasters, they did with their might and to the best of their God-given ability. Thus they had honored God, and now God honors them. They had improved their opportunities, now God trusts them with greater responsibilities. They had cultivated their talents of heart and mind and hand, and now God gives them greater talents. The fundamental talent of everyone who God calls to His work is to be "willing" and "wise hearted," It was such workers whom God filled with His Spirit, and "with wisdom of heart." Ex. 31:3; 35:35. Therefore the sanctuary in all its parts was not merely the skilled work of men; it was indeed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
A Model School. All the wise-hearted, willing workers participated in this instruction given by Bezaleel and Abolish. These teachers were "cunning" workmen, wise-hearted men who were "called" of God and daily taught of God. The students also were willing, wise hearted men and women. They were all taught of God. This was a school after God's own plan - an industrial school in which the students learned many spiritual truths from the work of their hands. It was a school in which the hand, the head, and the heart, received symmetrical attention. It was a pattern for all time.
All Talents are God's Gifts. As Bezaleel was a "called" smith and carver of Timber, and Abolish a "called" engraver, embroiderer, and weaver, so there are "called" men and women in every other pursuit - called farmers, called merchants, called teachers, called students, called physicians, called nurses, called parents, and every other calling for which God has given a special fitness and talent to be used for Him. And all who are "wise hearted", will lay every talent on the alter to be used entirely for God. The "called" worker in any line will do his work thoroughly, painstakingly, honestly, and with wise hearted consecration. There will be no slovenly, dishonest, or careless work, for the Christian worker will constantly remember that he is called of God, and to God he must finally give account.
Anyone who is inclined to boast of his attainments, the Lord challenges with the question, â€œWho giveth thee power to get wealth?" or to do this or that? Deut. 8:17,18. "Every man also to whom God hath given riches, and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God." Eccl. 5:19.
Essentials to Successful Service. Is it not clear, then, that if we are to do any work that God can accept - whether it be with timber, or stone, or metal, or making garments, or any other line of work, our hearts must he right before God, our motives must be wholly unselfish, so that day by day God can fill us with the spirit of wisdom - that wisdom from above which is "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy?" James 3:17. Filled with such wisdom, there will be no place for unholy ambition, self seeking, strife, stubbornness, or unfriendliness toward any fellow worker. All will be peace, good will, and absolute honesty. With such God can work, and His work will prosper.
Is it not an encouragement to know that no matter what our ancestry, or how few our talents, if we are faithful in improving our opportunities, loyal to God at all times, willing hearted and wise hearted, God will place us in His work "according to our several ability" to use for Him whatever talent has been entrusted to us. Matt. 25:15. Let us put it down "as a memorial" something never to be forgotten-that "There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God. All who consecrate body soul, and spirit to His service will be constantly receiving a new endowment of physical, mental, and spiritual power. MH 159.