“Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the Lord has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the Lord has commanded.”(Exodus 36:1-2)
Through the Bible: Exodus 36-38
Today, Bezalel has become my favorite minor character in the Old Testament. It happened because I learned what his name means in Hebrew. Stick with me.
Artists, by nature, tend to want to be in the spotlight. Visual artists literally need lots of light in order for them to paint. Performers not only crave the metaphorical spotlight, but they need a literal spotlight so their performance can be seen.
Fashion designers rarely imagine creating ensembles for coal miners. They want their work to be seen.
Football players dream of winning a Super Bowl, not coaching a mediocre team at a 1A high school.
When children dream of being singers or dancers, they typically don’t picture themselves doing background vocals for commercial jingles, or teaching dance at assisted living facilities. No– they dream of winning The Voice, or being the prima ballerina for the Royal Ballet.
So, back to Bezalel. God appointed Bezalel to be the the chief artisan for the Tabernacle. God filled Bezalel with His Spirit. He endowed with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship (see Exodus 31:1-4). His work would last for a thousand years. His name would become part of Holy Scripture for all eternity.
Are you ready for what that name means?
Bezael: In the shadow of God.
Maybe God chose Bezalel because He knew Bezalel wouldn’t seek the spotlight. God found someone on whom He could pour out incredible skill and talent, who in return would give God the glory. He used an artist who was content to stay in the shadow. Perhaps Bezalel knew that in the shadow of the almighty, one finds true rest:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.Psalm 91:1
It reminds me of one of my favorite lyrics from Christian rapper Lecrae:
It's evident you run the show, so let me back down You take the leading role, and I'll play the background I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines I'm sticking to your script, and I'm reading all your signs I don't need my name in lights, I don't need a starring role Why gain the whole wide world, If I'm just gonna lose my soul? And my ways ain't purified, don't live according to Your Word I can't endure this life without Your wisdom being heard So word to every dancer for a pop star 'Cause we all play the background, but mine's a rockstar Yeah, so if you need me I'll be stage right Praying the whole world would start embracing stage fright
God, help me to be a Bezelel today. Whatever gifts and talents and abilities you have given me, let me use them to bring you glory. Less of me, more of You. Amen.