Offbeat #8 - Bezalel & Oholiab

In the book of Exodus, after delivering his people from slavery in Egypt, miraculously feeding them in the desert, and establishing his covenant law with them, God gives detailed instructions for the building of the Tabernacle. This tent-like structure was a mobile temple that would house God’s presence on earth and be the center of worship for God’s people until the building of Solomon’s Temple in the Promised Land.
 
According to the Bible, the Tabernacle and associated items was constructed with over 2000 lbs. of gold, over 7000 lbs. of silver and over 6,000 lbs. of bronze, not to mention rich fabrics and jewels. We’re talking the modern equivalent of millions of dollars in materials. This was an extravagant building to say the least. God called out an entire team of craftsmen to take on this project, assigning two men in particular to direct it all: Bezalel and Oholiab. In Exodus 31:3-6, God says of Bezalel that he was filled with the Spirit of God, resulting in enhanced ability, intelligence, knowledge, and 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. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab.”
 
It’s easy to overlook these men and the building of the Tabernacle, but we should be careful not to. Indeed, 10 out of the 40 chapters of Exodus are dedicated to describing the construction of this center of worship. To God and to Israel, this project was of utmost importance.
 
There are two things I’d like for us to takeaway from this reflection on Bezalel, Oholiab, and the Tabernacle. First, we see that God emphatically affirms the importance of beauty. Beauty is a reflection of our beautiful God and it’s necessary to all human thriving. Secondly, there are all kinds of spiritual gifts (I don’t believe any of the lists in Scripture are exhaustive), and God can and does especially empower people to cultivate beauty. For those of you who are artists, writers, poets, craftsman, etc., whether professional or hobbyists, I hope this is a great encouragement to you. According to God, cultivating awe inspiring works of art and architecture is not a frivolous or trivial pursuit. Rather, by doing these things, you take part in pointing others toward God’s majesty.

Sean's Picks

Trace Bundy. A great example of today's reflection, Trace uses his gifts to create unique and beautiful music utilizing an unusual style of playing guitar. You can check out more of his stuff here.

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Praise God For:
1. Quinci, who came to our Plainfield Center for a pregnancy test. She had a lot going on in her family and did not want to add more stress to them with her pregnancy. After a few weeks of our client advocate reaching out to her, Quinci said she decided to keep the baby and has the support of her family. She has enrolled in our parenting classes. Praise God!
 
2. Addison, who came to our Jersey City center for a pregnancy test and ultrasound. She was worried that she and father of the baby were not ready to have a baby because they were too young. She came back for a 2nd ultrasound with the father of the baby and before they left, they decided to carry the baby. Praise God for working in her heart and the support system she has around her.
 
3. Tina Pagano, our new Assistant Center Director in Montclair, who will become our Center Director in Montclair this September!

Please Pray For:
1. Francine, who came to our Morristown center for a pregnancy test. She already has a few children and feels overwhelmed. While she was talking with our client advocate she was surprised to hear that you can hear a baby's heartbeat as early as 5 weeks 5 days along. Please pray that Francine would return for her ultrasound appointment and that she would realize this a life she is carrying.
 
2. Rose, who came to our Jersey City center for a pregnancy test and ultrasound. When she was talking with our client advocate she said she was undecided due to COVID-19 and because she wanted to finish her Master's degree. Our client advocate was able to have a Christ centered conversation and she dedicated her life to Christ. Her husband was able to come in for the ultrasound and seemed happy, however Rose was still unsure of what to do. Please pray for Rose and her husband to rely on Christ during this time.
 
3. God's wisdom as we plan for this year's Banquet on 10/22 and determine what the event will look like due to COVID-19.
 
4. The Lord's leading and direction for our Real Talk program as schools reopen in a different format this September. Pray that Rachel, our Education Director, will still be invited to speak to students in person.
 
5. God's provision for our open positions. More information can be found on our website.
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