“…you shall not make any for yourselves, according to its composition. It shall be to you holy for the Lord.”
– Exodus 30:37
The Lord God was giving instruction to Moses on the building of the tabernacle, the altars, and the priesthood. Everything was to be set aside for the Lord, to minister to Him. Concerning the incense and anointing oil, the mixture given was to be used for God only. It was not to be duplicated and made for personal use. It was made for one purpose, service to the Lord.
In the building of the tabernacle, the Lord names two specific people to oversee the project, Bezalel and Aholiab. The Bible tells us they were given wisdom, understanding, and knowledge in artistic ways. Everything they put their hands to do would be done as designed by the Lord. God gave them the skills and capacity to perform. William MacDonald writes, “…with the divine command there is divine enablement. The Lord appoints His workers, endows them with ability and talent, and gives them a work to do for His glory. The work is all the Lord’s, but He accomplishes it through human instrumentality, then rewards His agents.” It is the Lord who really does the work.
Recently I was watching a program where the artist was sharing his story. He grew up in the church singing in the choir, and when he sang, it was apparent he was given a special gift. His comments during the interview were, “I grew up singing in the church. Now it is time to take my talent to the secular world.” His endeavor is noble only if it is a divine command, and he continues to use it for God’s glory. Otherwise, it is self-serving and being duplicated for personal use and glory.
The Bible tells us all things were created by Him and for Him. That includes each one of us and the gifts that He has given. When Jesus said, “let the dead bury the dead, you follow Me,” He was not a cruel Master. He was saying that the spiritually dead can take care of the vocations of the world. It is only the Christ-follower that can take care of the spiritual things that need to be attended to. Our gifts and talents must be used for Him. They must be used to build up the Body of Christ and to share the gospel with the world. What are your God-given talents being used for today?
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
– 1 Peter 4:10