SOAP Journal – 23 January 2017 (Exodus 35:10)

‘Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the LORD has commanded ….’”

Exodus 35:10

In the verses immediately preceding this (vv 1-9), Moses passed on the LORD’s instruction that the willing of heart should give to the work on building the tabernacle. In the verses immediately following (vv 11-19), Moses goes on to list the things that need to be made.

As an aside, God had already given Moses the names of two of the skillful individuals who would make all the necessary things for the tabernacle, but Moses just puts out a general call for people to step up and help. I do not think that this is accidental or mere linguistic laziness on the part of Moses. I think that the general call and the specific commission are part and parcel of how God works.

Fast forward to the New Testament and Jesus going around preaching and teaching. He calls anyone who wants to come after Him to do so and is followed by massive crowds. He spends a night up on a mountaintop praying, comes down, and goes through the crowd calling twelve individuals to the specific work of being apostles. And the general call to follow still went out. Still does today. And individuals are still called to specific works. The pattern abides unbroken.

It is still the case that every skillful [person] is welcomed to God’s work and it is the case that every person who is called to follow God has a skill to offer. Fun fact, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that is listed is the gift of giving (Romans 12:8). For some, their generous heart was the skill that needed to be employed. Not everyone has that skill.

The work of God in this passage is to make all that the LORD has commanded. In Exodus, God commanded the Israelites to build His tabernacle; to make a symbolic representation of God’s throne room. And He gave them the skills and the desire to do so. The believer is called to build relationships — a marriage, a church fellowship — as symbolic representations of God’s relationship with people. I, as a husband and father and several other roles, am called to nurture those relationships and maintain them in such a way as to cause those relationships to be examples of God’s relationship with His bride (the church) and His children (believers) and so on. It is weighty work that the LORD has commanded. He will also give me the skills and desire to do what He has commanded.

And that is the application for me: God will give me the skills and desire to make all that the LORD has commanded. Every relationship that He has established, He will also enable me to nurture in a way as to make it a representation of His relationship with us.

Father, thank You that You not only call all who want to come, but give us specific commission and the skills needed to fulfill that commission. Thank You for establishing relationships in my life. I am thankful for them. Please work in my heart to give me a strong desire to nurture those relationships in the way that You nurture Your relationship with me. Please make me skillful to nurture them so as to make them representations of Your relationship with me and Your church and so on.

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