The LORD said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, Son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all 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.”
The Name ‘Bezalel’ doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue as fluidly as ‘Joshua’ or ‘David’ or ‘John,’ but after reading Exodus 31 right now, I’m a little stunned that thousands of Judeo-Christian boys over the past two millennia haven’t been named after him. I’ve never even met one. As far as I know, there have only been a handful of so-called Renaissance Men in world history, men like Archimedes and Solomon and Leonardo Da Vinci and Goethe, who were prominent in a wide spectrum of artistic, scientific, and political fields; yet Bezalel might be at the top of that list. So prominent is he in his scope of craftsmanship, so extravagant is his visionary capacity, so unrivaled is his technical proficiency, that you’d look at his handiwork as if you’d just seen Moses part the Red Sea or David kill Goliath or Daniel halt the pride of lions, and conclude that it must be the work of God.
But what really compels me about God’s characterization of Bezalel here is that he seems to be a rare type of genius who doesn’t need statues erected in his honor or scriptural books devoted to his biography or enraptured mothers naming their sons after him to memorialize his one-of-a-kind contribution. For him, the collaboration with God’s Spirit, the opportunity to flesh out God’s vision with his own hands, the gratification of being used in the constructive work at all, knowing that Almighty God could’ve just spoke the whole thing into existence with a mere breath, is reward enough.
Friend, aren’t you so grateful that our Father doesn’t measure your value to His cause on your ingenuity or novelty, but rather on your sensitivity to His Spirit? Bezalel might be the greatest Renaissance Man of all time, but his life’s work would’ve counted for little—it would’ve been buried in the sands of time with all others—had he not been a Spirit-filled man above all else.