WISDOM AND ABILITY
Date: November 16
Category: Wisdom and Understanding
Exodus 31:3, 6b
"And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and ability, in understanding and intelligence, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship…And to all who are wisehearted I have given wisdom and ability to make all that I have commanded you."
In this chapter we read that Bezalel was given the skills and ability to build the tabernacle and assemble all the items that were necessary for Israel to worship God. It says in verse 3 that God filled this man with the Spirit of God. That filling of the Spirit qualified Bezalel to do what God wanted him to do. When God filled him with the Spirit of God, Bezalel received two things: wisdom and ability.
Wisdom is something that comes from God and helps us to successfully accomplish any task before us. When a person accomplishes a task successfully, then others around that person will conclude he is a wise man. For example, when you go to college to study something and you finish your studies successfully, then your success is proof that you have used your time and money wisely. When you are employed somewhere and you complete a project that your employer required from you, then you are deemed to be wise. God is the one who gives us the wisdom to accomplish anything successfully.
Ability is the skill that we acquire out of the wisdom that God gives us. For example, when we are studying, God gives us wisdom to study. But from that wisdom, we acquire an ability that we can market to the world. People are always looking for people who have skills and ability. For example in Exodus 18:21 we read that Moses' father-in-law, Jethro said, "Moreover, you shall choose able men from all the people – God-fearing men of truth who hate unjust gain – and place them over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, to be their rulers." In other words, Jethro instructed Moses that he shouldn't just select anyone to be a leader, but he should select men who were capable and skilful in leadership and who were people of God-fearing character.
Not only does the world want people who have wisdom and ability, but God wants labourers in His Kingdom who are wise and able as well. In Exodus 28:3 God says, "Tell all who are expert, whom I have endowed with skill and good judgment, that they shall make Aaron's garments to sanctify him for My priesthood." So our expertise is an endowment from God, meaning it is a God-given skill that He wants us to use for His purposes. That God-given skill comes from our God-given wisdom, which is given to us by the Holy Spirit.
So in this story about Bezalel and the Israelites building the tabernacle, we can see that they invited skilful women to join in the work as well. Exodus 35:25 says, "All the women who had ability and were wisehearted spun with their hands and brought what they had spun of blue and purple and scarlet [stuff] and fine linen." So again, we can see that all skills are a gift from God and He wants us to utilize those skills for His glory.
But there's one important thing to remember concerning the wisdom and ability we acquire from God. In Exodus 36:2 we read, "And Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab and every able and wisehearted man in whose mind the Lord had put wisdom and ability, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come do the work." It's so important to remember that our wisdom and ability are resident within our minds. Often, we train our bodies to become physically strong, but we have to train our minds even more so. The wisdom and ability that the Holy Spirit gives us is found within our minds. For example, when you learn a skill, you acquire information about that ability into your mind. Then your mind directs your body to do the skill that you have learned (like how to move the fingers accross the keyboard as you play piano etc.). That's why it's so important to train our minds.
So if you want to move ahead in life, then you need wisdom and ability. Proverbs 22:29 says, "Do you see a man diligent and skilful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men." So your diligence and your skilfulness will open doors for your future. Success, promotions, and opportunities are all things that you create. You create those things by the wisdom and ability that God gives you through His Holy Spirit.