God’s Plan and Purpose For Your Life | VAYAKHEL – WEEK 22
By Benjamin Juster
Ex 35:1 – 38:20
“God loves you and has a plan for your life.” Good chance that you have heard these words spoken to you — perhaps several times. The statement has become cliché. But it couldn’t be more true.
All believers are called to be ambassadors of God’s Kingdom in the earth. We are inspired to impact the world through His love and power. Yet, many think that there are only a limited number of roles or personalities that can influence the world. For example, pastors have great potential to impact people — they are in a position where they can teach weekly, visit the sick, counsel the hurting, and raise up disciples. Pastors can gather followers of hundreds and even thousands. Political leaders are another example; they can build an influential, public platform that has the power to shape the future of communities, cities, and nations. Many have charismatic personalities that attract thousands of other individuals to their causes. But not all of us are pastors or politicians — thank God!
I admit that I have experienced times where I felt frustration and discouragement when comparing my position, talent, and resources to those of other people. Though I admired them and what they accomplished for the Lord, I was also disappointed that I did not seem to be as effective as they were.
Perhaps you have also doubted if you really have what it takes to make a difference. It’s easy to get jealous of other people’s gifting, ability, and success because of our own feelings of inadequacy.
In this week’s Torah portion Vayakhel, Moses assembles all of the people of Israel to share God’s directions for the construction of Tabernacle. He has just come down from Mount Sinai and then begins to reveal the plans for how Israel would worship God in the desert. Moses sets apart two men, Bezalel and Oholiav, to design and coordinate construction of the Tabernacle, including all of the gold and silver ritual implements and the holy ark of the covenant. Exodus 35:30-34 says:
And Moses said to the children of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship.
And He has put in his heart the ability to teach, in him and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works.
There are several instructive points that we can glean from this passage.
- God Himself set apart Bezalel and Oholiav (Ex. 35:30; see also Exodus 31). Moses simply confirms their calling before the people of Israel, just as God instructed. In similar fashion, your calling and destiny is not determined by your parents, teachers, or pastors. Some leaders are tempted to exert pressure for you to conform to fulfill their plan for your life — this may or may not be different than what God has called you to do. But great leaders understand that their role is to hear from the Lord so that they can confirm and nurture God’s calling in you within the community.
In Hebrew Bezalel means, “in the shadow of God.” As we aim to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives, it is crucial to keep our proper orientation and posture before Him. It is only within this humble place, within the shadow of God, that one can serve as a faithful ambassador. We represent Him and not ourselves.
- They were filled with the Spirit of God (Ex. 35:31). Natural abilities are not enough. Ex. 35:31 highlights that God filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. In last week’s Torah portion, we see that Moses prioritized his time in God’s Presence. Joshua followed this example (Ex. 33:11). The most important thing is relationship. Our effectiveness is dependent upon the indwelling of the Spirit of God. The plans of God mean nothing without a sustained relationship with Him.1 Corinthians 2:11-12 – For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. Bezalel had the unique role of interpreting Moses’ general instructions to build a physical dwelling place for the Lord. But Bezalel could only implement this vision by having the Spirit of God in Him to know the things of God. This led to practical, creative, and beautiful designs.
- They taught others (Ex. 35:30–36:21). Bezalel and Oholiav symbolize the believer who is maturing as a disciple. God gave them the ability to do and, with it, the ability to teach. These two qualities go together as head and tail of the same coin. Believers must live God’s Word in order to demonstrate faith in a life-changing way. Only when faith and actions go together can we teach others the true meaning of our relationship with God. If you and I are doers of the Word, our very way of life will instruct others about Him.Look at the Apostle Paul: He empowered others wherever he went! 2 Timothy 2:2 records, “what you have heard . . . entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others also.” Pass along those things that God has taught you throughout your life in Him.4. Everyone has a purpose and a role. Look at how important a task Bezalel and Oholiav were given. They were craftsman . . . not politicians, priests, or prophets.
One of the most important revelations one can receive about the Kingdom of God is that the Kingdom touches every area of life. Every place or sphere of society where God’s order and purpose pervade — that is the Kingdom.
You are called to be an ambassador of God’s Kingdom in whatever role you are in. Your gifts, talents, and abilities when submitted to God and infused with His wisdom and strength will produce tremendous blessing and fruit in the Kingdom. Every one and every role is important,.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7
“There are various kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are various kinds of working, but the same God who works all things in all people. But to each person is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the benefit of all.”
5. Prepare a place for God’s Spirit to dwell. Notice what Bezalel and Ohaliav were doing. They were preparing a place for God to dwell within the community! The central symbolic meaning of the tabernacle served as a visible sign of God’s presence with His people.
The name Oholiav means, “Father’s Tent.”
The Mishkan (Tabernacle) itself may be considered both the place of the “shadow of the Lord” and the “Father’s Tent,” for its purpose was to create a portal for the Presence or Shadow of God to permeate this world.
Likewise, your purpose in God is to participate in establishing a dwelling place for Adonai’s Presence. This is a crucial life lesson. A person needs to know the goal—the ultimate purpose of life—and only then will his or her activities take on true purpose and meaning. If we just wander along, hoping to figure things out along the way, we’ll spend lots of time—maybe even a lifetime—building elaborate structures that have no ultimate meaning. Make it a priority in every activity to participate in creating space for God’s Presence.
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About the Author
Benjamin Juster is the executive director for Tikkun International and is a member of the Tikkun America Apostolic Team for a network of thirty Messianic congregations and ministries in the United States. He has a bachelor’s in business management from Oral Roberts University and a master’s in Jewish studies from the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute. Raised in the Messianic movement, Benjamin has held professional, managerial, and ministerial positions spanning across non-government organizations and for-profit companies, including as a human resources manager for Toyota (JM Family Enterprises). For over 25 years, he has had opportunities to impart a vibrant message of kingdom-fruitfulness leadership and discipleship at Messianic congregations, conferences, home cell groups and sister churches. Benjamin, his wife Lorena, and three children live in Israel.
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