“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills.” (Exodus 31:2–3, NIV)
Read the passage above carefully. Believe it or not, it’s here toward the end of Exodus that we find the first mention of God’s Spirit coming on an individual. No, it wasn’t Noah or Abraham, Joseph or Moses, but a man after whom no one names their sons, a man named Bezalel.
Bezalel’s charge was to take the laws and theology God had given to Moses in the preceding thirty chapters of Exodus and turn them into physical objects that would remind the Israelites of who God was and who they were. Every inch of the tabernacle and every ounce of the instruments of sacrifice would powerfully communicate to a largely illiterate people about the character of their God and their own identity as a Holy Nation. Every day as they looked upon the tabernacle and smelled the sacrifices, it would imprint their identity upon them.
Nearly 1,500 years later, Jesus perfectly fulfilled the entire Law of Moses, and He was the “prophet like me” (Deut. 18:15) of whom Moses spoke. So also, when Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent His Spirit upon His Church (Acts 2) in order that His people would serve as physical representatives of the theology and practices Jesus taught to a spiritually illiterate world.
Nearly 2,000 years later, when a fallen world looks upon Christians loving one another, serving as image bearers of God, and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, Jesus continues to fulfill this obscure passage in Exodus. We are like Bezelal, finding ways to take the Truth about Jesus and the Way He taught us into the world. But we are also “God’s handiwork” (Eph. 2:10), and Jesus is not only like Moses, but Bezalel, continually refining us as we minister to those around us.
Jesus charged us with making disciples of all nations, both telling and showing the gospel as we go (Matt. 28:19-20), and He has promised to be with us and transform us as we go.