Updated: Mar 24
One of my favourite characters in the Bible doesn't have a book named after him. He was never a judge, a priest, or a king. He didn't walk with Jesus or die a martyr's death.
His name was Bezalel, and he was a craftsman.
We meet Bezalel in Exodus 31, where God wants a tabernacle in the wilderness in a hurry and knows just the guy to help him out. He says 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." (Exodus 31:2-5, ESV)
Should I ever decide to pull an Elisha and ask for a double portion of someone's spirit, I'm pointing to Bezalel and saying, "that guy." I'll take a hal
f portion, even. I'm not fussy; I just want those mad skills. (Do you suppose he was any good at crayon art? I'm telling you, when we get to heaven I'm looking Bezalel up and asking some pertinent questions.)
Okay, so he could build a whole tabernacle, but did he ever make a baby hat with a pompom?
I didn't think so.
Bezalel was successful in the task God designed for him, and we know this because Exodus 38 tells us so: "Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord commanded Moses" (Ex 38:22, ESV). And after that... we don't know. I'd like to think Bezalel was surrounded by a crowd of admirers who all wanted him to chisel his autograph onto their stone tablets, although I suppose they were probably a little busy worshipping God, considering how His glory was filling the tabernacle. Out of the cast of millions in the Bible, it's remarkable we know Bezalel's name at all--but we really don't, that much. Kids don't learn the story of Bezalel son of Uri in Sunday School. (They really should, though. Imagine the take-home craft possibilities!) No one ever includes him in a list of Great Bible Heroes. He's not in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame.
He's mentioned a couple more times in the Old Testament, when the Israelites take a look back at their history, but it's always the stuff we already know--this guy had the skills, this guy used the skills to bring glory to God.
Now that's success.