The Skilled Workers
Open Your Bible
Exodus 31:1-18, Jeremiah 31:31-34, 2 Corinthians 3:1-3, Ephesians 2:10
BY Jen Yokel
Have you ever been asked to do something that felt far beyond your skill and knowledge? I know I have. I’m the sort of person who usually has to be pushed into something new. In just about every major life shift—marriage, a long-distance move, a career change—I’ve wondered if I can meet the challenge. In moments of uncertainty and figuring it out as I go, I am still surprised to find there is always enough grace for the moment.
Maybe that explains my soft spot for Moses. From the moment he stopped his day to investigate a burning bush, Moses was a man against impossible odds, yet God gives astonishing provision at every turn.
Over the past few days, we’ve read the incredibly specific how-to guide for crafting the tabernacle, God’s dwelling place among the people. No details are left out, from the ark of the covenant’s elaborate decoration to the exact blend of oils for sacred anointing. I find myself wondering how a bunch of desert wanderers would get the supplies to make this happen. I imagine Moses could have held the same questions, or perhaps he just knew that God would take care of the details as He had from the start of this liberation project.
In the face of such a daunting, creative, and holy task, the Lord provides this kind assurance: “I have put wisdom in the heart of every skilled artisan in order to make all that I have commanded you” (Exodus 31:6). God has already appointed the craftsman by name and given him everything he needs. This tabernacle wasn’t just going to be functional. It was going to be beautiful, and it would be built through the collaboration of human creativity and the grace of God’s Spirit.
What’s more, the Lord goes on to not merely suggest but command Sabbath observances, a weekly day of rest from their labors. It feels significant to pair work and rest like this. The work is spoken of with a lightness, a reminder to trust in God’s provision. Rest is taken seriously—a command, not an option. The balance of work and rest itself is a testament that humans alone are not responsible for keeping the world turning. In these final words of this law, they are called to live lives of radical trust.
So it is with us, even now, in a world filled with needs to meet, brokenness to mend, and yes, beautiful things to create. It can feel overwhelming, but we must remember that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). And, thank God, we can get to work, knowing we have everything we need.