The Skilled Workers

Open Your Bible

Exodus 31:1-18, Jeremiah 31:31-34, 2 Corinthians 3:1-3, Ephesians 2:10

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.

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55 thoughts on "The Skilled Workers"

  1. Lehua K. says:

    Wow, God has amazing timing. Our pastor just went over Ephesians 2:10 in our church sermon recently, and while I’m behind on my reading here, it brings me great comfort during this time of uncertainty and possible job changes, that God has it all in His hands. It’s under control. He’s got me. Hallelujah, Amen!

  2. Erica Chiarelli says:

    He put in us all we need for life & godliness, for good works! We already have His Spirit in us when we accept Him as our Lord & Savior! Amazing! We do not have to strive but rest in Him. He has called us & He will help us to do all we have been called to do! Hallelujah!

  3. Claire B says:


  4. Kimberly Ziehl says:

    Trying to keep the sabbath is something I really struggle with. I want to be doing all the things at all times. Whether it’s work or play and my mind is set on it I have a hard time backing down. I pray this week especially that I can be intentional about the Sabbath. As somebody who is extremely inpatient this is something that I struggle with.

  5. Lynnette Golden says:

    I think that the materials to build the tabernacle came from the stuff the Egyptians gave the Hebrew children to move on out of Egypt. God wouldn’t have asked for gold and bronze if it wasnt readily available but it also required the Hebrew children to relinquish that which they had back to God.

  6. kimmie says:

    “not responsible for keeping the world turning…” I feel like I’m slowly getting that.

  7. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Hi Shes – I overslept this morning because the battery in my phone (and thus my alarm) died overnight. I’m thankful the Lord woke me up in enough time to get to work. Anyway just getting to today’s reading.

    Ex. 31:18 “When [God] finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.” How priceless that God personally inscribed the “terms” of His covenant in stone. And Jesus inscribed the new covenant with His blood on our hearts of stone.

    From the HRT: “God alone is the one who equips and qualifies us for service. Do you have incredible talents? A winning personality? A brilliant intellect? They aren’t yours. They are His. We see that in preparing His temple, God equipped certain men with ability, intelligence, knowledge, and craft. Mind, heart, and hands are all alike prepared by Him. They are all His. Therefore, all praise is due Him. . . . The Sabbath recalibrates us for the work we are to do in the world. It is a holy reminder that we are not our own, that our talents and abilities, our know-how and our personality are all from God. He is the One who qualifies us for service in this world.”

    TINA – praying the Lord’s peace will be tangible for you and your family in the coming days.

    HIEDI – how is school going for your daughter?

    DOROTHY – praying for Carol and wisdom for the medical team in her treatment plan.