Wheew!!!! It’s been a month since I last published a post. I must, first of all, apologize for my short hiatus from blogging. I really needed this break to prepare for my exams which I’m currently writing. A lot has transpired since I took a break and I’d be writing on them in subsequent weeks.
I was recently having my quiet time and I came across an interesting scenario in the Bible. It’s about the story of Moses. I see Moses as a savior who God used to deliver the Israelites. After giving Moses the ten commandments to be given to the Israelites, God made an interesting demand which I think we can learn from. God asked Moses to build the ark of the covenant and he was very specific about how it should be built. “Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it. The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed. Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you. “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. He went further to tell him how the table, lamp-stand and other constituents of the ark should be made but to avoid making a lengthy post, I’d dwell on the ark. You can read the rest from Exodus 25-30.
I was befuddled when I first came across this text because Moses was just an ordinary shepherd with low self-esteem who had no clue about his own life. One moment, God wants him to go rescue the Israelites, the next moment he is being given the ten commandments and then God wants him to build the ark of the covenant. It would have been plausible if God just told him to build the ark and left Moses to use his discretion to execute it . Here lies the case God is giving Moses specific dimensions of what he wants and mentioning building materials that I doubt Moses has ever handled before. What has a shepherd got to do with building with pure Gold and wood?
When you look at the instructions God was giving, you’d realize this particular work was meant for an intelligent architect and goldsmith. Interestingly, God decided to entrust this delicate and expensive project into the hands of someone who has a low self-esteem, not eloquent when it comes to speaking and doesn’t have the expertise to execute the assignment he is being given. To make things worse, Moses was a broke man because he couldn’t feed the people he was leading and had to beg God to come to his rescue. If he couldn’t even feed others, how much more getting Gold and acacia wood for the hefty job God was assigning him to do? If he were to go and liaise or negotiate with someone who owns the Gold and acacia wood, it wouldn’t have been possible because Moses is slow in speech and isn’t eloquent. Interestingly, the Bible didn’t record that Moses interjected when God was speaking to tell Him he doesn’t have the expertise to execute the job, neither did he ask him where he’d get the expensive building materials from He remained silent and kept on scribbling the instructions being given him. I believe by now, there are two questions running through your mind. Whether Moses was able to execute the assignment God gave him and how.Absolutely Yes!! He did it and I’d tell you how.
In Exodus 31 God said to Moses, “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— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— the table and its articles, the pure gold lamp-stand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt-offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand— and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.”
All along, God knew Moses wasn’t fit to execute the job. He already set aside someone that Moses initially was oblivious of. He just wanted Moses to oversee the execution of the project. But then one would ask; If Moses wasn’t the one to execute the project, why did God give him the idea and made it seem like he was the one to execute it? This could mean, the fact that God gives you an idea doesn’t mean you are the one to execute it. Most of us at a point in our lives find ourselves in the shoes of Moses. It might not be an idea of building an ark or anything religious. If the Bible says every good and everything perfect thing comes from God, I believe every great thing we see someone do is from God irrespective of religious affiliation. There are times God gives us brilliant ideas but we focus our attention on our inadequacies and throw those ideas away. Sadly, when we see someone else executing our idea, we gnash our teeth in pain and say “I once had that idea”.
The truth is, God knows our flaws but He being God makes us conceive those ideas for a reason and doesn’t make the people we think are qualified to conceive them. God knew Moses didn’t have the resources or the ability to build the ark. I believe what Moses had at his disposal was his unqualified self, a writing tool and a surface to write on. It is mostly said that, when you have an idea, you write it down. Most of us crucify our ideas in our brains and they don’t find their way onto the paper. Moses could have stopped writing immediately he heard the mention of acacia wood and Gold and told God he is the wrong person for the job but he didn’t. He continued till the last instruction was written before God showed him the next phase of the plan. Almost every great idea wasn’t executed wholly by the conceiver of the idea but by others. They gave birth to the idea and people later came along with their individual expertise to execute it.
If you’re still not convinced, I bring to you a living testimony in the person of Jack Ma. He is a Chinese business magnate who owns Alibaba group of companies, a family of success Internet-based businesses. Even though he conceived the idea of doing business over the internet, he found the Alibaba company with a group of 18 friends who brought their expertise on board. He is currently worth US$28.3 billion. God doesn’t care about our flaws so let’s stop focusing on them if he gives us an idea because, with every idea, there is a bezalel set aside to help execute it.
Published by Desmond Tawiah