God’s Tabernacle Design: Skilled Craftsmen; the Sabbath; Two Tablets of Stone

Exodus 31


1-11 | God’s special craftsmen: Bezalel of Judah. Oholiab of Dan and all who are skillful
12-17 | Sabbath is to be a sign between the Lord and Israel
18 | God gives Moses two tablets of the testimony, made of stone, written by the finger of God


I’d like to call attention to one thing in this chapter, that is God’s specific filling with the Spirit of individuals to do certain tasks in the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings.

In doing a quick search in the e-Sword software for verses where all of the words “filled with the Spirit” are used, I found the following instances.1

Person Reference Text
Exodus 31:3 “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship,
Exodus 35:31 “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship;
Micah Micah 3:8 On the other hand I am filled with power—With the Spirit of the LORD—And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin.
John the Baptist Luke 1:15 “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.
Elizabeth Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Zacharias Luke 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
Disciples Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Peter Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people,
Disciples Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
Saul (Paul) Acts 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 13:9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him,
Disciples Acts 13:52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Christians Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

These are not the only instances where God’s Spirit filled a person in scripture but rather specific instance where this type of phrasing is used.  However in each of these references, we see God’s Spirit working specifically in a person’s life or in the lives of group members to accomplish something for God.  The only exception might be the last reference where all Christians are encouraged to be filled with the Spirit.

Another thing to take notice of is the time difference between some of the individuals.  Sometimes there are centuries separating them.  Again, that is not to say that God didn’t fill people with His Spirit in between but even those are more the exception than the rule.

For instance, we don’t see Elijah or Elisha or any of the other prophets, all of whom were filled with God’s Spirit and spoke for God.  However, the people listed all had a specific part to play in God’s plan: craftsmen, prophets, evangelists, & everyday believers.

How does this concept apply to us today?

Jesus has promised that His Spirit lives in believers but we can become calloused to and resisting the prompting of the Spirit with regard to God encouraging us to do good in the world around us in His name or of announcing the good news of the gospel to people we encounter.

John 14:16-17 NASB “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

Acts 7:51 NASB “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.

The work of the Spirit in the lives of individuals and groups is not easily understood and the idea of being “filled with the Spirit” can sometimes be misunderstood and people manipulated by unscrupulous individuals to their advantage.  This is where discernment is necessary for people to test the spirits to see if they are of God or not.

1 John 4:1 NASB Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

How do we test the spirit of individuals who claim to be speaking for God: What do they say about Jesus?

1 John 4:2-3 NASB By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

God promises that if we seek Him we will find Him and we will not be disappointed.  Ask God to reveal Himself to You and He will.  Ask Him to help you understand how to live by the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit and He will.

Additionally, I would encourage you to read through the Bible and every time God’s Spirit is mentioned, make note of the verse and its context in a notebook and then go back and review your notes from time to time to see if anything stands out. The Bible is the best source for learning anything about God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. Look there first before turning to books or sermons.

Heavenly Father, You can see the things of this world from a perspective that we can’t comprehend and the future as history and know the direction mankind is heading unless changes take place in the lives of individuals, groups, and nations.  We ask that You would help us to understand how You would have us to live as we study Your word and seek to honor You with our daily lives.  We also ask that You would help us to recognize when Your Spirit is prompting us to do Your will throughout our days.  Thank You for the promise of Your Spirit living in us and we pray that Your will would be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

1 – The search was not for a specific or exact phrase but verses where all of the words: filled, with, the, and Spirit, are used within a verse.

Exodus 31 - God's Tabernacle Design: Skilled Craftsmen; the Sabbath; Two Tablets of Stone
Exodus 31 - God's Tabernacle Design: Skilled Craftsmen; the Sabbath; Two Tablets of Stone
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