The Gift of Architect-- A Picture
Regarding the “master builder” Eph.4 Gift - then, today, and “until.” (btw, NOT the same as “super teacher” or “awesome ‘pastor.’”)
Several weeks ago, hundreds listened to the “Apostolic Patterns and Foundations” recording, separately and together, in many parts of the world and in local ekklesia in different cities. This morning I read something in Exodus that was a great illustration of the gift of “architect” or “master builder.” God’s show-and-tell pictures in the Old Covenant can be very helpful (Romans 15:4), so I wanted to pass it on.
The Tabernacle was the place where God’s glory rested. It was extremely important to God that it be built just Right—the altar, the ark of the covenant, the lampstand. “See to it that you make them according to the blueprint for them that you were shown on the mountain,” God commanded Moses (Exodus 25:40). But what was God’s plan for getting the work done Right? Here is what He told Moses:
“Look, I have chosen Bezalel, Uri’s son and Hur’s grandson from the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the divine spirit, with skill, ability, and knowledge for every kind of work. He will be able to create designs; do metalwork in gold, silver, and copper; cut stones for setting; carve wood; and do every kind of work. I have also appointed with him Oholiab, Ahisamach’s son from the tribe of Dan. To all who are skillful, I have given the skill to make everything that I have commanded you: the meeting tent, the chest containing the covenant, the cover that is on top of it, all the tent’s furnishings, the table and its equipment, the pure lampstand with all its equipment, the incense altar, the altar for entirely burned offerings with all its equipment, the washbasin with its stand, the woven clothing, the holy clothes for Aaron the priest and for his sons for their service as priests, the anointing oil, and the sweet-smelling incense for the sanctuary. They will do just as I have commanded you” (Exodus 31:1-11).
Moses passed on God’s words about Bezalel and Oholiab verbatim to the people (Exodus 35:30-35). And those two men went to work and finished the Assignment. At the conclusion, we read that “Bezalel, Uri’s son and Hur’s grandson from the tribe of Judah, made everything that the Lord had commanded Moses to make. Working with Bezalel was Oholiab, Ahisamach’s son from the tribe of Dan…” (Exodus 38:22-23).
God’s method was to put the divine spirit into human beings, endowing them with the skill, ability, and knowledge needed for the task. God’s House was quite literally built with Wisdom! Of course these two men did not perform all the work with their own hands. “Let Bezalel, Oholiab, and every other skilled worker whom the Lord has given skill, ability, and knowledge for the work of building the sanctuary do all that the Lord has commanded,” Moses told the people (Exodus 36:1). And everyone contributed something. In fact, they gave so much that the workers eventually had to tell Moses, “The people are contributing way too much material for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do” (Exodus 36:4). This was a beautiful example of teamwork!
But someone had to have the Spirit-given ability to see the blueprints, understand how they could be implemented, and fit together the other gifts so that the finished House would work. That is the Architect gift in action! And out of the entire nation of Israel—apparently some 2 or 3 million people by now—there were a grand total of two (2) that we know of with that gift. Through their gifting, everyone else’s contribution was skillfully woven into a House that still was in existence 450 years later, when David was king. Not bad for bronze-age building materials!
Hopefully that picture helps illustrate the current Architect gift, “UNTIL we all” (Eph.4:11-17). Look it up in Exodus and check it out. :)