Summary: God give us gifts to use in His work. How we use and build those gifts is up to us. We grow as we mature in Christ and become more aware of things outside ourselves.
INTRO: The idea of Christmas means different things to different people. Some hold the idea in wonderment of the thrill of presents while others cringe at the idea of expense and yet others dive into the depths of meaning of types and symbols. From the very young to the aged there is a changing perception of the holiday that coincides with the changing perception of life. Psychologists would call this perception a “sphere of awareness” or a “sphere of understanding.” Another name for it could be “a sphere of concern.” A healthy growth pattern in life causes that sphere to change from youth to old age. The proper growth in a “sphere of awareness” will enlarge itself to encompass more ideas, more questions, more concerns, and more people. A certain amount of change takes place naturally but is more intensified by the Lord when an individual opens their heart and mind to His Will for their life.
I. BEZALEEL’S GIFTS
Bezaleel = "in the shadow (i.e. protection) of God"
1) son of Uri and grandson of Hur; a skilled Judahite artisan in all works of metal, wood, and stone and one of the architects of the tabernacle.
It is interesting to note that this skilled man did not submit his resume upon hearing there were job openings for building of the tabernacle. God told Moses that He had, by name, picked Bezaleel to be a builder and to work on the Tabernacle. The Lord spoke further to Moses and told him of this man and his qualifications that were both self-learned and God-given. Looking at the qualifications one would think them to be much the same but they are separately different and unique. You will note a progression in his life of the enlarging of his “sphere of awareness,” as we look at the gifts God has blessed him with. Some gifts were acquired naturally and some were given by the Lord for the work He calls him to accomplish.
1. Knowledge - perception, discernment…the knowledge of me.
2. Understanding - intelligence, insight…both of God and man.
3. Wisdom - It comprehends various learning…in a greater and more eminent sense to God.
4. Workmanship - business, work, skill… both political and religious.
Using this progression in the life of Bezaleel we can understand some of how we progress as well. As our “sphere of awareness” enlarges it feeds itself to continue growing. For example the “knowledge of me” that is an awareness of my surroundings begins to questions why and how. The questions lead to research and an awareness of greater knowledge and learning. Let’s think about this natural progression.
II. OUR GIFTS
A. At birth we have a very limited knowledge that encompasses only our basic needs as an individual. We are not concerned about what kind of imposition we place on others as long as we get our needs met. Communicating in that small sphere is only done with cries and noises that accomplish the task of self perseveration. We’re not concerned about how we are perceived by others as long as we have our needs met. Those basic needs become the main focus of life for us and even though the fullness of life is going on all around us we are totally oblivious to any of it. At the early beginning only our stomach and sleeping really matters to us. However that small sphere begins to rapidly grow.
B. At Early age we begin to understand we have fingers and toes. The light begin to get our attention and we notice we have sight of very close objects that attract our attention. Questioning what those things are will follow and cause our “sphere of awareness” to start growing. That period which causes it to explode is often termed “the terrible twos.” That’s when everything is a question. We question why everything about us is as it is. We’re rapidly expanding and growing. The more we find out them more we want to know. This Knowledge phase lasts for many all the way through childhood, into adolescence, and can even go into early adulthood. We acquire concerns for others outside our own sphere and, depending on our inquisitive nature, to many activities and events in the world around us. We become aware of economic and political structure about us and our social awareness expands. It is during this phase that we become aware of our spiritual aspect and begin to have questions about God and where we came from. It is during this phase when we will see our need for forgiveness and call upon the Lord for salvation or we will refuse to see our sin and reject the forgiveness of the Lord. Actually this phase lingers on at a much reduced rate until we reach old age. As we approach old age this phase is once again reduced and we began reverting back to the way it was at the beginning. If we live long enough it will completely shrink itself back to it’s original size where we are concerned only about our basic needs again.