The price of gold today, March 2, 2018 is $1,321.50 per ounce. A rough estimate of the value of all the gold and silver items in the tabernacle per google ranges from 28 million up to 50 million dollars, depending on amounts and current prices. That was some fancy tabernacle, wasn’t it?
Let’s do a recap of this week thinking about the tabernacle. God wanted a tabernacle built so he could dwell with his people and be amongst them. As their God he was leading them to a land of “milk and honey”. In other words, it was a REALLY nice, lush place to live. He was going to protect them. He was going to bless them as his people. He then gave awesome abilities to some men in the area of craftsmanship to build the tabernacle and every item to be placed inside. Exodus repeats that the items were made and God had it all recorded down to the weight of the gold used for specific items. Using the materials and talents given to the men, the tabernacle was built and God dwelt with his people during this time.
Fast forward 700 years. Israel is disintegrating morally and physically. The temple that replaced the tabernacle and had many of the tabernacle items in it, like the ark of the covenant and much gold and silver. Another Israelite, Hezekiah, king of Judah, decides to raid the temple treasuries and strip the gold. He does this to give to Sennacherib, an enemy king, hoping it “buy” his country protection from them. It didn’t.
Now in 2018, about 2,700 years later, we are reading these historical accounts. God preserved in his Word all of the details. We are given details on the measurements of poles and candlesticks, Bezalel’s talents and skills, gold used in the tabernacle and finally, details about the end of the temple. What can we learn from these details? How to use what God gives us. Bezalel used his gifts to God’s glory. The result was God’s presence and dwelling with the people and his protection. Centuries later, a sinful king misuses these very same things: the king’s life ends tragically and the “protection” he had hoped to buy with what God had given his people, never materialized. Had Hezekiah turned back to the God who gave him the gifts and had already promised protection, it would have been there all along. The misuse of the gifts ended in destruction.
As we consider the ways God has gifted us, I think there is a warning here about misuse. My God given gifts and talents, and yours, if used effectively with all our might, can bring about great gain and glory of some type. The question is, glory to whom? Gain for whom? Bezalel used his gifts to obey God and further God’s glory amongst His people. Hezekiah tried to use his to buy security and comfort for himself. Only one of these men successfully reached their goal. As Jordan continues his work and seeks the right career path, as Miriam looks for internships, and Aaron, as you look at colleges-keep all of this in mind. Consider your gifts. Consider and pray about how God wants you to use them. Be very careful that you don’t only consider how to make the most money. Hezekiah would surely warn all of us that all the money in the world will never buy the protection, comfort and joy God offers us when we are obediently seeking His will and walking in His ways with every talent and skill that we have been given.