Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall begin to consider the workers of the tabernacle, the furniture, and the priestly garments, as described in 31:1-11; 35:10-19, 30-36:2. I appreciate these portions of the Word. After studying them, I realize that not even in the New Testament do we have such a detailed picture showing us how to build up God’s dwelling place.
Today God’s dwelling place is the church. The building up of the church is truly a great matter and a very important subject in the Bible. Over a long period of time, I have often spoken with the leading brothers in Anaheim concerning the building up of the church. This is a heavy burden on our heart. But we are not able to say much with clarity regarding how to build up the church in a locality. Even though I have studied the book of Exodus a number of times, I did not have a clear understanding from this book about the way to build the dwelling place of God on earth. For this reason, I appreciate the record in Exodus that speaks of the workers of the tabernacle. This is the unique record in the entire Bible showing us the detailed way for God’s people to build up His dwelling place on earth in this age. Therefore, we should treasure this record.
The record of the building up of God’s dwelling place in Exodus is in three sections: the first, 31:1-11; the second, 35:10-19; and the third, 35:30—36:2. In this message and in the message following, we shall cover a number of points from these sections related to the workers of the tabernacle, the furniture, and the priestly garments.
Exodus 31:2-5 speaks of the master builder of the tabernacle. Paul uses the term master builder in 1 Corinthians 3:10: “According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid a foundation....” A master builder is a leader in God’s building.
Exodus 31:2 says, “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.” Bezalel is a type in the Old Testament of the master builder. The name Bezalel means “in the shadow of God.” This indicates that as a master builder, Bezalel was altogether under God’s shadowing. He was a man under the shadow of God’s grace. This corresponds to Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians 3:10, where he says that it was by God’s grace that he was made a wise master builder.
All of us, whether we are leaders in God’s building or common builders, need God’s grace. We need to be under the shadow of His grace. If we are not under the shadow of God’s grace, many things may come to disturb us. But the shadow of God will keep these things away from us and cause us to remain in a peaceful situation and condition to do the building work.
Regarding the building up of God’s dwelling place, there is a real conflict, a severe fighting between God and His enemy. The enemy does not like to see the building of God’s dwelling place going on in a good way. Therefore, he will do everything he can to interrupt, interfere, frustrate, attack, and destroy. The leading brothers in the churches know that it is a troublesome matter to take care of a local church because the enemy often causes disturbances and frustrations. Certain things we know have been sent by the enemy purposely to damage the work of building. There is no logical reason for such things to happen. Nevertheless, they happen because they were caused by the enemy.
Especially the elders must realize that in order to build up a local church we need to be under the shadow of our God. For the building of God’s dwelling place, we all should be named Bezalel. We all should be those under the shadow of God.
The name of Bezalel’s father was Uri, which means “light of Jehovah.” This name indicates that all the builders of God’s dwelling place should be not only under God’s shadow, but also full of the Lord’s light.
The name of Bezalel’s grandfather was Hur. Hur means free, noble, white. Not only should we be under God’s shadow and full of light, but we should be free and noble. Those who build God’s dwelling place are not low people. On the contrary, they are noble people doing a noble work. No other work is as noble as the building of God’s dwelling place. Furthermore, the builders of God’s dwelling place are “white,” that is, they are clean and pure. When we put together the meaning of the names Bezalel, Uri, and Hur, we can see what kind of person the builders of God’s dwelling place, especially the elders, must be.
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