Called By Name

May we work for the Lord and not for human masters wherever we may be. What we are serving are not human masters, but Jesus Christ. May this be something to ponder on during those times when we lose faith and we grow weary in our work for God.
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Read: Exodus 31:1-6, 11 NIV

As a child, I used to think I was an outcast in the family. Aside from growing up in my grandparent’s house in the province, I considered myself the least talented among us siblings. There used to be three of us sisters for 6 years before my mother gave birth to our brother. And during those years, we’ve been in the same school from kindergarten until I graduated in grade school. I constantly felt being compared to my sisters, especially to my eldest sister (you met her a few weeks back in one of our devotions). She’s good with almost everything – singing, dancing, public speech, writing, photography, cooking, and so on - and she’s smarter.

But as I was reading the Bible, I realized something: God has given us talents and skills of our own.

I have read and heard Romans 12:6-8 a good number of times already.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8 NIV)

Through this Scripture, allow me to share to you how God had shown me His way of placing people in doing His work.

Our main verse is in Exodus 31:1-6, 11

"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:'" (Exodus 31:1-6 NIV)

"They are to make them just as I commanded you.” (Exodus 31:11 NIV)

Have you noticed what is amazing here?

What really amazes me in these verses is how God had specifically called Bezalel and Oholiab by their names. If we are going to compare different Bible versions of the Word, this is how it was translated:

NLT: “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.”

ESV, NKJV, KJV, & NASB: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,”

Sometimes, we devalue ourselves by saying: 

“Why am I even here?" 

"I’m not good at these."

"I'm not even fond of this."

"I barely know anything about this.”

But in the Bible, we can see God specifically calling these two men Bezalel and Ohaliab. Out of all the 600,000 men from ages 20-50 who went out of the land of Egypt, God called out these two men to lead in building the Tabernacle and everything in it. Imagine having to look for these two out of 600,00 men. How?

I don’t really have any points to ponder on, but I want us to just be amazed at how God is calling us out right now. Join me in my amazement on understanding how intentional God is in calling us.

I can personally relate to this message. I don’t know much about computers and software and anything related to them. My crewmates (especially my officers) onboard my last vessel would laugh at me for not knowing such. I came to some point in this journey where whenever I need to learn something, I would chat with my friend who taught me all that I've been doing right now, and all he would tell me is, “Kaya mo yan. Pag-aralan mo lang. (You can do it. Just try to study it on your own.)” It made me feel so frustrated to the point that I would just breakdown and cry, then stop my work and question myself.

This is not limited to our ministries, but it also includes our career paths and even our passions. Sometimes we get to sigh and utter:

"Lord, is this what you really wanted for me?"

"I want to shift my course."

"I don't feel this career path is for me."

"This is too hard for me to pursue."

"They do better than I do."

"Someone else can do this better."

We can end up really stressed out in the situation we are in right now - doubting, especially because of this pandemic.

But these verses really reminded me that it is God who put me here and He has called me by my name - not just in the ministry, but also in my profession; having all my batchmates (even my juniors) already taking their licensure exams, while I am here, still waiting for my next cadetship assignment.

I am not saying that you have to harbor all the works in your ministry or workplace right now. The point is, God has put us wherever we are right now for a reason. We have to learn something for sure. Remember that our God right now is the same God who talked to Moses regarding the people of Israel. God specifically called Bezalel and Ohaliab for His work. It was not Moses who led in building the Tabernacle (though he's the one who relayed the instructions); it was these two men who led the other skilled workers in building it.

Besides, we can see in the Scripture that even before they started building the Tabernacle, God had already filled them with His Spirit to do the works.

Why don't we just allow God to fill us with His knowledge, wisdom and understanding, and all kinds of skills - according to our work and environment right now?

Or maybe we get bored with what we are doing because it already became routinely. It became a 'work' more than our service to the Lord.

Don't we feel delighted when our bosses or managers recognize our efforts? Don't we feel good when we receive bonuses or gifts as a sign of the work we've done?

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether the Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10:31-33 NIV)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians 3:23 NIV)

May we work for the Lord and not for human masters wherever we may be. What we are serving are not human masters, but Jesus Christ.

May this be something to ponder on during those times when we lose faith and we grow weary in our work for God.

Photo by: Jaime Legaspino