A couple of weeks ago, I attended a writer’s retreat/conference. Being together with other writer’s refreshed me and I enjoyed the whole weekend. One of the biggest blessings to me was the opportunity to give the devotions on Saturday and Sunday. I thought I would share the devotion from Saturday with you. Although this was written with writers in mind, the message can apply to all of us.
I’ve long been fascinated with the following scripture passage.
“Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.” Exodus 28:1-3 (NKJV)
Who were these artisans who were to make the priestly garments? They were Israelites who came from the land of Egypt. In Ex. 1:12, we learn that the Egyptians were afraid of the Israelites so they made them slaves. In Exodus 1:13, we see that the Israelites were tasked with making bricks for the Egyptians, a lowly job and one that was hard work.
When Moses arrived to ask Pharoah to set God’s people free, Pharoah was so unhappy that he increased the work load of the Israelites. Not only did they have to make the bricks, they also had to gather the straw. And they were still required to make the same number of bricks.
These artisans were Israelite slaves, set free by God and wandering in the wilderness. They didn’t have time to stop by Hobby Lobby on their way home from making bricks to look at design ideas. They couldn’t look at Pinterest in the evening to see the latest in priestly garments. Yet, by some miracle, God gave them a clear picture of the work He wanted them to do.
When I read this passage, I picture these men working as slaves, making bricks, covered with dirt and debris. All this time, images are flashing in their heads. Images of cloth of fine linen. Embroidery patterns of intricate designs to go on the linen garments. Were frustrated about why they were seeing these images, imagining these beautiful garments, yet not knowing what to do with the ideas they had?
As they wandered through the desert with Moses and the other Israelites, were those dreams growing stronger, becoming more real by the day? Did they cry out to God and ask what He wanted them to do with this? Did they realize they weren’t the only ones to have these imaginings?
Then, God spoke to Moses. He gave them detailed instructions about the garments to be made and the embroidery to be done. And He told Moses there were artisans who had been given wisdom by God to make the necessary apparel.
In my devotion, I compared this to authors who have story ideas given them by God. Often we aren’t sure what to do with these ideas or if they are even worthwhile. But, God has a plan. He has a purpose for everything He asks us to do.
I think too of others who have been given a task from God. Ephesians 2:10 tells us God has prepared a work for us to do. What ideas has God planted in your head? What nudges is He giving you? Maybe something to learn. Maybe people to reach. Maybe a person to pray for.
Whatever it is that God is giving you, pray about the timing. He will lead you to fulfill that task when the time is right.
For those who are writers, I ended my talk with my favorite writing verse, Habakkuk 2:2.
Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
Perhaps this verse can apply to all of us. No matter what job we do, we can help those around us by encouraging them and setting a good example in our work. This will help others to see the light of Christ and to be lifted up in their day.
Like those artisans who began as slaves and were given wisdom by God, we also need to be open to His leading. Let’s see what work God has for us that we might glorify God with everything we do.