In Exodus 31:1-11 we have a stunning scene. This is the one of the first instances in Scripture where we explicitly see the enabling work of the Holy Spirit, providing all things needed to obey what God commands. It says this:
“The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”
See it? The Spirit equipped Bezalel and Oholiab to build all that God commanded. Without this filling of the Spirit, God’s people would not be able to partake in worship, they wouldn’t be able to do what God commanded them to do. But the Spirit provided what God commanded – and thus the people of God are built up. This happens in the New Testament too. Read Ephesians 4:10-16:
“He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Just as the Holy Spirit provided what God commanded in the Old Covenant, so too He does the same thing in the New Covenant for the people of God. Whereas before He equipped two men with gifts, abilities, knowledge, and skills to build the temple and all it contained, now the Spirit is equipping men with gifts, abilities, knowledge, and skills to build the Church, preach God’s Word, shepherd the people, and lead them in worship.
The same Spirit who acted for God’s people in Exodus is still at work today among us, enabling, equipping, and empowering the Church to be the Church. Praise Him indeed!