Introduction. To many people, Exodus chapter 35 appears to merely repeat Exodus 31. In both chapters, God explained: (1) who was to build the Tabernacle; (2) what materials were needed; and (3) His prohibition on violating the Sabbath when building it. Thus, most commentaries discuss both chapters together as if God had nothing new to add in Exodus 35. Yet, although the content of these chapters is similar, their context is different. Both chapters spoke to the actual events that happened in the building of the Tabernacle. Both chapters also speak to the role of believers in building God’s Church today (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 6:1). These chapters, however, also foreshadowed different time periods in human history. These two chapters fall between Moses’ second and three trips up the mountain to see God, with each trip foreshadowing different time periods in human history. Exodus 31 foreshadowed the role of believers in being co-builders of Christ’s Church while waiting for His return. Exodus 35 foreshadowed the role of believers in being co-builders of His Church during the Millennial Reign.
The foreshadow of Christ in Moses’ three trips up the mountain to see God. Moses made a total of three trips up the mountain to be in God’s presence. During his first ascension, God charged Moses with traveling into the land of bondage to free His people (Ex. 3:1-4:17). Moses then descended into Egypt to free the oppressed. This foreshadowed the first coming of Christ. Christ came into the world to free mankind from the oppression and bondage of sin (Lk. 4:17-21). After freeing the people, Moses ascended alone into God’s presence (Ex. 20:1-31:18). Also after freeing mankind, Jesus ascended to be at the right hand of the Father (Heb. 10:12). While Moses was gone, the people rebelled and built the golden calf because they assumed that he was not coming back (Ex. 32:1-10). After Jesus ascended into heaven, generations of people also rebelled because they assumed that He was not coming back. Moses then unexpectedly descended and cast judgment upon those who refused to repent (Ex. 32:19-35). Jesus’ return will also be unexpected (2 Pet. 3:10). Like Moses, He will judge those who refuse to repent. After judging the people, Moses then ascended again to be with God the Father (Ex. 34:1-35). Also after the Day of Judgment, Jesus will ascend temporarily to be with the Father in preparation for a new era. Moses’ return and the gathering of God’s people foreshadowed Jesus’ return and the gathering of His people during the Millennial Reign. The purpose of the Tabernacle was to allow God to dwell with His people. When Jesus became flesh, He “dwelt amongst us.” (Jo. 1:14). Ezekiel also prophesized of a future time when God would dwell again with His people in a sanctuary (Ez. 11:16). Thus, the Tabernacle was also a “type and shadow” of Christ’s Millennial Reign (Heb. 8:4-5). While Christ lived for approximately 30 years with His people, He will dwell with them for 1,000 years during the Millennial Reign (Rev. 20:4-6). Thus, in this context, Exodus 35 provides seven lessons pertaining to the role of believers as co-builders of Christ’s Church both now and during the Millennial Reign.
First, through His repetition of the Sabbath laws, God reminds us that the Sabbath foreshadows the Millennial Reign when mankind will find rest from having to toil in the land to survive. The Bible also reveals that the Sabbath will be revitalized as a time of universal worship during Christ’s Millennial Reign. In the current era, it offers you both rest and the opportunity to hear God’s direction for being a co-builder of His Church. Second, from the list of things needed for the offering for the Tabernacle, God reveals that Christ provides everything needed to build the Church. Third, through God’s call for builders to use their gifts for Him, He reveals that He desires your labor given with the right motivation. Fourth, through His call for obedience in building the Tabernacle, He reveals that He wants your obedience as you serve Him. Without obedience, your labor may be in vain. Fifth, through the example of how the Jews gave joyfully to build the Tabernacle, God also wants you to give with a grateful heart. Sixth, through the example of God calling Bezalel and Oholiab by name for Hs works, He has also called you to do good works for Him. Finally, also through the example of God filling Bezalel and Oholiab with the Spirit, He wants you to also be Spirit-led and follow His Spirit-led leaders as you serve Him.
1 The Sabbath Allows Both Rest and the Opportunity for God to Guide You. Ex. 35:1-3.
The Sabbaths laws when doing God’s work. After returning from his second trip up the mountain to receive God’s commandments, Moses’ first action was to call the people together into a single congregation. After they assembled, his first instruction was God’s last instruction regarding the Tabernacle (Ex. 31:12-17). The Jews had to observe the Sabbath while building the Tabernacle: “1Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do: 2 “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3 You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.” (Ex. 35:1-3). The Sabbath is the Fourth Commandment (Ex. 20:8-11; Dt. 5:12-16). It is so important to God that this was the third time that He repeated this commandment in Exodus (Ex. 31:12-17; 23:12-13). No other Commandment is repeated as often. Yet, no other Commandment is ignored as often. He did not want good intentions to lead to spiritual burnout. He also did not want His people to become so busy building that they might stop worshiping Him and lose sight of what they were doing. Both lessons still apply today. Yet, the Jews later misinterpreted these verses to prohibit good works of any kind during the Sabbath. Jesus later rebuked this misinterpretation by healing on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:9-21; Mk. 3:1-6; Lk. 6:6-11; 13:10-17; 14:1; Jo. 5:1-18). Christ also came to free people from observing this day of worship out of obligation, something God does not want. Christ came to fulfill the Law (Matt. 5:17). Through Hs death, your legal obligations were “nailed to the cross.” (Col. 2:14). Thus, “[l]et no man judge you . . . in respect [to] . . . the Sabbath days.” (Col. 2:16). Yet, observing the Sabbath (along with the other Commandments) out of love and not obligation is a sign of your love for Christ. Jesus advised: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; Matt. 19:17; 1 Jo. 2:3; 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). A day spent worshipping, reading the Word and in prayer is important for God to guide you as a co-builder of His Church. Out of love, are you giving Him at least one day a week for worship?
The Sabbath will be observed during the Millennial Reign. Because of our original sin, all creation is condemned to struggle here on earth (Gen. 3:17; 9:2; Rom. 8:19-22). The Sabbath foreshadows life during the Millennial Reign when, thanks to Jesus, we will no longer need to tire from the daily struggles of life (Heb. 4:9-10). Thus, the Sabbath day is a “shadow” of things to come (Col. 2:17; Gal. 4:10-11). Also during the Millennial Reign, God will “tabernacle” or dwell with the redeemed on Earth again (Ez. 37:27-28). The world will be transformed. People will come together in peace until the very end. Animal predators will be made docile (Isa. 65:25). At that time, Mountain Zion will have a cloud by day and a fire by night (Isa. 4:5-6). During that time, His Shekinah glory will be visible for all to see (Isa. 60:1, 19; Zech. 2:5). Also during that time, “all mankind” will treat the Sabbath as holy: “‘from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,’ says the Lord.” (Is. 66:22-23; Ez. 20:12-26). For these reasons, God declared the Sabbath to be part of His covenant “forever”: “So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever;” (Ex. 31:17). Some dismiss the Sabbath as a relic of the past. They will likely be confused by the universal Sabbath celebrations during the Millennial Reign.
The foreshadow of Christ’s Millennial Reign in the assembly of the people. Moses’ assembly of the people after returning from the mountain points towards Christ’s Millennial Reign (Ex. 35:1). The word for “assembly” in Hebrew is “vaykhel.” The same word in Greek “ekklesia” is used for the word “church.” Thus, some believe that Moses’ assembly of the believers foreshadows Christ’s assembly of His believers during the Millennial Reign (First Fruits of Zion, Torah Club, Ex. Vol. 2 (2014) p. 319-21).
God made the Sabbath for your benefit. According to Jesus, “‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.’” (Mk. 2:27-28). Keeping a “holy” Sabbath gives God the opportunity to refresh your body. We were created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27). On the Sabbath, God refreshed Himself: “[F]or in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31:17). The Sabbath also allows God’s people to “refresh themselves.” (Ex. 23:12). Keeping a holy Sabbath allows you to receive a blessing from God. For those who spend the Sabbath seeking after God, He promises great delight: “Then you will take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;” (Is. 58:13-14). He also promises to “bless” you: “How blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who takes hold of it; who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil . . .” (Is. 56:2, 5-7). Are you missing out on the blessings that come from a Sabbath?
The symbolism of Christ in the building materials. After repeating the law of the Sabbath, Moses revealed the things that the Jews would need to build the Tabernacle: “4 Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, ‘This is the thing which the Lord has commanded, saying, 5 Take from among you a contribution to the Lord; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze, 6 and blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goats’ hair, 7 and rams’ skins dyed red, and porpoise skins, and acacia wood, 8 and oil for lighting, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense, 9 and onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece.’” (Ex. 35:4-9). God provided all of the items on this list when the Jews fled from Egypt (Ex. 12:35-36). Moses’ list was similar to the list that God had given him previously (Ex. 31:7-11). Both lists pointed to Christ.
Christ provides everything needed for salvation and to be a co-builder of His Church. The list contained 14 components, which all pointed toward Christ:  gold (Ex. 35:5). The gold symbolized His divinity, which makes our salvation possible (Jo. 1:1, 14; 3:16);  silver (Ex. 35:5). Silver symbolizes redemption (Matt. 26:14-16). It is only through Christ that our redemption is possible;  bronze (Ex. 35:5). Bronze symbolizes judgment (Ex. 38:2; Rev. 1:15; Rom. 16:20). He bore the judgment for each believer (2 Cor. 5:21; Jo. 1:29; Acts 3:19; 1 Jo. 2:2);  the blue material (Ex. 35:6). Blue symbolizes heaven. It is again only through Christ that access to heaven is possible;  the purple material (Ex. 35:6). Purple symbolizes His royalty as the “King of Kings” (Rev. 19:16);  the scarlet material (Ex. 35:6). The scarlet material symbolized His blood that was poured out to atone for our sins (Rev. 7:14(b); Heb. 9:14; 1 Jo. 1:7; Is. 1:18(b));  the fine linen (Ex. 35:6). The fine linen symbolizes the righteousness that is made possible through Him (Rev. 19:8; 3:5);  the goats’ hair (Ex. 35:6). The goats’ hair symbolized the sin that was cast onto Christ (Lev. 16:7-8; Jo. 1:29);  the rams’ skins dyed red (Ex. 35:7). The rams’ skins dyed red symbolized the substitute trespass or guilt offering that He makes for each believer (Gen. 22:8; Lev. 8:18; 5:15; Nu. 28:19; Is. 53:10);  the porpoise skins / badger skins (Ex. 35:7). The porpoise or badger skins symbolize the protection that He offers to those who take refuge in Him (Prov. 30:5; 2 Sam. 22:31);  acacia wood (Ex. 35:7). The acacia wood symbolized His incorruptible body (Ps. 16:10(b); Acts 13:35);  the oil (Ex. 35:8). The oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit (1 Sam. 16:13; Zech. 4:2-6). Only through Christ, does the Holy Spirit become available to you (Jo. 14:16; 15:26);  the fragrant incense (Ex. 35:8). His blood was the fragrant incense to God (Eph. 5:2). His blood also allows your prayers to be a sweet aroma to God (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8; 8:4);  the precious setting stones (Ex. 35:9). Through Christ’s death, you are transformed into precious stones in God’s eyes (1 Pet. 2:5). Christ wants every believer to count the cost before deciding to follow Him (Lk. 14:28). Are you giving thanks that Jesus has provided everything you need to be saved and to serve Him?
God will also supply all that you need as a laborer for His Church. During Christ’s Millennial Reign, He will provide for all your needs. But you don’t need to wait until then to experience the blessings of His provision. When you serve Him, He promises to provide for all that you need: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33). “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;” (2 Cor. 9:8). “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19). “A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Ps. 23:1). “O fear the LORD, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want.” (Ps. 34:9). If you are missing anything that you need, are you seeking to use your talents for yourself or for Him?
God’s gifts were meant to be used for His glory. After telling the people what was needed to build the Tabernacle, Moses directed each skilled worker to use his or her gifts for God: “10 ‘Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the Lord has commanded:’” (Ex. 35:10). God has given you gifts for you to use as a co-builder of His Church: “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. ” (1 Pet. 4:10). “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Ro. 12:6-8). “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” (Eph. 4:11-12). “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. . . . .4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Cor. 12:1-7). Every person’s gift is needed in the body of Christ because no one person has them all (1 Cor. 12:13-27). Moses could not have built the Tabernacle on his own. Christ also wants you to be His laborer (Col. 3:23). Are you using your gifts for Him?
Serve God in the manner He requests. God warned Moses to be obedient in building the Tabernacle: “make them according to all that I have commanded you.” (Ex. 31:11(b)). Thus, Moses also exhorted the laborers to be obedient in every detail while building the Tabernacle: “10 ‘Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the Lord has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its hooks and its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets; 12 the ark and its poles, the mercy seat, and the curtain of the screen; 13 the table and its poles, and all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 14 the lampstand also for the light and its utensils and its lamps and the oil for the light; 15 and the altar of incense and its poles, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the doorway at the entrance of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grating, its poles, and all its utensils, the basin and its stand; 17 the hangings of the court, its pillars and its sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court and their cords; 19 the woven garments for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests.’” (Ex. 35:10-19).
God’s exhortation to be obedient as you labor for Him. Today, Christians are no longer “under the Law” in the sense that they must comply with it to be saved (Gal. 5:18; Ro. 7:6; 8:3). By “fulfilling” the Law, Christ freed us from the impossible task of trying to obtain salvation through the Law (Matt. 5:17). Yet, God also wants you to serve Him with obedience: “I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.” (Dt. 1:18; 6:3-4; 9:1; 20:3). Believers are required to be obedient even if they do not understand the purpose behind a Law. God’s thoughts and His ways are greater than our own (Is. 55:8). Jesus also says that, if you love Him, you will keep His commandments: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). He is the great “I AM” who gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Jo. 8:58; Ex. 3:14). Whether you follow His Ten Commandments out of love is also a test for whether you really know God: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3). “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” (1 Cor. 7:19). Will you obey God when even His reasons are not clear to you?
Without obedience, you may labor in vain for God. If you labor for your glory, your labor may also be in vain: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.’” (Matt. 15:12-13). Are you seeking the glory for your good works for God?
The Jews gave with a joyful heart. Moses did not need to berate the Jews to give. He simply told the Jews what was needed. The people then left and mediated on his words. Then, out of gratitude for being spared for their many rebellions against God, all those with a stirred heart gave for the building of the Tabernacle: “20 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel departed from Moses’ presence. 21 Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments. 22 Then all whose hearts moved them, both men and women, came and brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and bracelets, all articles of gold; so did every man who presented an offering of gold to the Lord. 23 Every man, who had in his possession blue and purple and scarlet material and fine linen and goats’ hair and rams’ skins dyed red and porpoise skins, brought them. 24 Everyone who could make a contribution of silver and bronze brought the Lord’s contribution; and every man who had in his possession acacia wood for any work of the service brought it. 25 All the skilled women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun, in blue and purple and scarlet material and in fine linen. 26 All the women whose heart stirred with a skill spun the goats’ hair. 27 The rulers brought the onyx stones and the stones for setting for the ephod and for the breastpiece; 28 and the spice and the oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. 29 The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the Lord had commanded through Moses to be done, brought a freewill offering to the Lord.” (Ex. 35:20-29). It is hard to imagine people today giving like the Jews did for the building of the Tabernacle. A lack of faith will typically hold people back from giving as much as they could. Yet, these verses also speak to life during the Millennial Reign. Until the very end when Satan is released from captivity, people will experience an overwhelming joy being in God’s presence. They will give freely and abundantly as co-builders of God’s Church.
Give gratefully from the things God has given you. The Jews knew that God gave them everything they had when He freed them from captivity (Ex. 12:35-36). Every good and perfect thing in your life comes from above, even if someone in the world hands it to you (Ja. 1:17). God commands each believer to give back from the things that God has given. He in turn promises to bless you as a steward with more gifts (Mal. 3:8-10). Yet, He only wants you to give out of gratitude, not obligation (Ex. 36:2-7; 2 Cor. 9:6 8-14). Satan will also seek to cause you to sin by keeping God’s tithes. Satan had just induced Aaron to raise a counterfeit offering for a golden calf from things that should have gone for the Tabernacle (Ex. 32:2-6). Are you giving to God from what He has given you? Or, has your coveting robbed from resources that could be going to God?
God’s selection of Bezalel and Oholiab. After giving the instructions for the Tabernacle, Moses advised the people that God had selected two people to serve as the chief builders of the Tabernacle; Bezalel from tribe of Judah and Oholiab from the tribe of Dan: “30 Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.” (Ex. 35:30). God advised Moses that He had filled them with His Spirit (Ex. 31:3). Thus, the people were to follow them.
God created you for good works. God called Bezalel and Oholiab “by name” to do good works for Him (Ex. 31:2). He also called every believer by name before the foundation of the world to do good works for Him: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21). Are you volunteering your time, talent, or treasure to help God’s Church?
The foreshadow of Christ in Bezalel and Oholiab. When the Jews began their journey from Mount Horeb, the tribe of Judah “set out first” with its 186,400 troops (Nu. 2:3-4, 9). The tribe of Dan guarded the northern flank with 62,700 troops (Nu. 2:25-26, 31). The tribes camped in a manner that would have formed a cross from the air. As symbols of the beginning and the end, they foreshadowed Jesus: “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,’” (Rev. 1:17). “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Rev. 22:13). “Who has performed and accomplished it, calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the LORD, am the first, and with the last. I am He.”’ (Is. 41:4). Is Christ the Alpha and the Omega in your life?
God’s commission for Bezalel and Oholiab. After revealing the names of the two persons appointed to oversee the building of the Tabernacle, Moses revealed that God had filled each man with His Holy Spirit: “31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; 32 to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, 33 and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. 34 He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet material, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.” (Ex. 35:31-35). These men not only had God’s gifts in building, they were also filled with the Spirit in teaching others (Ex. 35:34). There is again a lesson for all believers in their example. In addition to using your gifts for God, He wants you to teach those gifts to others.
Follow a leader who is led by the Spirit. According to Jewish tradition, Bezalel was only thirteen years of age when he accomplished his great work of building the Tabernacle (Sanhedrin 69b). This might have made it hard for many people to take direction from him. Yet, because God sometimes uses His appointed leaders to guide us, He commands that we obey them. This includes: (1) church authorities (Matt. 18:17-20, Heb. 13:17); (2) civil authorities (1 Pet. 2:13-14; Rom. 13:1-2); and parents (Eph. 5:22-25; 6:10). Only when your authorities refuse to follow God’s Word can you ignore them (Acts. 4:19). “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” (Heb. 13:17). “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” (Ro. 13:1-2). Contempt for a leader who is following God’s will is also equivalent to having contempt toward God (Ex. 16:8; 1 Sam. 8:7). Thus, God further warns believers not to speak ill of His appointed leaders: “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.” (Ps. 105:15). Jesus says that you will know a Sprit-led leader when the fruit of the Spirit is visible in that person’s life (Matt. 7:17). The “fruit of the Spirit is (1) love, (2) joy, (3) peace, (4) patience, (5) kindness, (6) goodness, (7) faithfulness, (8) gentleness, [and] (9) self-control;” (Gal. 5:22-23). While there are ways to correct a wayward leader, murmuring, gossip and slander are not among them. Those are the tools the enemy uses to tear apart the body of Christ. Are you being supportive and encouraging to your Church leaders? Are you also praying for them? Or, are you complaining about them behind their backs?
If you will let the Spirit guide you, God can use you no matter what you background. Bezalel was from the tribe of Judah (Ex. 31:2). Oholiab was from the tribe of Dan, which was not greatly esteemed (Ex. 31:6). Dan was the son of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid (Gen. 30:6). He was also the fifth of Jacob’s sons. Yet, his tribe was later listed out of order in the census as the tenth out of twelve tribes (Nu. 26:42-43; 1:38-39). Like his brothers Gad and Asher, Dan was a child of the flesh. Thus, neither person had reason to boast about their background. Jesus also picked 12 disciples who were unknown and of no great influence. God frequently lifts up and gives esteem to the lowly: “But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,” (1 Cor. 12:24). The message is that God can use anyone to be a co-builder of His Church (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 6:1). You are never too young or too old to serve Him. All God needs is your desire to serve Him out of gratitude and love. Are you motivated out of love to make your life a “living sacrifice” for Him? (Ro. 12:1).