ואתו אהליאב בן־אחיסמך למטה־דן חרשׁ וחשׁב ורקם בתכלת ובארגמן ובתולעת השׁני ובשׁשׁ׃
B'tzal'el the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Y'hudah, made everything that Adonai ordered Moshe to make. Assisting him was Oholi'av the son of Achisamakh, of the tribe of Dan, who was an engraver, a designer and a weaver in colors -- in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and in fine linen. (Exo 38:22-23)
The expression 'filled with the Spirit' usually calls on certain assumptions. We picture someone 'filled with the Spirit' as someone endowed with some sort of a sixth sense. We attribute to such people spiritual gifting such as discernment, prophecy, teaching, leadership, maybe even miracles. We do have certain examples of such people in the Tanach.
- Saul who when filled with the Spirit was found prophesying with the prophets of the Lord (1 Sam 10:11).
- David whose music had a soothing effect on King Saul, who wrote countless inspired songs, and begged that the Spirit might not be taken from him due to his sin (Ps 51:11).
- The prophets who received many wonderful prophecies, and even performed miracles in order to lead the people of their day.
- Moses, Aaron, Abraham, all the wonderful spirit-filled patriarchs and matriarchs.
In this week's parasha we find a more authentic form of what was called being filled with the Spirit. It tells us of the fullness of the Spirit which enables us to do a job well done under HaShem's anointing because of simple obedience.
We find this in the text that describes the two artisans who were chosen to lead the Ark building project.
Moshe said to the people of Isra'el,
"See, Adonai has singled out B'tzal'el the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Y'hudah. He has filled him with the Spirit of God -- with wisdom, understanding and knowledge concerning every kind of artisanry. He is a master of design in gold, silver, bronze, cutting precious stones to be set, woodcarving and every other craft. [Adonai] has also given him and Oholi'av the son of Achisamakh, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with the skill needed for every kind of work,whether done by an artisan, a designer, an embroiderer using blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen, or a weaver -- they have the skill for every kind of work and design. (Exo 35:30-35)
According to this text, an important definition of being filled with the spirit seems to be the possession of a certain manual skill needed for the construction of the Holy Ark.
We have many people in the body of Messiah who are gifted in many things. It is sad that so often those in the body who are gifted in fixing cars, building things, setting chairs, organizing, repairing broken equipment, fixing computers, working with sound systems and electricity, are not referred to as spiritual. Without their spiritual gifts, those of us who do the teaching, the leading, and all the other so-called spiritual things would really be in a fix.
Paul the Apostle of the Master makes a list of the spiritual gifts in,
And God has placed in the Messianic Community first, emissaries; second, prophets; third, teachers; then those who work miracles; then those with gifts of healing; those with ability to help; those skilled in administration; and those who speak in various tongues. (1Co 12:28)
(The order in this verse is not meant to be of hierarchical importance.)
Many people desire these most showy and seemingly glorious gifts, but I have seldom heard someone desiring the gift of 'helping'. As we travel from place to place exercising our gift of leading worship and sharing teaching, my wife and I truly desire to be a blessing to the congregations . We also very much value those who come to us and help us load and unload equipment and help us with accommodations during our stays at any given congregation.
The levites in the Land did not own land themselves but lived on the gifts of people for their spiritual ministry of teaching the Torah. That said, I also believe that the most successful levites were those who helped their "flock" all around with whatever needed to be done. They were involved in the life of the people they ministered to whether it be helping with harvest time, teaching their children, cleaning, caring for the sick, giving a break to overwhelmed young parents, etc. The vision I have of the levitical ministry is similar to that of the parson in the communities of the old West, the parson who helped teach the children, read letters for people who couldn't read, tended to the sick, stood in for a parent with the children in case of emergency.... who wouldn't be thankful for such a spiritually gifted person (or parson) :-)
In Judaism it is taught that a Rabbi needs to be able to lead a synagogue service as well as teach a child, bandage a wound, build a house, comfort a crying woman, and slaughter a cow. One does not go without the other. John the Apostle who was with no doubt a great spiritual teacher also was working stocking the furnace in a Roman bath in Ephesus.
Pekudei seems to be a repetition of V'yakhel. It almost seems redundant. Why doesn't it just say that they did everything as it was told to do?
Nothing is ever unnecessary or redundant in the Torah. It seems that this parasha introduces another element in being filled with the Spirit of God: obedience. Obedience to do exactly as we are told. Obedience today is often mistaken for 'legalism', but really, there is no being filled with the Spirit without an extreme dedication to obeying the Word of HaShem.
AND BE YE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF HASHEM AS YOU OBEY TO HONOR AND REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY