17 JANUARY 365 Days with Calvin

The Source of All Gifts

See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. Exodus 31:2

suggested further reading: 1 Corinthians 12

The call of Bezaleel was special because God entrusted to him an unusual and by no means ordinary work, yet we know that no one excels even in the most despised and humble handicraft unless God’s Spirit works in him. For, although “there are diversities of gifts,” it is still the same Spirit from whom these gifts flow (1 Cor. 12:4). God has seen fit to distribute and measure these gifts out to every person. This is not only so with the spiritual gifts that follow regeneration but also in all the branches of knowledge that come into use in common life.

It is, therefore, wrong to ascribe the means of our support partly to nature and God’s blessing, and partly to the industry of man, since man’s industry itself is a blessing from God. The poets are more correct who acknowledge that everything in nature, including the arts, comes from God, and that therefore everything ought to be accounted as divine inventions.

Understanding this doctrine is useful, first, because all things that refer to the support and defense of life should excite our gratitude, and whatever seems to be derived from man’s ingenuity should be regarded as proofs of God’s paternal solicitude for us. Second, we should honor God as the author of so many good things, since he sanctifies them for our use. Moses applies many epithets to the Spirit, because he is speaking of a remarkable work. Yet we must conclude that whatever ability is possessed by anyone emanates from one only source, God. The one difference is Bezaleel, who was endued with consummate excellence, while God makes distribution to others according to his pleasure.

for meditation: We seldom recognize the gifts God has given us for what they really are: gifts! Let us make the gifts we have received reasons for greater praise to God instead of greater reliance on ourselves. Do you feel responsible to use your gifts diligently for God’s glory?[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 35). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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