The Bible seems to take for granted the varied abilities of mankind. Adam was given responsibility to dress and keep the garden in which he was placed. How did he know what to do? I had the benefit of growing up in rural America where having a garden was part of life. I remember a few things, mostly that I hate to hoe corn. Who first thought that swinging a sharp blade toward your toes was a good idea? YouTube is helping to dispel my horticultural ignorance but not my lack of ambition.

What about Eve? Children do not exactly arrive with an instruction manual. We are fortunate to have the Bible. Still, it is more a general guidance document than step by step directions. Adam and Eve’s sons took divergent career paths. Cain somewhat followed in his father’s footsteps by tilling the ground while Abel kept flocks. A few generations later, the descendants of Cain were skilled in music and metalcraft. My own children have a diverse range of interests and abilities. Jessica went into healthcare. Katrina loves the world of business. Emma teaches music. Logan is a machinist.

God blessed numerous individuals with knowledge during the construction of the tabernacle and its articles. “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all who are gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:”” (Exodus 31:1-6 NKJV)

Daniel and his companions had great aptitude for learning. They were recognized by their Chaldean captors as having the ability to serve the king. “Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.” (Daniel 1:3-7 NKJV)

Early Christians were also blessed. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. … And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” (Ephesians 4:7, 11-13 NKJV) “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:4-8 NKJV)

Although miraculous gifts have ceased, God still abundantly blesses individuals with ability and opportunity. “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11 NKJV) May all our abilities be used to God’s glory!

KEN FLEEMAN (7/24/2022)

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