I often think about well-known Bible characters that are meaningful to me. My list would include people like Moses, Joseph, Hannah, Mary and Paul. Yet there are some not well known Bible characters who point to us some important lessons for today. Five such characters come to my mind.
Bezalel and Oholiab (Exodus 36:1-5): During the time the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God spoke to Moses and told him that it was time to build the tabernacle of God. He gave Moses directions and then Moses would tell the people God's instructions in regard to designs, measurements and construction. There were two men, Bezalel and Oholiab, who were very skilled and they were put in charge of overseeing and doing the work. "Then Moses said to the Israelites, 'See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel ... and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab ... the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers-all of them master craftsmen and designers.'" The lesson: God is the giver of all abilities and talents and those abilities and talents should be used for God.
Daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1-11): Zelophehad died during the wanderings of the children of Israel in the wilderness. He left five daughters. The law said that only sons could inherit the family's holdings. His daughters were left to claim the property, and it was unlikely that they would get it. Yet the daughters went before Moses and argued that if they were not to inherit the property, then Zelophehad's name would be lost and his name would not be passed on. The Bible says that Moses took the women's case before God. God said: "What Zelophehad's daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father's relatives and turn their father's inheritance over to them." Moses ruled that the plea of Zelophehad's daughters was just, and that they should be granted their father's holdings. That was the only right thing. The lesson: We are always called to do what is right.
Sanballat (Nehemiah 2-4): Sanballat was an enemy of the Jews. When Nehemiah was trying to rebuild Jerusalem's walls, Sanballat opposed the effort. He and all his cronies worked hard at disparaging the repair efforts. They tried to hinder the work of the builders who were working on repairs. Yet, the people succeeded in spite of Sanballat. Lesson: Let's be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Stachy: In Romans 16:9, Paul sent greetings to Stachy. The reader knows nothing of this man because nothing else is mentioned of him. Yet some assumptions about his life can be drawn from that single reference to him by Paul. First he was a believer, why else would have Paul addressed the letter to him? If Paul knew who Stachy was, Stachy must have been an active member in the gospel effort in Rome. Even though he was not well known to us, he must have been involved in the spreading of the gospel and in the lives of other believers in Rome. The lesson? No effort for God returns void; the results may not be revealed until eternity but the results will be revealed.
These less-known Bible characters' lives still offer us profound lessons for today.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: