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GOD’S WORD FOR AUGUST 5 ~ ~ Genesis 4:22 ~ ~ “And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.”

Many creatures have been found that use sticks, leaves and other items as tools. Chimpanzee parents teach their youngsters to poke sticks in termite holes to get termites. However, no animal has shown an instinctive tendency to make and use tools, until now.

Caledonian crows are among the known tool-users. A pair of captive New Caledonian crows were having trouble incubating their four eggs. So researchers decided to incubate and raise the young crows themselves. Upon hatching, the young crows were separated into two pairs. One pair received lessons on how to use twigs to poke food out of slots. The other pair received no lessons, nor were they allowed to see their siblings using tools. When they were given sticks and leaves, they spontaneously began using the twigs to poke food out of a slot. One of them also tore a leaf into a food poker. After evaluating all the behavioral data, researchers concluded that while crows have a natural tendency to make and use tools, they also learn how to make improved tools from their elders.

He made the lowly crows with the ability to use tools, which shows the Creator’s desire for variation and to depict man’s need to earn his living and produce what he needs with the Lord’s help and guidance.

However, when it comes to salvation, we are not to try to earn our way, because we could not accomplish it. As is very many times the case, that fact is shown in the Old Testament in symbolic form as well as plainly taught numerous times in the New.

There were at least three times in the Old Testament when the builders of an alter or a temple, were not allowed to have tools in use, or even near, the building site. This was specifically to symbolize the completed work of Salvation by Jesus, and not of ourselves, as Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:9

“Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The three commands are:

Exodus 20:25

“And if you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your chisel on it, you will pollute it.”

Deuteronomy 27:5

“ Moreover, you shall build there an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones; you shall not wield an iron tool on them.”

1 Kings 6:7

“The house, while it was being built, was built of stone finished at the quarry, and neither hammer, nor axe, nor any iron tool was heard in the house while it was being built.”

There is value in work, with or without tools, in the material world, and for the Kingdom.

But there are some things that only God can do, and we are not to presume we can accomplish it without Him. His Word makes these things clear to us through His Spirit when we seek Him.

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