God spoke to Moses, saying…

Exodus 31:1 – 31:4 – “God spoke to Moses, saying: ‘See, I have called by the name: Bezalel son or Uri, son or Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with a Godly spirit, with wisdom, insight and knowledge, and with every craft, to weave designs, to work with gold, silver, and copper, stone-cutting for setting, and wood-carving – to perform every craft.’”
Bezalel is the artist/craftsman who built the Tabernacle. Imagine that one man could have all the artistic talent and craft skills to be entrusted to build a house for God. And, consider that such a man had been, up until a few months earlier, a slave. How did he learn all of this? And, what’s truly amazing is that, according to the Commentators, Bezalel wasn’t even a man. He was 13-year-old boy! The answer to, “How is this possible?” is that God “filled him” with those abilities. What talents can God fill us with, if we seek God? We’ve probably all seen the phenomenon of a person blossoming creatively after becoming sober. It’s a remarkable experience to see someone whose life had consisted of, say, hanging around bars all day, suddenly emerge in sobriety and become an award-winning photographer or published author. Where did all of that come from? I think there are two answers. At one level, the talent was already there, but dormant, silenced by addiction. Secondly, God “fills” that person with the talents or works to bring them to the surface. If you seek God, God may fill you with talents that you didn’t know you had.

Genesis 12 Step Teleseminar Recording: Steps 1-4

This is a recording of an inspirational teleseminar that discusses the Book of Genesis through the lens of 12 step addiction recovery, including:

Step 1 – How our powerlessness over alcohol affected our ability to experience and participate in the universe that God created.

Step 2 – How Adam and Eve hiding from God in the Garden of Eden can help us understand how a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step 3 – How Noah turned his life over to the care of God in the Ark.

Step 4 – What we can learn from the quarrel between Abraham and Lot’s shepherds.

About the Speaker: Boruch Binyamin is the pen name of a 51 year old religious Jewish man who has been staying sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for 15 years. He wrote the full-length version of this book, For I Will Be With You, to connect the wisdom of The Torah – the first five books of The Bible – with the principles of AA addiction recovery. Going from Genesis 1:1 through the end of Deuteronomy, the book offers a Biblical verse and its connection to sober concepts for each day of the year. Each daily reflection is intended to give the reader a way to think about the practices of 12 step recovery programs in the context of the Bible.

All attendees will receive a free eBook of daily reflections from the Book of Genesis. (OR a free printed booklet version)

Sober Devotional for May 15

Exodus 28:2 – “You shall make vestments of sanctity for Aaron your brother, for glory and splendor.”

The Priest wore a beautiful, elaborate outfit when he performed the special services to God in the Tabernacle. One of the purposes of the Priest’s outfit was to imbue the Priest with “glory and splendor.” This should make us think about the glory and splendor we can achieve through the service of God. It elevates us and wraps us in glorious, splendid “robes” – conscious contact with God is a glorious experience. We should seek it and cherish it in recovery. The glorious feeling fills those holes in our souls that we used to fill with addiction.

What’s also interesting about this verse is the detail that Moses himself is asked to make the vestments. Really? Yes, Moses himself had to sew the garments. There’s a huge lesson in humility here that we can all learn from in recovery. Moses was at once the greatest prophet in Jewish history and the most humble man who ever lived. Oh, that addicts could think this way. Sometimes, of course, you see it. In Los Angeles, it’s routine to see multi-millionaire movie producers, rock stars and Oscar winners sitting quietly at meetings, waiting for a turn to speak and listening carefully to the opinions of people of quite different stations in life. That’s the kind of humility you need to attain sobriety. Moses had no problem sewing clothes for his brother, even though his brother was theoretically beneath him in the leadership. That’s what people with serious God consciousness do. They’re humble.

Daily Bible Reflection for Recovery for the Week of May 1

Exodus 21:24 – “…an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot…”

This is one of the most famous, and most famously misunderstood, phrases in the entire Bible. Understanding the difference between what “an eye for an eye” really means, as opposed to what a lot of people think it means, can teach us a lot about sobriety and recovery. A lot of people think “an eye for an eye” is about revenge. If someone pokes you in the eye, poke them in the eye, and so forth. Get even! But, curiously, it is not about that at all. “An eye for an eye” is a formula for civil damages, meaning if someone harms you to the tune of $20, they owe you $20. It’s a profound difference, when viewed from the perspective of recovery. For many of us, addictive behavior is fueled by feelings of revenge and resentment, the wanting to gauge out the eyes of someone who hurt us. True recovery and sobriety occurs, however, when you are ready to pay damages yourself, to make amends to people you have harmed. If you took $20, pay back $20. Do it. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself and you will be building your sobriety. That’s the true meaning of “an eye for an eye.”