Isaiah was encouraging Israel and assuring them of God’s help when they need it. But Isaiah also told them to encourage each other.
Everyone helped his neighbor, And said to his brother,
“Be of good courage!”
So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith;
He who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil… Isaiah 41:6-8
They might have been called carpenters, but they were expert wood workers. They created the chests, statues, and articles that would be gold-clad, perhaps to be used in the synagogue or as religious symbols in the home. With a sundry of blade shapes they carved and whittled pieces of wood into works of art.
The skilled craftsmen who covered objects with gold plate probably used a hammer that was fashioned to do such work. I suspect they also had small punches of various shapes to conform the gold plate to the corners and crevices of the chests, statues, etc. using gentle taps persuading the gold to the shape needed where needed.
Some things were made from iron, or bronze, or copper. The metal worker used heavy hammers to mold iron into the desired shape, heating and re-heating it to make it malleable, using an anvil over which to bend and work the metal into the form desired.
All these artisans worked with each other in mind. They encouraged each other in their work, knowing that eventually they would likely be involved in the process, and all knowing that when an object was shaped well to begin with, it was easier to work with, and everything went together to create a masterpiece.
Bill Graham told the story about a man who saw a large church being built, and the stone mason was working on a triangular piece on a work bench on the ground, measuring and chipping away. When asked what he was doing, the mason said it was the last piece in the spire; then he simply said “I’m shaping it down here so it will fit in up there.”
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:18, 34-38)
Stand strong and be courageous; encourage others to stand strong.