Monday, October 4, 2010

Craftsmen and artists called by the LORD

Should Christians be involved in the creative arts, sciences, and humanities?
If so, what is their ultimate purpose and goal?
It is interesting reading in Exodus about the construction of the tabernacle
30 Then Moses said to the people of Israel, "See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship32to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, 33in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. 34And he has inspired him to teach, .....
1"Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the LORD has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded." 2And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.
Exodus 35:30-36:2

I take such a narrative as descriptive and not presciptive for today. But, what are some principles?
The gifts of creativity and skill are from God, who should be ackowledged as their source, and they should be used to glorify God. The tabernacle was the "meeting place" where God's people encountered him as the God of grace and promise. The arts and sciences should be the same for Christians.

The sketch is described here.

1 comment:

  1. The first passage in the Bible in which someone is "filled with the [S|s]pirit"! I think it also creates a space in "wisdom" for manual skill and craft to take their place, not just "cognitive" processes.

    It's not a surprise that the same notions appear in the temple construction narrative. But is it significant that the "spirit" is not mentioned?

    1 Kings 7 "13 Now King Solomon invited and received Hiram from Tyre. 14He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, whose father, a man of Tyre, had been an artisan in bronze; he was full of skill, intelligence, and knowledge in working bronze. He came to King Solomon, and did all his work."

    (One of today's [= 4 Oct] readings in the M'Cheyne Bible reading calendar, as it turns out!)