About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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The Ultimate In Artistic Design


In Exodus 31 and 36 God commissioned Bezalel and others to build the tabernacle that would be His home on earth.  Before they could begin this project, these people were "filled with the Spirit of God, skill, ability, and knowledge, in all kinds of crafts, to make artistic designs …" (Exodus 31:3 and 35:32)  This tabernacle was to be God's "home away from home".   For this reason God provided detailed building plans for His earthly home.  It had to be functional, full of symbolism, and esthetically pleasing.   


Note the reason why God gave these people the Holy Spirit, skill, ability, and knowledge.   It was to create fine quality art, or as the NIV puts it, "artistic designs".  I really like the term "artistic designs".  God Himself is the ultimate artist.  An example of "artistic design" in the tabernacle is seen in the embroidering of the linen curtain.  Exodus 36:35 states, "they made the curtain of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it…"  Doesn't that sound like a work of art to you?


The "artistic designs" seen in the tabernacle, and later in the Old Testament temple, should also be seen in God's New Testament temple.  I don't believe God would want His New Testament home to be any less esthetically pleasing than His Old Testament home.  Christians, both as individuals and as the church, are now God's "home away from home".  We therefore should consider ourselves a work of fine quality art.  Jesus has commissioned us to work with Him in creating us into an esthetically pleasing work of art.  If we can become this work of art, the world will see God's glory in us.    


As individual Christians, we have God-given talents that the Holy Spirit can use and improve on.  Some of us are musicians, some singers, some sculptors, some  photographers, and some embroiderers.  The list is endless.  We all have a part to play in creating "artistic designs" in God's New Testament temple.  


Over the centuries we've used our creativity to build temples from wood, stone, brick, glass, and steel.  In many cases these temples have been fine works of art.  There's no doubt about that.  We often marvel at these esthetically pleasing structures, but as beautiful as they are, I suggest we put our creative efforts to better use.  With the skill, ability, and knowledge that comes only from the Holy Spirit, we can mold ourselves into fine quality art.  God doesn't live in the temples we've built.  He lives in us.  Since we are God's temple, we are to be a fine quality work of art that He would feel comfortable living in, and which would also radiate His glory.  I suggest the temples that we have built radiate more of our own glory than God's.    


Post script - A good book to read concerning Christians and the arts is Franky Schaeffer's book entitled, "Addicted To Mediocrity", copy written 1981, published by Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers. 


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