“Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work…. Then all the gifted artisans among them who worked on the tabernacle made ten curtains woven of fine linen, and of blue, purple, and scarlet thread; with artistic designs of cherubim they made them.” Exodus 36:2,8
Fine art museums are usually a delight to the eyes, mind, and heart…a feast of visual treats. A beautiful painting or sculpture, a brilliant photograph, or a whimsical cartoonish drawing can evoke pathos, wonder, horror, awe, or a smile.
The art forms of centuries ago were meant to capture a slice of life…tell a story…brag of accomplishment…or preserve the memory of a beloved one for the future. Today they often speak of the artist’s feelings or some desire to impart wisdom or emotion to the viewer.
In Exodus, Moses (under God’s specific instructions) called all kinds of artisans to construct the traveling tabernacle and its furnishings—each artisan was given wisdom and skill to make the items not only sturdy but beautiful. What’s also interesting in the passage above is that God stirred the artisans’ hearts to come and do the work, spurred on by a desire to please God and honor Him.
When finished, the colorful tabernacle was surrounded by the images of angelic beings—the same ones who eternally cry out “Holy” before God’s throne in heaven. The artisans who wove these portraits were essentially inviting the priests and worshippers to join the heavenly host in praise to the God of the universe.
May this same Lord stir our hearts to honor Him in our own work…may we weave our praise to Him in the fabric of our daily artistry!
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, call us today to be Your artisans in our workplace. Make our handiwork beautiful and done for your glory. Give us Your divine wisdom to perform our jobs in such a way that others will see Your hand at work in us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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*The above piece of artwork is courtesy of my daughter, who created the shadowbox paper sculpture of a Roman arch during high school….