Exodus is a complicated book. To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever read the book all the way through. I’ve read the narratives of Moses and the 10 plagues of Egypt and God carving the 10 Commandments into the tablets Moses destroying them in anger when he saw the golden calf.
But there were new stories today.
And new reminders of the roles God has given each of us and His love of beauty.
The detailed instructions on how to build the Tabernacle and intricate garments for the priests impressed on me the importance of beauty.
I’d written off these books as “instructions that no longer mattered” without taking the time to realize they were instructions that revealed the heart of God.
He could have instructed the Israelites to worship in an economical or functional space, but He designed a beautiful place for them to build with the finest materials.
The priests could have worn something simple, but instead, they fashioned something ornate, fitting for the honor and gravity of the role they filled in their community that would be passed down from generation to generation.
And God told Moses that there were people He had particularly gifted in the arts to build such things.
“You shall speak to all the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him for my priesthood.” – Exodus 28:3, ESV
God had specifically gifted people in the community, people coming out of enslavement, with the gift of making things beautiful that the place and manner of their worship might be beautiful. Several times throughout Exodus, it mentions God having gifted people with the skill to construct the Tabernacle, make the clothing for the priests, weave the fabrics, all for the sake of bringing beauty and glory to the place the Lord would dwell in the midst of the people.
And I believe there are still people He has skilled in our communities to bring beauty and glory that honors the Lord to us.
The arts, the skills that often get overlooked, matter to God. He fills people with a spirit of skill to do His work in these areas.
Today, I’m reminded to honor God’s gifting in the artists in my community. To look for opportunities to support their work. To recognize that they have been given a gift from the Lord, not so that they would have a hobby, but so that they could serve Him and as image-bearers of the Creator, create more beauty in the world.
Often, I brushed aside the skill of others as a personal interest or hobby instead of looking to see how the Lord has gifted them and encouraging them to pursue and develop that gift further.
We need to look for those in our midst whom God has given the spirit of skill in their art or trade. We need to support them, both emotionally, with encouragement, and by being willing to financially support their work so that it might be sustainable.
If God has gifted artists in our community, we should do our part in helping them steward their gifts well.
Today’s reading reminded me that God created the world beautifully. As we walk side by side, through this world, may we have eyes that are open and eager to see the ways God has gifted those in our communities with creating new beauty, whether in embroidery, home construction, painting, baking, writing, or snowman making, into our midst.
The internet has made it a little easier to connect with Christian artists, musicians, writers, and craftsmen. I would love if you would share some of your favorites in the comments below!
It’s not too late to join in The Bible in Lent reading plan! Visit this page to learn more! I’d love for you to join me on this journey through the Bible.