Bezalel, Oholiab and YOU!

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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They’re the first two artists listed in Scripture. Many people have never heard of them, but I think they are pretty important and we can learn quite a few things from them. They were the primary people called to do the work of creating the tabernacle and their stories are found in Exodus chapters 31-36.

1. Your talent is a spiritual gift. I tend to use the words gifts and talents pretty interchangeably and one day a friend called me on it. He said that talents and spiritual gifts are two different things. His evidence for this were the many talented people that do not operate in ways that honor God. Exodus 31:2,3 seems to refute this concept. “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills.” His skills and his talents seem to come as a result of his filling with the Spirit. I can understand why some might think differently, but ask yourself this question: “Is there anything good that we have received that does not come from God?”

2. We need to submit ourselves and our gifts to God. Exodus 36:1 “So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.” Think about those descriptions of all the things that God had Bezalel and Oholiab make. They are very exact and very precise. God has a clear image of how each item should look and how it should be constructed, not to mention how they should be handled. Did you ever stop to wonder if God has a similar view about the things we create? What would happen if we submitted all of our creating to God at least as it pertains to the things we do in His service and service to the Church. This really should be a no-brainer as we are called to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. (Romans 12)

3.We need to submit ourselves to those God has placed in authority over us. Did you notice Bezalel and Oholiab didn’t part ways with Moses over creative differences? No, God gave the plans to Moses, Moses gave them to Bezalel and Oholiab, and Oholiab and Bezalel did what Moses told them to do. Moses was the one in authority. He was the one tasked with carrying out God’s order. Exodus 36:2-3 “2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary.” In the same way, when we as artists are called upon to help the leaders of our churches to help them creatively express a message, we are responsible to follow their lead and give them our best efforts. After all they are the ones who will be held responsible to God and we need to take seriously the responsibility to them. Hebrews 13:17 reminds us: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

Our creative abilities are a wonderful gift to us from God. Using them to honor God brings Him glory. In the end that’s what it’s all about.

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