There’s this enigmatic figure in the Bible named Bezalel who should give all of us creative types both great joy and a challenge. We read about him in Exodus 31:2-4 (ESV)

“See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.”

This guy must have been amazing. There are some people who even believe he was not just a man, but what theologians call a christophany, an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ. In other words some people believe that before Jesus came in the flesh as a baby, me made an appearance as Bezalel. I doubt this because the Bible makes reference to his father and his ancestry. Still his gifting is beyond remarkable. Look at all the passage says about him.

“I have filled him with the Spirit of God.” It is notable here that Bezalel is the first person listed in all of Scripture to have been killed with the Holy Spirit. So much for those who want to split hairs between gifts and talents. This Spirit filled craftsman was given so much, and the purpose of that gifting was to do artistic craftsmanship to the glory of God.

“Ability and intelligence” This carried through the theme of the Spirit of Skill from yesterday, but please note something else, intelligence. Not only did he have creative ability, but he was given the wisdom to use his gift well, in a way that honors God. Brothers and sisters it is not enough to be good at what we do, we must also exercise wisdom as we use those gifts.

“with knowledge and all craftsmanship.” God allowed him to know how to do things. Think about your creative gift. Surely there is a lot of work involved in building and developing what you have been given, but so much of what you do almost feels instinctive, like second-nature, doesn’t it. When people ask me how long I have been doing art, I can’t really specify a date, it’s always been with me. That’s because God has given us the knowledge to do certain things and do them well. Doing them well is key, that brings us to craftsmanship. This implies God has also given us the ability to bring our best to the table. I’m reminded of Proverbs 22:29 Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank. Your gift was given to you by the ultimate King to serve before the ultimate King, so bring your best to every assignment.

From there we get the laundry list of all Bezalel’s abilities: to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.” In short, God made Bezalel really good at a whole lot of things. He has likely done similar things with you. Artistic people tend to gravitate toward multiple creative pursuits. This too may well be by design. Rather than list these out, I want to look at why Bezalel was given these gifts. He was given these tasks to lead, supervise and do the work of building the Tabernacle. His gifts were given for the purpose of drawing people into worship and glorifying God. If you are a Christ following creative, it’s likely the same for you. Now this doesn’t mean you have to do all your work for use in the church, (though you should offer your gifts to the local church as often as you can) but it does mean that what we do should in some way glorify God, open doors to the Gospel, etc.

The point is, your creative ability comes from God. Use it in ways that will please him.    

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