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Exodus 35: Bible Study for Artists

A lot of these guys probably weren't getting paid like super great salaries to do all this work, but yet they were literally instilled with the Spirit of God to do work to build his temple. And their skills are valuable and God himself saw them as valuable.

Couple of things that stand out to me when I read this:

  1. Art is for All

I think it's really interesting that even though we have some people named like Oholiab and Bezalel, it actually mentions that there are lots of other people who are helping in the creative process of the Tabernacle. For example, there is mention of the women who spun with their hands and brought what they had spun in verse 25.

I have a grandma in law who's a very, very talented knitter and has knit our family a bunch of pot holders and blankets. So I'm imagining all these really talented women and I'm imagining all these women sewing together in groups. They’re making curtains and all these beautiful things that are going to be put up in the Tabernacle as it's being built.

  1. Creativity Builds Community

The second thing is that there is a spiritual movement in Israel's community to be excited about this art being made. There is something supernatural happening behind the scenes as the community of Israel comes together to create.

Yes, art is often something experienced in solitude. We hunch over canvases or blank Google Documents pouring out ourselves out into our creations–Just like God did with us. The amazing thing about God’s artistic intentions is that he is trying to bring people together.

When you make the choice to create and share it with others, you are inviting them into relationship with you–to know you and to see you from a new perspective. It is scary to share what we create. There is a chance someone may judge us or see us differently.

Or, someone may feel known and see themselves differently.

  1. All Art and Creativity Originated with YHWH

The third thing is that creativity is straight from God.

I will confess that when I was a young writer in college and I was getting my degree in creative writing, one of the things I really struggled with was feeling like God would get in the way of my creative process. 

I'd grown up seeing the only kind of Christian creativity that's allowed was VeggieTales and Adventures and Odyssey and knocking off logos from famous food companies. If that’s what it meant to be a Christian artist, then I don't want God in my process.

But what I've learned is that when you invite God into your creative process, you are connecting with the personal being who made the world, who made the platypus, who made the depths of creatures in the ocean, our brains and our bodies and how they function. To try to push him away is silly.

I would encourage you: If you feel like you don’t want to invite God into your creative process because he's going to kill your creative vibes–at least give inviting Him into the process a shot. Pray about it. See if God will move and work through you and the skills of your hands just as He did Bezalel and Oholiab.

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