…“and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.” (Exodus 35: 31-33, emphasis mine.)
I have been reading in Exodus for my daily devotionals. A significant portion of the book is devoted to the design and décor of the tabernacle and artifacts. My first response to these chapters is always this is sort of boring, I wonder why it is included in Scripture. Maybe it is to give us a glimpse of what the splendor of heaven will be like. After all, if God puts this much care and detail into an earthly structure, how much more glorious it will likely to be in heaven.
I do like the verses, like the ones above, that acknowledge the creative people who poured their talents into the tabernacle. It is encouraging to know that God endowed these artists with their skills and values and recognizes their work.
I like to think of myself as a creative person, though not with my hands. My creativity is more along the lines of writing, speaking and performing. My wife, however, is very creative with her hands. She is crafty. She knits. She is an excellent crocheter and has perfected her skills over the last 27 years. Her crocheted items are always given as gifts or donated to worthy causes. These verses could have been written about her, if she lived during the time of the book of Exodus:
“Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun – blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair.” (Exodus 35:25-26.)
On a side note I find it interesting that the Bible notes that women did the spinning. Evidently no men were involved in, or skilled at, this creative endeavor. That stereotype still exists to some extent as few men today are known for their knitting or crocheting skills. My wife has tried to teach me to crochet and honestly, I can’t get the hang of it. I don’t have the skill or the patience for it.
But God did have the skill and the patience for building and designing a breathtaking tabernacle on earth. And He used people to do it. God endowed men with creative gifts that He valued and then gave these individuals the wisdom and skill to match His design down to the very last detail. That’s encouraging to me and helps me see beyond what might be a boring section of Scripture. Exodus, and my wife’s example, remind me that ultimately He created these artistic gifts and wants us to use them for His glory.