Exodus 36 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“So Moses summoned Bezalel, Oholiab, and every skilled person in whose heart the L_rd had places wisdom, everyone whose heart moved him, to come to the work and to do it.” Exodus 36:2

There are differing views on Judaism and its relation to Art. We are well aware of modern Jewish visual artists, such as Chagall. One would be hard-pressed to examine film or television credits without noticing a strong Jewish creative presence. But, what of ancient Judaism?

Often, the opinion is held that there is no significant visual art in Biblical Judaism; that the Jew lacks the aesthetic sense; and that this is largely due to the influence of the Second Commandment, which prohibited idolatrous sculpture and other three-dimensional art.

Defenders of the Jewish artistic mindset could say that Judaism was determined to lift the G_d-idea above the sensual, and to represent the Divine as Spirit only. It could also be said that Art was not Israel’s calling. Whereas the legacy of Greece was Beauty, the mission of Israel was Righteousness.

But when it came to building His tabernacle and temple, G_d didn’t call the Greeks. He enlisted…of all the Nations at His disposal, the Hebrew artists.

It is reminiscent of what the L_rd told Zerubbabel through Zechariah the prophet, concerning rebuilding the temple. “This is the word of the L_rd to Zerubbabel: Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit says the L_rd of Hosts.” Zechariah 4:6

In addition, Zechariah tells Zerubbabel:

“For who scorns the day of small things? These seven eyes of the L_rd, which scan throughout the whole earth, will rejoice when they see a plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:10

What is the lesson? G_d has “equipped & called” YOU to work in His Kingdom. Tasks have been designed for you, specifically. Furthermore, the L_rd’s delight is when you respond, with faith and enthusiasm. We must all work, but completion is not determined by our strength, might, or creativity. G_d’s guidance & favor towards His “faithful” ensures our success.

The highest artist is not the greatest master in self-expression, but in self-control: The one who forsakes all & everything to follow the L_rd.

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Sunday, April 6, 2014