Those who work in the aesthetic dimension will find Bezalel a worthy model.

In exodus 31, God gave detailed information concerning the empowering of artists, information Moses then passed on to the people. Recounting Bezalel’s call, he described him as being filled “with the Spirit of God, with ability, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. And he has inspired him to teach.… Every able man in whom the LORD has put ability and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded” (Exod. 35:30–36:1).

The tabernacle, designed to glorify God and instruct his people, was to be created with “artistic designs.” Its lavishness was to be designed, like the priests’ garments, “for glory and for beauty” (Exod. 28:2). Scripture suggests that the aesthetic dimension of life exists “for glory”—to glorify God and to give humans a faint glimpse of God’s splendor; and “for beauty”—so that mere creation of beauty is an appropriate end in itself.

To create the kind of art he had willed for his tabernacle, God gave Bezalel six specific gifts. Together, they offer an amazingly comprehensive analysis of what constitutes any artistic talent.

“He has filled him with the Spirit of God.” Bezalel’s gift is the most important for the Christian artist. The Holy Spirit “bears fruit” in many areas of life, and in this case, fruit is associated with art. Artists speak of “being inspired,” of writing or creating more than they know. To say an artist is “inspired” does not mean the same thing as saying ...

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