As a woman of Nigerian decent, I can confidently say that when I was growing up, much emphasis was never put on creatives or lovers of the arts. In fact what was art? What was creativity really? Respect was given to only a few occupations and digital marketers were not one of them. So though I wrestle with God in regards to the field he has me in at the moment, I cannot not continue to ignore the conformations that fall from the sky. If you’ve ever questioned if there was prestige in being a creative… well here it is.
This morning’s devotional was a much needed one. As I walked into work fully ready to start praying to God to confirm my field of work as worthy, thought in my heart of hearts I know it is, I once again received another confirmation. The Propel Women’s Conference I went to last year actually proved it was, now that I think about it. But as usual, as quickly as my confirmation comes, it goes just as fast. That’s why you see me writing them down now. But back to what I was saying, as I walked into the building that I never imagined I’d one day step foot into, I asked God for yet another confirmation that there’s use in my skills and talents. Not more than an hour later, I got it.
I opened up my bible app to look through today’s devotional and was shaken by what it discussed. The contributor spoke of names I had never heard of. Though the names of these men were not advertised as often as some of the others, I realized that they played a humongous role in the Old Testament. Can you guess what they did? No they did not close the mouths of lions, nor did they part the Red Sea. They did not come out of a burning furnace alive, but what they did do was just as phenomenal. They were the main designers and crafters of THE TABERNACLE!!
Yes you heard me right. The same tabernacle that hosted the Holy of Holies and The Author and Finisher of our story was physically manifested by Bezalel and Oholiab. Here is how their story started.
“The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to bring me their sacred offerings. Accept the contributions from all whose hearts are moved to offer them. Here is a list of sacred offerings you may accept from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; onyx stones, and other gemstones to be set in the ephod and the priest’s chestpiece. “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.”
“Then Moses told the people of Israel, “The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft. And the Lord has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others. The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.”
“The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.”
“ ‘The Lord has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded.’ So Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and all the others who were specially gifted by the Lord and were eager to get to work. Moses gave them the materials donated by the people of Israel as sacred offerings for the completion of the sanctuary. But the people continued to bring additional gifts each morning.”
Growing up in the church, I’ve always heard about the body of Christ and the different parts each and everyone of us play in order to further the Kingdom. And I heard it with my ears and believed it with my heart, but I don’t think I really saw it with my eyes until now. As I ran across this scripture, it really dawned on me that God uses the creatives too. He doesn’t just use the doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, and pastors. He uses the designers, tailors, architects and builders as well!
The creative directors, writers, and digital marketers have a purpose too. The technical team can usher in the presence of God the same way the worship leaders and choir can. Just because most parents aren’t raising their kids up to be writers and photographers doesn’t mean that they possess any less value than that of the more appreciated professions. In fact, if we look back at the scriptures above it says that God “gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary.”
The fact that creatives are able to manifest such amazing pieces of art is not because of their intellect or creative eye, but because of the gifts that were bestowed upon them. If humanity has been blessed with the ability to be creative, how much more the believers who have invited the spirit of the living God to dwell within them? Exodus 25 and 35 CLEARLY shows us just how creative and intricate our Lord is. Better yet, simply looking at how different yet beautiful all the members of one family can be should have made me aware of how much of a creative my God is.
However, as usual, what I see unfortunately isn’t always enough for me to believe. It’s through these unexpected encounters with God where I’m led by His hand through the word that I’m finally able to see that what I’ve been taught about the body of Christ and its many parts is indeed true.
That’s why I encourage you today to find a way to get into the word. I usually start by reading the scriptures that are provided for the particular devotional I’m studying and then click on “read the entire chapter” for more insight. You could also pick up a study bible that makes searching the scriptures more convenient. The word of God provides so much peace and confirmation if we’re willing to go through it and find it.
As I walked out of the Propel Activate Women’s Conference last November, a friend of mine told me that there’s an answer to every question we have in the Bible. At first I looked at her as being overly christian in her beliefs but now… I think she’s right.
Until next time, be strong and stay encouraged.