The Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze. (Exodus 35:30-32)
Yesterday we related to the reader that the Hebrew phrase translated “to design artistic works” is more literally translated as, “to think thoughts.” When it came to the creation of the Sanctuary, Betzalel’s mission was to think upon the pattern that was given him and to give shape and definition to the different components of the Sanctuary in a way that expressed the will and purpose of the Incomparable Artist. So in this creative manner, Betzalel was to teach those things that had been placed in his heart.
He and the other artisans were to meditate upon the matters pertaining to God’s purpose and, through skillful craftsmanship, inspire and teach others these concepts and principles embedded within the Sanctuary. In short, Betzalel’s handiwork teaches others of the Sanctuary and what it represented. To this very day, men and women study the patterns of the Sanctuary, it’s different parts, pieces and furnishings and how themes and concepts are revealed through all of it. It fascinating to consider that the artistic talent given to those men of long ago, along with the wisdom that God gave them, still teaches us today of important laws and principles.
There is a rabbinic adage that says, “A light that can’t kindle another is a weak light.” This thought is meant to convey the importance of learning and studying the Scripture and then to pass that knowledge and understanding on to others. Thus, from a biblical point of view, the core of art is to teach and inspire others. As God’s people, we are called to be light, which is to say, a strong light capable of kindling a light in others. When we all function in this purpose, we grow closer to fulfilling our mission as a Body — to be a light to the nations. That is our purpose, and by doing this, we like Betzalel teach the world of the Will and purpose of the greatest of all artists and craftsmen — the One and Only God.
Blessings and Shalom,