A Divine Call to the Arts
Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have 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 crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent—the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand—and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.
What does it mean to have been appointed?
Was Oholiab chosen for or made into a craftsman, or both?
· The craftsman was given a skill, meaning that he didn’t do anything to deserve it. It’s important to note that this was a gift not a duty or a burden, so it was given with the receiver in mind. We were given our passion, and it was not outside the realm of our natural inclinations. It wasn’t just tossed our way, but given to us, reinforcing God’s relationship with us. Acknowledging the relationship allows us to move away from the paradigm that God is more of a tyrannical father figure to one in which he wants to help us, and supports us.
· What guided you to your music? Was it inevitable? To what extent did each of us “choose” our art?
· Who directs us? Is it just our teachers, or was it just our parents? To what extent are we self-guided in our music by our own intuition or otherwise. It’s important to give credit to God in all that we do, for he has filled us with the Spirit.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.
1 Corinthians 2:9-13
However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
· To have been given ability and to have been filled with this spirit allows us to act as God’s tools. In performance, we may strive to generate a sense of “ek-stasis” (ecstasy) meaning that we want the audience to be moved from where they are, thinking and operating on an earthly plane, to thinking and operating on a spiritual plane, if only for a little while.
· Knowing that we are not to be hidden in our worship (Exodus 20:26), and that our sound will reflect the spirit as it is in our hearts helps us acknowledge that through our art we are giving the audience a gift, and thereby acting as a mirror, facing both to the heavens and out to the audience.
· We work beyond self-expression. We were given a gift to give again.