I think one of the great blessings about living during the Exodus generation would’ve been to witness the building of the Tabernacle. From the gold overlaid table of showbread, to the magnificent blue, scarlet, and purple linen curtains and veil, to the incredibly fashioned bronze altar, and so on, this Tabernacle was truly grand. We should never make the mistake of comparing it to some of the things we might see in modern society. For full effect, we must imagine its glory in the midst of a desert, the estate of God’s people at the time. They were delivered from Egypt, but the promised land was yet a ways away.

One might ask how God went about commissioning the building of the Tabernacle and all of its intricate, wondrous components. Did He will it so and then it simply appeared? Nope. Did He have Moses build it himself, akin to Noah’s good labor? Nope. Well, what did He do then? The answer is that He created artists. It was those artists who made the Tabernacle for Him, to His glory.

Contrary to the average artist’s viewpoint today, God creates art, man doesn’t (allow me to clarify). More specifically, God creates artists, which in turn make art. You see, none of this is even possible without God. Unfortunately, most artists I’ve ever met or read about take all the credit for themselves, seeking glory when they sign their name to their art. Instead of thanking God for their abilities, they thank their fans for idolizing them.

The Bible speaks frequently of beautiful things. As God’s creatures, we must accept the simple fact that even the ability to appreciate beauty is a blessing from God. The old adage, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” can only hold true if God gives a person the “eye” to see it.

God didn’t create art to separate people; rather, He created it to unify them, to give them something to marvel at together, that is, His creation. Consider the world we live in, the nature we enjoy, the blue skies and the green earth. These things are gifts we can all enjoy, and so it was meant to be. Conversely, ungodly artists use art to feed their flesh, seeking creature credit and elevation among their peers. How vile.

Like everything good in this world, art has been hijacked. Instead of it being something we can all enjoy, it has become one of the most contentious, pretentious, ungodly industries humanity has ever known. Art has become so perverted that it’s difficult for the average person to even comprehend what today’s art scene highly esteems. I’m convinced that certain forms of art are nothing more than fabricated constructs designed purposely, and specifically, to cause division (reminds me a little of the Emperor’s New Clothes story). And, as part of this scheme, when a person disagrees, the so-called artistic elite, the “creative” types, cast them off as incapable of appreciating “true” beauty. Yet they are the ones who are actually deceived.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight!
— Isaiah 5:20-21

The simple fact is that God created both art and artists. And when I use this language, I mean true art, not that manufactured stuff meant to drive up sales and/or make the “non-elite” feel inferior, as if they’re missing a gene or something. And for the record, I’m not saying that God has created every human with the exact same artistic abilities. I’m just trying to make a distinction between those whom God has commissioned to create art that brings glory to Him and those who “create” art to bring glory to themselves…are the latter even artists???

Maybe you didn’t even realize that the Bible speaks about God creating artists??? Well, let’s go back to the Tabernacle, where we began this blog entry.

Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman.
— Exodus 26:1

Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, 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, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work.

He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet material, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.”
— Exodus 35:30-35

All the skillful men among those who were performing the work made the tabernacle with ten curtains; of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material, with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman, Bezalel made them.
— Exodus 36:8

Of course, the above passages of Holy Scripture are a mere sampling of the abundance of evidence that God creates artists. His artists make beautiful things to His glory. If man’s flesh would only keep it that simple, maybe we’d all be able to enjoy a little more unity in this world. But that’s clearly not the case, for art has been perverted, abused for the advancement of creature credit. No longer is it considered a means of glorifying God; rather, it is a primary means of glorifying man. Just another case of man sanctifying himself, for himself, by himself, because of himself.

Sanctification is a work of God, not man, just like true art. God’s work is beautiful, just like His art. The problem is that beauty can be corrupted, as we see with Satan. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:17). The human flesh is no different - it seizes beauty as its own, as if the author of it.

But now, O LORD, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand.
— Isaiah 64:8

If you’re an artist, or you know one, do not be offended by any of this. I’m merely highlighting what the Bible states. To the offended, I say, take a look at what this world calls “art” nowadays - music that tramples just about every Biblical tenet revealed, be it sexual, anti-authority-oriented, or whatever - it’s garbage. Same with Hollywood - the line between ungodliness and mainstream entertainment has been blurred to essentially nothing.

Today’s “art” fuels ungodliness.

Art has become a painful reality and it breaks my heart. I’ll admit, I’m not the most artistic person on this planet (God had other plans), but I’m aware enough of the ridiculousness that surrounds me, as are most of you reading this blog, I’m sure.

Certain “art” may be pretty, even attractive to the flesh, but it isn’t beautiful, at least not by God’s definition and purpose for beauty, if He isn’t glorified.

If you show me something that you’ve made and then proceed to give glory to God, even the least attractive thing will be beautiful to me, at least in some way. That’s art that unifies two or more people under God. That’s that kind of art we can all enjoy - no “suffering artist”, no creature credit, only beauty.

Love in Christ,

Ed Collins