What Does the Bible Say About Art and Creativity?

Posted by Life.Church Admin on

Art and creativity are a big deal in the Bible. In fact, one could argue that creativity is the very first topic we read about: the Bible opens with “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

But God isn’t the only creative one in the Bible. That’s because He designed humans to be creators, and people went ahead and expressed their creativity throughout the whole storyline of the Bible. In this article, we’ll look at a passage of Scripture from the Book of Exodus about people using their God-given creativity—and learn from their example.

For context, these verses come after God had rescued His people from slavery. Next He tasked them with starting a new nation focused on God’s way of life. A key part of His plan was the creation of a meeting space called a “tabernacle,” where significant spiritual events would take place.

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 skillsto 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.” Exodus 31:1-11 NIV

God values art and creativity.

Let’s start with the obvious. God values art and creativity. The Book of Exodus tells us that God spent forty days explaining all of the design elements within the tabernacle. If God just wanted a sturdy place for His people to gather, He wouldn’t have asked Moses to include so many artistic details in the tabernacle.

So why all the details? Why does God value art so much?

God uses art to remind us of our story.

If you take the time to read through all of the artistic details of the tabernacle, you’ll notice they tell a story. The callback to God’s creation of the world makes the tabernacle a reminder of our identity as beloved children of God.

In the same way, God calls people with artistic gifts to make clothing for the priests. These highly detailed pieces tell the story of God’s consistent care for His people throughout generations—meaning that anyone who saw these garments wouldn’t just respect their craftsmanship, but would also feel encouraged as they remembered that God was still writing their story.

God uses creativity to bring people together.

The artists who contributed to the tabernacle, priestly robes, and other spiritual items didn’t do it to build their brand or set themselves apart. Quite the opposite—they created artwork that elevated God and brought people together.

The artists made tools with a purpose that told a relatable story of God’s love, faithfulness, and purpose for their lives.

Create With a Purpose

So, what does this section of the Bible tell us about art and creativity? It shows that God made us to be creative—and that art can create connections, build our faith, and remind us of God’s love. 

Of course, you don’t need to create biblical tents to use your creativity for good. Instead, you can ask yourself one simple question whenever you feel inspired to create: How can I help people get to know God through my creations?

You might tell God’s story through visual media like painting or filmmaking, or you might share God’s love through a social media caption or blog post. There are countless ways to use your creativity to help people get to know God, so invite Him into your creative process through prayer, and look for ways to share His love through your creativity.

Check out the Book of Psalms for more examples of creativity in the Bible. It’s a collection full of songs and poems that remind us of God’s story and character. 

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