“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.'” Exodus 31:1-5 (NIV)
In this somewhat obscure passage in the book of Exodus, we meet a man named Bezalel who God is calling to create the Tabernacle of the Lord. This was an incredible call and responsibility, for the Tabernacle was meant to be the physical place in which God met with His people as well as home to the Ark of the Covenant, the beautiful, gold-covered chest containing the stone tablets in which God had inscribed the Ten Commandments.
God chooses Bezalel to do the hard, God-like work of creating the Tabernacle. But before Bezalel gets to work “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,” we are told that God had to first “[fill Bezalel] with the Spirit of God.” Fascinating! Why would Bezalel need God’s Spirit in order to create? Because God is the first entrepreneur, the source of all creativity, and the originator of our ability to make something of value out of the raw materials of this world. In order for Bezalel to fulfill his call to create, he needed more of God’s likeness.
It’s interesting to note that the Tabernacle was meant to be a physical representation of the way the world ought to be, with God at the center of it. The design of the interior of the Tabernacle pointed worshippers to the Holy of Holies, an interior room in which the Israelites believed God physically existed. The Tabernacle was essentially its own world, with everything pointing towards God. So when God called Bezalel to create the Tabernacle, He was inviting him to mimic God’s creation of earth, thus bringing glory to God by emulating his creative Spirit.
When you and I create—when we launch new businesses, write new books, compose new songs, build new things, create new art—we aren’t doing something “secular.” We are imitating (albeit in a quite imperfect way) the work of the First Entrepreneur. Creativity is not a fringe thing. It is central to who God is, and who we are as His image-bearers.