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I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. — Exodus 31:3

An unusually humble poet once wrote, “Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.” He was not a fool, because he recognized his limitations. But he was right about only God making trees. Yet, God has passed on some of His creative ability to men. God creates and man crafts.

It all started with a man called Jubal. He was “the inventor of the harp and flute” (Genesis 4:21). God gave him a gift. He could hear the sound of the wind in the trees and the song of the birds on the branches, and perhaps he thought, “that’s beautiful.” Perhaps something in his heart longed to reproduce the sound. So, with dexterous fingers and divinely imparted originality, he fashioned a flute. Then maybe he listened to the rippling sound of a brook on pebbles. With great ingenuity he duplicated the lovely sound on a harp.

His half brother Tubal-cain was different. He was more artisan than artist, but he fashioned beautiful things, too. “He was the first to work with metal, forging instruments of bronze and iron” (4:22). Then along came Bezalel, a Spirit-filled man whose divinely imparted skills spanned all manner of craftsmanship. He was equally at home working in metals, wood, or gems. He made things that were essentially practical but unfailingly beautiful. For him it was not enough to make things that worked. His craftsmanship reflected something of his delight in the things God had made. His handiwork was an expression of praise and appreciation—a piece of work that was in itself an act of worship.

Unfortunately, there’s too much ugliness and sordidness in the world for which men are responsible. Music can get debaucherous, and bronze and iron can be fashioned into instruments of torture. But it need not be so.

There is beauty all around in God’s handiwork. The one who serves God will see it, appreciate it, and with God-given talent reproduce it to God’s glory and man’s delight. We need more Jubals, Tubal-cains, and Bezalels—producers of beauty and purveyors of delight. We need more people for whom creation is such a delight that they want to preserve it, portray it, and pick its bountiful richness. We need more people who see that God is the ultimate Creator who has called them to be consummate craftsmen.

Many people have a tendency to destroy. More are needed who will beautify our world and glorify their Lord.

For further study: Exodus 31:1-11

Content taken from The One Year Devotions for Men by Stuart Briscoe. Copyright ©2000. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.