September 9, 2018
READ: Exodus 25:1-9
Tell the people of Israel to bring me their sacred offerings. Accept the contributions from all whose hearts are moved to offer them (v.2).
Few us of spend enough time paying attention to beauty, especially in our times of worship. But when we do, it speaks to us like few things do.
Perhaps this explains why God placed a heavy emphasis on beauty when He called for the construction of the tabernacle—the first structure of public worship recorded in the biblical story (Exodus 25:1-9). Building the tabernacle was no mere intellectual endeavour. God called for people to offer items they were “moved” in their “hearts” to give—beautiful things they could deeply appreciate through their senses of sight, touch and smell.
In fact, God values beauty so much that He placed His Spirit within the designers and craftsmen tasked with constructing His beautiful tabernacle (35:30-35). He not only wanted them to excel in building the structure He came to dwell in as His people journeyed to the Promised Land, but He also made sure He picked those who possessed “the ability to teach their skills to others” (v.34).
God planned for beauty to remain an important focus of His people long after the building of the tabernacle. Centuries later, during what could be likened to an outdoor church service, Jesus directed the attention of His audience to the beauty that surrounded them. “Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow,” He said sitting on the side of a mountain. In other words, notice them. Pay attention. “They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are” (Matthew 6:28-29).
May you intentionally include the beauty of music, art and nature in your worship. Allow it to draw your full attention towards the One who created beautiful things.
365-day plan: Matthew 25:1-30
Read Philippians 4:8and consider why beauty can be “admirable”.
What are some ways worship incorporates all our senses—what we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste? How does beauty move you to worship God?