Every Good Gift

damascening

Ex. 31:1   The LORD said to Moses, 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.

Read Exodus 31:1-11

Growing up in the inner city of Madrid, whenever my father would have visitors we would get the unexpected treat of going to Toledo. It was a one hour drive outside of one of the most densely populated urban centres in the world to a medieval getaway. Escaping from the modern capital of Spain, I used to love walking down the very narrow streets of the ancient capital of Spain. It was a mesmerizing place which housed cathedrals, synagogues and minarets. Artisans on every corner practiced the ancient skill of “damascening.” The artist would take blackened steel, gold thread, gold sheet, razors, tweezers and hammer and begin an arduous and beautiful process of creating. Toledo was called the Jerusalem of the West. Skilled Jewish, Christian and Muslim artisans designed all sort of gold filigree; so it was with Bezalel, the gifted and creative hands behind the crafting of the Ark of the Covenant.

magen david

Whether you think of the artist, athlete, or artisan. Every single human being has a gift. When we use the word “gifted” it is often used to denote some talent or ability that makes an individual unique. The Ark of the Covenant is the deposit of God’s precious gift of truth, the 10 commandments. What is often missed out is the fact that God makes another deposit, not in a box but in a living being: Bezalel.

God deposits in Bezalel gifts of creativity. The book of James tells us that, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”(James 1:17)

God has given each one of us good gifts to use to bless others. We often see gifted people as “others” or may even think that our gifts are inconsequential, but the Bible is very clear that we are all members of one another and need each other. It is when we do not acknowledge our need of others and their gifts and likewise the “God-givenness” of our gifts that we engage in cosmic plagiarism. Cosmic Plagiarism is simply not giving gratitude to the One who gave us our gifts to begin with. It is taking credit for someone else’s craftsmanship.

Today, let’s acknowledge the Giver of Every Good and Perfect Gift.

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