Fine Arts Bible Study 2

In Exodus 32, the Israelites use their art in a way that dishonors God by melting down their jewelry and making a golden calf to worship. Just three chapters later, in Exodus 35:30-35, God commissions artists Himself, including those who are to teach art to others.

Interestingly, in verse 30, one of the artists is identified as the grandson of Hur. It’s Jewish tradition that Hur was involved in the whole golden calf incident, although as a detractor, and was killed because of his stance. God chose an artistic legacy and commissioned talented artists.

Later, in Numbers 21, God tells Moses to have a bronze serpent made and lifted up on a pole. So, even though the Israelites used a golden calf sculpture for ungodly purposes, God didn’t simply condemn all art whatsoever. In fact He taught them how to use the art correctly by commissioning godly artists and by inspiring them to make a bronze sculpture that would become their salvation. (Later, Jesus teaches that this particular bronze serpent sculpture was actually a representation of taking our sins upon himself on the cross, so not only was it a piece of art, but it was a piece of “modern” art in that it had a difficult and unobvious interpretation).

In the same way, God didn’t condemn architecture simply because Nimrod made the Tower of Babel. In fact, He commissioned the temple and taught His people how to use architecture to glorify Him.

***QUESTION 1--Why doesn't God "give up" on art despite its obvious misuse in Exodus and other times?

QUESTION 2--In addition to the golden calf story and the Tower of Babel story cited above, God specifically condemns "graven images" or material images of God Himself. Where should lines be drawn between proper/improper use of art for the Christian artist?

QUESTION 3--When answering question 2, does it make a difference if the Christian artist is making "Christian art," or if the artist happens to be a Christian but is not making particularly "Christian art?" ***

What are your thoughts on these questions? Read the Bible, pray about these three questions, and post your considerate response/discussion under this topic.


Anonymous said...

God doesnt give up on art because he doesnt give up on anyone. he just never gives up.

Anonymous said...

I think the graven image thing is just about making a picture or a statue of God and worshiping it...or maybe it's worshiping any picture or statue liek it's a god. I don't think it's condeming all art.