TODAY’S READING: Exodus 36–38
God puts wisdom and understanding in gifted individuals (Exo. 36:1–2) so they can beautifully represent a beautiful God in all the earth. There are many similarities between the contents of the tabernacle and the artifacts used in pagan worship. Egypt’s religion, for example, had an ark, as did Babylon—but with critical differences. For example, the cherubim on the ark were not images of God, but rather divine attendants. Other arks provided idolatrous images or etchings of gods, but Jehovah’s ark was a symbol of the invisible presence of God.
The ark was built for travel, having gold rings through which long poles were inserted. The symbolic ark, representing the very real presence of God, was intended for portability. The presence of God cannot be contained in one place or by one people, but surges across the nations, seeking worshipers. We can adorn, but not restrict, the presence of God. When we apply our God-given art, talent, design, and craftsmanship to physical matter creating beauty, we merely point to Him who is most beautiful, who is beyond imagination. Art captures inadequately He whose beauty we cannot tame or record—and that beauty is meant to travel.
The beauty of who God is, adorned by the devoted gifts of His people, is to be carried to all the world and every people group through every vocation. It is a misconception to say that only those with gifts of rhetoric and formal teaching are qualified for missions. While all are called to make disciples through preaching (evangelism), teaching (discipleship), healing (praying for the sick), and praying (believing in faith for miracles), this does not mean that all need to have the public gift of apostle, pastor, teacher, evangelist, or prophet. God wants to use athletes, musicians, artists, lawyers, doctors, plumbers, shepherds, farmers (who understand the laws of sowing and reaping better than anyone), police, engineers, and even (incarnate) carpenters to make His glory known.
In the work of global missions, we are far from the blessed problem of the people bringing “much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded us to do” (36:5). The Lord of the harvest commanded us to make disciples of all the nations, all the unreached peoples of earth. Counting varies, but there are probably still 7,000 unreached people groups globally, and some of those groups number in the millions. We still need hundreds of thousands, if not millions of missionaries, of every gift, every talent, every age, every race. Men and women full of God’s creative wisdom in their craft, making God beautiful as they carry His presence, as His movable ark to the unreached peoples of the world. Will you not be His Spirit-filled ark and artist in Lebanon?
 The Chronological Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 112.