God and the Arts

One thing I have asked from the LORD … to see the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.

— Psalm 27:4

Christianity has been a great patron of the arts—from paintings to music to the great cathedrals.

Now there are those who have supposed that the second commandment against graven images forbids the use of visual arts altogether. However, God also gave all of the instructions for the building of the tabernacle, and in that tabernacle were all manner of visual arts. On the veil that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies there were flowers and pomegranates and palm trees and many other things. Note what it says about the high priest’s clothing: “And you shall make holy garments for your brother Aaron, for glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:2).

God is a God of beauty. He changed the chaos into the cosmos—a thing of beauty. The very word means order and beauty. Cosmetology is the practice of beautifying the face. God is the great artist who beautifies His creation, giving us the magnificent sunsets He paints for us every evening. He gives us the glory of the budding flowers and the beautiful trees and plants that we all enjoy. God is not opposed to art. He is the Great Artist. What God forbade was idolatry, the worship of an idol or even of the true God through an idol.

Question to ponder:
What place does art play in your life in general and in your spiritual life particularly?