2 Chronicles 2:7 (NIV) 7 “Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled craftsmen, whom my father David provided.
2 Chronicles 2:13-14 (NIV) 13 “I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill, 14 whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and with those of my lord, David your father.
On verses 1-16: In 1 Kings 5, we read of the same situation where King Solomon gets ready to build the temple in Jerusalem. He enlists the help of Hiram king of Tyre, forming an economic partnership with Hiram whereby Hiram would provide cedar and pine logs from Lebanon for the temple and in exchange Solomon would send wheat, barley, wine and olive oil. But here in 2 Chronicles 2 we learn details that 1 Kings 5 does not mention. For example, in addition to natural resources like cedar and pine, Hiram also provides, further to Solomon’s request, an artist experienced in working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, yarn and engraving, one who “can execute any design given to him” (v14). Hiram sends Huram-Abi, a greatly skilled artist who has both Israelite and foreign blood in him (v14), to work with Solomon’s craftsmen in Jerusalem and Judah (v7).
What can we learn from this?
In 1 Chronicles, we learned about the importance that music played in the house of God. Here we begin to see the importance that visual arts played in the house of God as well. If you are skilled in drawing, painting, graphic design, photography, video recording and editing, or other visual arts, there is a place for you in the house of God to use your skills for God’s glory. It gives me great joy, and I believe it pleases the Father as well, when talented artists use their skills to build God’s church. For the greatest use of your artistic skills is when you use them to advance God’s kingdom.
Just as Hiram sent Huram-Abi, a man with both Israelite and foreign blood in him, to train Solomon’s local craftsmen how to do special work for the house of God, God sent His Son Jesus, a man with local human DNA and foreign divine DNA, to live among us, to work with us, and to train us how to do special work for the house of God.
2 Chronicles 2:17-18 (NIV) 17 Solomon took a census of all the aliens who were in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600. 18 He assigned 70,000 of them to be carriers and 80,000 to be stonecutters in the hills, with 3,600 foremen over them to keep the people working.
On verses 17-18: While Solomon was enlisting Hiram king of Tyre to help with building temple, Hiram had a real openness to God, even though his country did not worship the Lord. (See verses 11-12 where he praises the Lord God of Israel and acknowledges God’s hand on Solomon’s life.) Now here in these verses Solomon enlists the aliens (i.e. foreigners) in Israel and involves them in the building of the temple as well.
What can we learn from this? Like Solomon, may you wisely use the connections you have been given with people who don’t necessarily know or worship God, to build God’s church and, in the process, to hopefully lead them to the Lord.
Heavenly Father, thank You for all the lessons we can learn from Your Word today. I pray for the artists who are reading this GAME sharing, that they would know that they have been blessed with artistic skills for a great purpose, which is to give You glory and to build Your house. This coming year may the artistically gifted men and women in Your church find themselves using their skills more and more to create powerful, anointed art that builds Your church and leads others to Jesus. Please also give me wisdom to use the worldly connections You have given me for the dual purpose of building Your house and leading others to You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!