Expressions and Intentions of the Creator

In his book, The Holy Spirit, Sinclair B. Ferguson shares this gem about the work of the Spirit in re-ordering and beautifying God’s creation, and the Spirit’s prompting of this work through God’s people…

In pursuing his purposes among his called-out people, God’s Spirit also granted gifts of design and its execution to men like Bezalel and Oholiab (Ex. 31:1-11; 35:30-35). Again there is a significant theological pattern operative here. The beauty and symmetry of the work accomplished by these men in the construction of the tabernacle not only gave aesthetic pleasure, but a physical pattern in the heart of the camp which served to re-establish concrete expressions of the order and glory of the Creator and his intentions for his creation. A hint was thus given that the work of ‘re-creation’ must begin with the chosen people. Among them stood earthly reflections of the dwelling-place of God. As Calvin rightly says, “The tabernacle was a sort of visible image of God.” Here, already in the Exodus narrative, we find the principle which will emerge with full clarity only later in the New Testament; the Spirit orders (or re-orders) and ultimately beautifies God’s creation. In the garden of Eden, the tabernacle and the temple the worshipper discovers the beauty of holiness, which is but a reflection of the beauty of God himself (1 Ch. 16:29; Ps. 96:9). In the final temple, the man filled with the Spirit, Jesus (Jn. 2:19-22), this pattern will reach its apex. But already, from the beginning, the ministry of the Spirit had in view the conforming of all things to God’s will and ultimately to his character and glory.

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