Genesis 24

Mail Order Bride (2009) (10″ x 10″)
collage and acrylic on framed mirror
Abraham’s servant is sent to the city of Nahor where he is to locate a bride for Isaac who will be identified by her actions at a well. Rebekah is identified by the predicted sign so the servant goes to her father and her brother Laban and explains that she is the chosen one. Laban very piously answers, “The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot speak to you anything bad or good. Look, Rebekah is before you, take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken.”
From what we know about Laban’s money-grubbing attitude elsewhere in the Bible, this response seems out of character for him. But the answer is probably hinted in verses 30-31 where we see that Laban only welcomes the servant with open arms once he has seen the costly nose rings and bracelets the servant had given Rebekah as presents.

Genesis 28:10-22

Highway to Heaven (2009) (10″ x 10″)
collage on framed mirror
The famous story of Jacob’s Ladder has been seen by some to anticipate the atoning work of Christ in bridging the gap between man and God.

Exodus 28 and Exodus 39

These chapters describe in detail all the vestaments for the Aaronic priesthood. They are of special interest to artists, as Francis Schaeffer pointed out years ago in his little pamphlet which has the same title as my blogsite. Note the number of times in these passages that God stresses the skillfullness of the artistry to be done. And lest anyone take pride in their artistic accomplishments, note also Exodus 28:3:  “And you shall speak to all who have ability, whom I have endowed with skill…”

All Decked Out (2009) (10″ x 10″)
collage on framed mirror

Exodus 3

As Moses approaches the burning bush in the desert, a voice tells him, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” I had always interpreted this to mean that Moses should take off his dirty shoes so that they would not pollute the holy ground, much as people in many Far East cultures take off their shoes before they enter a house or place of worship.

However, I recently read a completely different interpretation of this passage. Namely, God wants Moses to come into more direct contact with Him by removing his sandals.

Brushfire (2009) (10″ x 10″)
collage on framed mirror

Exodus 32

Calf Casting (2009) (10″ x 10″)
collage and acrylic on framed mirror
The unfortunate Golden Calf incident in Exodus 32 demonstrates mankind’s tendency to worship something they can not only see, but have control over–unlike the invisible and omnipotent God.

Numbers 20

Twice Struck (2009) (10″ x 10″)
mixed media on framed mirror

After one of the Israelite grumbling episodes (Why did you bring us here where there is no water or fruit as in Egypt?), Moses and Aaron pray to God for water. He tells them to command a rock to bring forth water, but Moses strikes the rock twice and takes credit for the miracle himself (see verse11).
As punishment for their disobedience, Moses and Aaron are not allowed to take the people into the Promised Land. Sometimes a seemingly minor act can reveal the condition of our heart and have grave consequences.

Numbers 2

Encamped (2009) (10″ x 10″)
collage on framed mirror
Verses 15-23 of this chapter hold a good lesson for us today. God’s presence with the people was indicated by a cloud resting over the tabernacle. The people would stay camped at each location until the cloud lifted. In other words, they only proceeded when and where God indicated. We often charge ahead of God in our life and regret it later.

Numbers 21

This chapter contains the strange story of the Israelites grumbling against God, who proceeds to plague them with poisonous snakes. Then, after Moses’ intervention, God instructs him to erect an image of a snake which will heal anyone who looks on it. Perhaps there is a hint here of God sending his Son to first remind us of our sinful nature and then saving anyone who gazes upon his sacrifice on the cross.

Sympathetic Healing (2009) (10″ x 10″)
collage on framed mirror

Exodus 34

The Big Ten (2009) (10″ x 10″)
collage on framed mirror
The Ten Commandments remain the basis of morality for Jews and Christians today. However, in case you are ever tempted to feel that your life is without sin because you haven’t broken any commandments (lately), just read Matthew 5. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he takes several of these commandments and goes to the heart of the matter rather than just concentrating on overt actions. And in addition he adds a commandment that all of us have trouble with: love your enemies.

2 Peter 3:15-16

The warning in these verses is clear: some things in the Bible are hard to understand and can be easily misread by those who either (a) don’t know any better or (b) are purposely twisting Scripture to say what they want it to say.  Hopefully, we are not in the second class of people. However, all of us could use more training in how to interpret the Bible properly. My recommendation is a great little book by Gordon Fee entitled How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.

Puzzling (2010) (6″ x 4″)
collage on balsa wood