A while back I visited an exhibition of photographs by the renowned photographer, Ansel Adams. I still struggle to properly compose a photograph and learned much from observing how Adams composed his pictures. I observed something else too: In this exhibition, not one Adams photograph depicted any man-made object. I later discovered that he had photographed a freeway interchange, an old adobe ruin, and a few other man-made objects but they were few and far between. It was clearly noticeable that Ansel Adams preferred to photograph nature untouched by man.
I believe that if I could travel back in time and stroll into the Tabernacle that Moses and Israel built in the desert, I would have made exactly the opposite observation. Most of what I could see would be man-made. For instance, even the ark of the covenant, though constructed of wood was to be entirely overlaid with gold. (Exodus 25:10-11) The natural wood was quite invisible. Though wood may be shaped, planed and polished, it still resembles the tree from which it came. Gold, however, is never seen at all were it not for man’s industriousness in mining it, refining it and shaping it. Wherever one looked in the Tabernacle as well as in its successor, Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, the worshipper was surrounded by evidence of human creativity rather than nature.