He designed flying machines centuries before there was flight. He created the first textbook of human anatomy. He was one of the first to propose that the earth rotated around the sun. He was a musician, an inventor, and the painter who gave us the Mona Lisa.
Leonardo da Vinci was the original Renaissance Man. One of his early biographers said:
Many men and women are born with various remarkable qualities and talents, but occasionally a single person is endowed by heaven with beauty, grace and talent in such abundance that he leaves other men far behind.
Leonardo was a person of enormous talent who understood that wasted talent insulted God. He once said,
Da Vinci knew that God deserves our best! This is God's message to Israel in the book of Malachi:
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is your fear of me? says the Lord of Armies to you priests, who despise my name.”
Yet you ask: “How have we despised your name?”
“By presenting defiled food on my altar.”
“How have we defiled you?” you ask.
When you say: “The Lord’s table is contemptible.”
“When you present a blind animal for sacrifice, is it not wrong? And when you present a lame or sick animal, is it not wrong? Bring it to your governor! Would he be pleased with you or show you favor?” asks the Lord of Armies.
Malachi 1:6-8 CSB
Israel was practicing a nasty habit of giving God their leftovers. Their reasoning went like this:
"Why waste a perfectly good lamb on the altar when we could use a crippled or diseased one instead? God gets the sacrifice and we get rid of some of our undesirable flock."
It was the religious version of killing two birds with one stone – and it irritated God!
God is your maker. He deserves your best. Is he getting it? Is God getting:
- Your best effort at work?
- Your best thinking in the classroom?
- Your best gift in the offering plate?
- Your best service at church?
- Your best love for your spouse?
- Your best time and talents?
- Your best devotion?
Let's be clear. We don't give God our best to win his favor. We give God our best because he has shown us his favor.
Leonardo da Vinci knew the Master deserved the masterpiece. How will you honor God with your best today?
'Many men and women are born . . ." from Giorgio Vasari, quoted in Fritjof Capra, 2008, The Science of Leonardo. p. 16.
"I have offended God . . ." from Bülent Atalay, Keith Wamsley, Leonardo's Universe: The Renaissance World of Leonardo DaVinci, p. 277.