Thursday, February 22, 2007
"And they shall be Mine, says the Lord Almighty, in that day when I make up My jewels." Malachi 3:17
It almost surprises one to learn that the great and self-sufficient God has 'jewels,' but our surprise increases to astonishment when we learn that these 'jewels' are living creatures.
And astonishment gives place to overwhelming amazement when we discover that these living creatures are fallen and depraved sinners redeemed from among men!
Truly, nothing but Divine grace would ever liken such wretched worms of the dust, unto precious jewels! Yet that is the very thing which we find God doing in our text. It is not the unfallen angels, nor the holy seraphim and exalted cherubim who are spoken of as Jehovah's valued treasure--but lost and ruined sinners saved by amazing grace!
The Lord has likened His people to 'jewels' because of their inestimable value in His sight.
This is an exceedingly hard thing for the Christian to really grasp, for he feels such a wretched and worthless creature in himself. That the Lord of Glory should deem him of great worth, is difficult to conceive. Yet so it is!
From the earliest times, men have thought much of precious gems, and fabulous prices have been paid for them. With great ardor and toil, do men hunt after gold; but with even greater eagerness and labor will they seek the diamond. Hundreds of men will labor for a whole year in one of the diamond mines of Africa, and the entire result of their efforts may be held in the palm of your hand. Princes have been known to barter their estates in order to obtain some gem of peculiar brilliance and rare excellence.
Yet more desirable still, are His saints in the esteem of the Lord Jesus. The value of a thing in the eyes of its possessor, may be gauged by the price he was willing to pay for it. So valuable was the Church unto Christ that He gave Himself for it, and shed His precious blood to purchase it for Himself. Thus, the saints are likened unto 'jewels' because of the great value which the Lord places upon them.
"You will be a glorious crown in the Lord’s hand, and a royal diadem in the palm of your God." (Isaiah 62:3)
What marvelous words are these for faith and hope to lay hold of! Our feeble intellects cannot grasp them!
Wondrous is it to think of rough stones, which first look like small pebbles, being found in the mud and mire of earth; then cut and polished until they scintillate with a brilliancy surpassing any earthly object, and being given an honored place in the diadem of a monarch. But infinitely more wonderful is it, that poor lost sinners, saved by sovereign grace, should be among the crown-jewels of the Son of God!