" I shall make them My jewels." Malachi 3:17
Last week I read this gem of a verse during one of my devotional times and immediately I knew my next blog entry would be on this topic. The word 'jewel' in this passage translates to 'special treasure'. What a beautiful picture of how the Lord God views those who are His children! A thought that came to mind when meditating on this verse is that His jewels would not be the cheap, costume jewelry kind but the genuine version; expensive, precious and rare.
Isaiah 49:16 tells us- "See, I have engraved you on the palms on My hands."
1 John 3:1 says- "See what great love the Father lavishes on us that we should be called children of God."
Jeremiah 31:3 says- "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you."
I have a few pieces of genuine jewelry in my possession. I keep them in a special box designed for jewelry. It resembles a miniature wooden cupboard with a glass door and 3 drawers with ornate carvings and fancy little handles.It was a gift from friends on my 40th birthday. Just as we keep our jewels in a safe place, so God keeps us safe from harm.
Psalm 91:1 says -"He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
Psalm 121- This whole psalm reminds us of God's safe protection.
When our jewelry is not tucked away in our safe places, it's worn. We like certain pieces to be on display at certain times and on special occasions.
Zephaniah 3:17 says that "He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Psalm 17:8 says we are "the apple of His eye."
Jesus said in Matthew 5:14 that "You are the light of the world.A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Jewels shine best when they are placed in the best setting.
When creating jewelry, jewelers determine what setting would work best to bring out the stones brilliance,colour, clarity and cut.
As with us, we function best in a setting that pleases God, living lives that show our God-given abilities and talents and when walking in obedience to His ways as outlined in the scriptures.
Yet, no genuine jewel escapes the refining process. Different gems require many and varied treatments to transform them from their raw and often dirty state, to when the customer views them in a shop window, cleaned (with bleach or in the smelter) and cut into the desired shape of its designer.
We too, are being refined and transformed by God, our Creator,into the image of Jesus.
Zechariah 13:9 tells us-"...I will refine them as silver is refined,and I will try them as gold is tried and they shall call on My name and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God."
Malachi 3:2-4 says- " Who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderer's soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings of righteousness."
If each of us could learn to see ourselves in this light, as God's jewels, I believe it would revolutionize our worlds. Our thought patterns about ourselves that are prone to negativity and carnality would be replaced with "whatever is true,noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, praiseworthy ( Phil. 4:8). We would think twice before being tempted to engage in ungodly conversations, relationships, past times or habits. And the way we view others and subsequently relate to them would also improve. We would truly live godly lives that reflect His glory within us and desire to be light in our world- testifying of God's ongoing work of sanctification within us.
And don't be worried if you never own a piece of decent jewelry this side of heaven. The Bible tells God has used gold like we use pavers for walking on, precious stones as we use concrete for foundations and pearls as we use steel in gates!