the Lord of Hosts
"They shall be mine saith the Lord of Hosts in that day that I make up my jewels." (Mal.3.14).
Jewels are unfailing objects of fascination. Their varied colours, their scintillating brightness, their rarity and value arouse in many people an ardent desire for possession. One tiny diamond is dear to its proud owner, while an ornament of genuine gems puts its owner among the elite as he or she may think. Rubies, amethysts, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds, garnets and beryls, with their dark greens, their rich reds and deep purples, their soft yellows, their flashing facets of crystal beauty, form a rich and enviable treasure trove. The crowns of Kings, the robes of Emperors and the swords of conquerors have had first claim on these treasures from the coffers of the earth. Rich women have adorned themselves in their glittering array, for their brilliance they have bartered their honour and for their worth men have risked their lives.
Between jewels and common clay there is no resemblance, yet they are only forms of the same substances modified and crystallised, fashioned out of the same earth elements by the diversified wisdom and excellency of creative design and workmanship. The gem sparkles, small and infinitely radiant beside the handful of brown earth. There would appear to be no relationship between the two, yet the action of time, chemistry and skill, made one to adorn a high priest's breastplate, and kneaded the other into a crumbling surface that seed time and harvest should produce for millions their daily bread.
The adorable, varied, coveted beauty of the sparkling jewels, shaped, polished and set for the adornment and pomp of kings and courts are, in the eyes of God who gave them, a fitting picture of rare people whom He calls his jewels. As men have searched the earth for diamonds, emeralds and rubies, for every sort of precious stone, so the Almighty has searched among the human race his power produced. He has searched for good women more precious than rubies, and good men, whose incorruptible principles of faith and honesty are more bright and enduring than the many faceted diamond. Jewels for a king's crown, a diadem of beauty, a collection of the earth's choicest human gems, gathered through the centuries, as various and different as the twelve glowing stones which flashed on the breastplate of the High Priest of Israel. Yet each is a stone of the first water. Men and women, born and bred in the earth, made and sustained by her elements, yet transformed by the alchemy of Divine influence into glowing, everlasting beauty.
With the eye of an expert, God, who is no respecter of persons has sought his gems in every clime, in every race, in every age. Like a connoisseur He protects and cares for his treasures, delighting in their beauty, setting the highest possible value upon them, awaiting the day when He can show them to the world. To an astonished and chastened world they will be his best rebuke, for all the generations in their blindness, in their strange obsessions and their perverted preoccupations have both overlooked and often despised and rejected the good who are God's choice.
At that time the world will turn about, reversing its standard of values With wide open eyes they will see things, events and people from the Divine standpoint. They will look on that beautiful assembly of the saints, sorry for the part they have played in the cutting and grinding of these gems of God's gathering, but delighted that they were found, perfected and chosen from among the sons and daughters of men.