God's Precious Jewels
Part 5 The Diamond
The Diamond always presents a fascinating study. When symmetrically cut and polished, it is transformed into a gem which is at once beautiful, valuable and lasting. Its property of exquisitely reflecting and refracting light into its rainbow colours captivates immediate attention and commands wonder and admiration.
The extraordinary thing about this amazing gem is noted in the fact that it is derived from pure carbon. In other words, a diamond is a piece of crystallised charcoal! It is just like the great Creator to take hold of quite simple materials and to fashion them into articles of supreme worth and enduring splendour. His own precious jewels—His elect—are chosen from degraded humanity. He has visited the pit of sin, and offered some His highest and best! Even the pure and holy angels marvel at God's way of working. (1 Peter 1:12; Psalm 40:1‑3). Still more amazing is the knowledge that He has not drawn the so‑called elite of the earth, but His outstretched arm has beckoned mainly those who have been considered of little worth in human eyes. The apostle calls them the "are nots" that will eventually bring to naught the things that are, that no flesh should have any reason for boasting in His sublime presence (1 Cor.1:26‑31).
Strength and Beauty.
The origin of the diamond, therefore, is from soft black and grimy soot, which, in the Divine laboratory, becomes practically the hardest of known crystals. True to the picture, the Lord's own have been born in regions of darkness and despair, but, under the power of infinite grace, they are transformed into beings of strength and beauty—"Strength and beauty are in his (Thy) sanctuary" (Psalm 96:6). These characteristics come gradually into existence during their earthly career, after having received the Holy Spirit of truth. So strong and decisive become the dispositions of the Lord's true people, that they need to be ever on their guard against imparting unnecessary pain. The beauties of meekness, patience and kindness inclines them to wield the "sword of the Spirit" only in love.
It has been well said that "it takes a diamond to cut a diamond." Even diamond dust is necessary to polish the gem, thus we perceive the immense value implied by fellowship of kindred minds. To the teachable and faithful such fellowship is of the utmost importance for growth in grace and in knowledge. Oft‑times fellowship is extremely pleasant, but sometimes it may be otherwise, for diamond‑like characters prove a great test to those who have not this worth of quality. Fellowship of the Lord's people has consequently been one of constant changes and upheavals from Pentecost even unto this hour. All who resent the cutting and polishing processes, and who become offended, peevish, morose or bitter, give evidence that their characters are not jewel‑like. If we have reason to affirm that we belong to the Lord, we will surely give heed to the apostle's exhortation as follows: "Let us consider one another to provoke (incite) unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more, as ye see the day approaching" (Heb.10:24,25).
There are gems which are gems of renown because of their history and value, and the Kohinoor is one of these. It can be traced back to 56 B.C. What stories it could tell were it a living subject! For instance, rather than give it up, Shah Rukh endured many horrible tortures, including the putting out of his eyes.
It was at one time in the possession of the Mohammed Shah. When Nadir Shah conquered Delhi, he ordered Mohammed to give up everything he possessed. The latter, however, concealed the diamond in the folds of his turban, but one of the women of the harem betrayed his secret. Nadir Shah adopted a novel stratagem to obtain it. He ordered a grand festival, at which the two rulers swore love and friendship to each other. At its close, Nadir declared that they must exchange turbans to cement this friendship, and, without giving poor Mohammed a moment to consider, Nadir snatched off his turban and exchanged it for his own. Quietly, within his own abode, Nadir removed the gem from the folds, and exclaimed, with extreme satisfactory and delight, "Koh‑I‑Noor," meaning "Mountain of Light," a name which has been maintained to this day.
The Emperor of the Universe likewise treasures His special gems, to whom a new name will be granted (Isaiah 62:2.3: Rev.2:17).
Cutting and Polishing.
The ancients never realised the wonderful possibilities of their jewels. Fearing to reduce their size, they sacrificed brilliance for bulk. Nowadays a gem undergoes very drastic treatment in order that it may be enhanced in symmetry, beauty and refractive power. To this end there is no hesitation to cut away two‑thirds or more of an original stone. The celebrated Pitt diamond, for instance, was reduced from 410 carats to 136. This cost £5,000 and took two years to accomplish.
The Kohinoor originally weighed nearly 800 carats, and was
reduced to 280. When the province of Punjab was annexed, it became the property
of the English, and it was delivered to Queen Victoria in 1850. Its appearance
was then somewhat disappointing, for it had been badly cut. Prince Albert sought
the advice of Sir David Brewster as to the best manner of re‑shaping it. The
result was that eleven Amsterdam workmen became engaged on the work, and in due
course it was reduced to 107 carats, but its beauty was so greatly enhanced that
its value went up enormously. It was once worth at least £100,000*. It found its
place in a bracelet, which was worn by The Queen on State occasions.
Thus it is with the Lord's precious jewels, their value does not so much depend upon their prominence, but upon their beauty—the beauties of holiness—and this means a patient, laborious and costly cutting, shaping and polishing. Only God is able to view in advance the ultimate design of each and all. He knows precisely the experiences which are necessary. The part of the consecrated believer is to submit to Divine providences, without murmuring or expressions of discontent, thanking Him always in anticipation that the ultimate design will be according to His sovereign will.
"Whom He loveth He Chasteneth"
Sometimes the experiences of the Lord's people appear drastic and almost incompatible with human reasoning. We are safeguarded with the knowledge that it is "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." When John Bunyan was sent to prison there flashed upon his spiritual vision the words, "He knew that for envy they had delivered Him" (Matt.27:18). Thus the Lord overrules the envy, malice and pride in other hearts to produce the fruits of the Spirit in His beloved. In Bunyan's case his soul burned within him as he became conscious of the Lord's saving grace. Behind prison doors, he produced works which have attracted the attention of tens of thousands to this day. It mattered little if others corrected his grammar; his soul was alight with the Holy Spirit, and that was sufficient for the Divine purposes.
The same experience applies to that persecuted and much maligned woman, Madame Guyon. Illuminated with the gift from on high, she could endure all things through Him who strengthened her. Hear her song during one period of captivity:‑
The Diamond Point.
One astonishing feature of the diamond is that it may be ground to a point of infinitesimal fineness. Mr. J. R. Farrants, one time President of the Microscopical Society, had executed upon a piece of glass the Lord's Prayer. The writing done by a diamond was so small that the whole of it resembled a dot made by a fine pen. It needed a very delicate machine to accomplish this, and a very powerful microscope to distinguish the writing. Were the whole of the New Testament written in this manner, then the space occupied would be about the size of a small thumb‑nail.
Thus God's precious jewels will comprehend things great and small—inconceivably small! Recall, for instance, the minute formations which make up organisms! Think of the marvel of the brain structure! Millions and millions of impressions stored in a small space. These will all be precisely duplicated by the Royal Family in due course. The saints of the Most High will possess the kingdom! (Dan.7:27).
The Jasper ?
Commentators have concluded that the jasper of the Bible could not be the same which is now commonly called by this title. The modern jasper is represented by an impure variety of quartz, which may be in colour—dark green, brown, yellow, blue or black. Light does not penetrate this variety, whilst that mentioned in the Bible is transparent. Indeed, from the standpoint of its description, it is evident that the diamond is indicated. Note the words in the Book of Revelation: "Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" (Rev.21 :9‑11).
Such a description illuminates also Rev.4:3, already quoted, for as a diamond scintillates so gloriously the prismatic colours, so the glorified Redeemer, upon His throne, sheds abroad the varied beauties expressed in the Divine character. "For God is love," and it has been well expressed that, as "every lovely hue is light, so every grace is love." Now, the jasper, or rather the diamond, was the last stone depicted in the Breastplate, this as though picturing the glorious consummate desire of the Omnipotent, which desire will be amply fulfilled through the offices of the Royal priesthood. The last shall be first, and so this last stone becomes the first foundation‑stone of the city, the New Jerusalem, when the Bride will be complete (Rev.21:19). Truly marvellous is the mind of God!