And you shall make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod you shall make it; of gold, of blue…
Every true Christian is a spiritual diamond, one of God s jewels. Let us look at this diamond and see what there is about it on account of which a Christian may be compared to it.
I. ITS HARDNESS. It is one of the hardest things in the world.
1. It will bear a great deal of rough handling without being scratched or injured at all, And Christians are just like diamonds on this account. They can bear trial or hard treatment without being injured by it.
2. It can make marks that cannot be rubbed out. When we become Christians, we are like diamonds in this respect. One day the superintendent of a Sunday school in this city was going along near Third and Dock Streets. He saw one of the large boys belonging to his school coming out of a drinking-saloon. The boy's name was George Simpson. As the superintendent passed by he raised his finger, and shaking it gently, he said, in a kind, but serious way, "Take care, George, take care." Some ten or twelve years passed away. He had forgotten all about it. But one day a very genteel-looking man came up to him in the street, and, bowing to him, said, "I think, sir, this is Mr. P., who used to be superintendent of such a Sunday school?" "That is my name, sir, but I don't remember you." "Don't you remember a boy named George Simpson who used to belong to your school?" "No, I can't recollect the name." "Well, sir, don't you remember meeting him one day coming out of a drinking-place near the corner of Third and Dock Streets, when you shook your finger at him, and said, 'Take care, George'?" "Oh, yes, I remember that." "Well, sir," said the young man, "I am George Simpson, and I want to thank you for what you did and said that day. It was a little thing, but it saved me from ruin. I was just beginning to go in the drunkard's ways. But something in your words and manner made a great impression on me. I gave up drinking. Not long after, I joined the Church. Now I am living in the West, and am quite well off; but, my dear sir, I owe it all to you." Here you see how the superintendent was like a diamond, making a mark that never can be rubbed out.
II. ITS BRIGHTNESS. The most brilliant of all jewels. It gives up freely the rays of light that God freely bestows upon it. And this is what makes it look so bright and beautiful. And so you see that when Jesus said, "Freely ye have received, freely give," it is about the same as if He had said, "Be like the diamond, which gives back again so freely the light which it receives". A piece of coal does not reflect any light. All the light that falls on it is swallowed up and kept to itself. This is what makes it look so black, so dark, and disagreeable. Selfish, miserly people are like coal in this respect. They don't reflect or scatter about them anything they receive. Whatever God gives them they swallow up and keep to themselves.
III. But there is a third thing connected with diamonds, on account of which Christians may be compared to them, and that is THE WAY TO FIND OUT COUNTERFEITS. There are many counterfeit diamonds. Men can make imitation diamonds. And these often look so very much like the real that it is difficult to tell one from the other. And then God sometimes makes stones that appear so much like diamonds that hardly one person out of twenty can tell the difference between them. Sometimes even the merchants who are engaged in buying and selling diamonds can hardly tell a real jewel from an imitation. There are one or two tests, however. A real diamond can't be scratched. Another way is by putting it beside a true diamond and comparing them together. And so, if you wish to tell if a person is a true Christian, you must compare him with Jesus, and see if he is like Him. Jesus was gentle, loving, and kind. And the Bible says that "unless the same mind be in us that was in Christ Jesus, we are none of His." This means that unless we are like Him we are not true Christians. And then there is another way by which you can tell a real diamond from a counterfeit. If you put them in water, the diamond will still look bright and shine; the counterfeit, instead of shining, will look dark and dull. The Bible compares affliction or trial to water; and you can easily tell a true Christian from a counterfeit by seeing how he acts when affliction comes upon him.
(R. Newton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
WEB: "You shall make a breastplate of judgment, the work of the skillful workman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it; of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, you shall make it.