God Loves Jewels
(But He Loves People More)

 

A pastor was catching a plane in the Philadelphia airport when a member of the Hare Krishna movement offered him a book. Upon opening it, he was surprised to see their chief God decked out with all the jewels the Bible describes Satan as being covered with. Upon investigation he found that jewelry is associated with every eastern and heathen religion. Could it be that Satan is representing himself in these mystery religions?

And thus it is that God, though He loves beauty and though He wants mankind to be as happy as possible, nevertheless has concerns about mankind wearing jewelry because of the natural pride of the human heart.

Gods desire is to save mankind. But He knows that when we get to heaven there is going to be an abundance of precious stones. How can He be sure that over a period of millions of years we will never make the same mistake Lucifer did and learn to love these created things more than the Creator Himself? There is one way He can know, by testing us here during this time of probation.

This world is a school in which we are to prepare for heaven. The Bible says that if we will be faithful over the little things here, we will be entrusted with larger things in heaven (Matthew 25:2 1, 23). But if He cant trust us with even a tiny diamond or piece of gold here for just a few years of probationary time, how can He trust us with the riches of heaven for all eternity?

Thus the Bible says that "women" should "adorn themselves in modest apparel with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing" (1 Timothy 2:9 NKJ).



Again, the Bible says, "Do not let your beauty be that outward adorning of arranging the hair, of wearing gold, or of putting on fine apparel; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted God also adorned themselves" (1 Peter 3:3-5).

Mary had unconsciously grown up with a love for jewelry. Probably she had heard comments as a little girl about how beautiful someone was because of some necklace or other ornament. This beauty and acceptance became associated with jewelry in her mind.

Though from the family of a Ford Motor Company worker in Detroit, she met a young man from a country town of Pennsylvania who gave her a beautiful diamond as an engagement present, and soon they were married and living in his home-town.

Soon the glitter of marriage was not shining as brightly as the sparkle of her diamond. He was not a Christian and was acquainted with the ways of the world. He had tried drugs, and his ideals and ways were not the same as hers. Within six months they were on the verge of divorce, and yet he loved her as much as she loved him. There just appeared to be no common ground for this marriage.

In trying to find a solution, they read in the newspaper an announcement about a coming Prophecy Seminar in a hall. Since nothing else had worked, and as they had nothing to lose, for they were ready for divorce anyway, they decided to try religion.

Almost immediately their marriage began to improve. And so, as they had received so much benefit, they continued to study the Bible. After four months of study, they both decided to be baptized and join their lives with Christ.

But one day while preparing for baptism, the pastor had them read some texts about jewelry. Like the rich young ruler in the Bible, Mary became convicted that the Lord wanted her to give up her beloved diamond.

The conviction was sudden and the response was instant. She blurted out, "If 1 have to give up my diamond to get to heaven, I can never go!" And like the rich young ruler on the verge of the kingdom, she turned away sorrowfully.

Two days later the pastor visited her and her husband in their home. There he met two other pastors who were quite worldly in their beliefs and practices, trying to soothe her conscience and convince her that God wasn'tt so particular. And yet, in spite of all their arguments, she knew in her heart that she had been convicted by the Holy Spirit, in accordance with the Scriptures, to sacrifice her idol.

Never before had she known how much that tiny piece of stone meant to her. Without her knowing it, it was her idol and her God. Though she would have denied it before, she now fully realized that it meant more to her than even heaven itself.

She knew the Lord had led her in her study to that point. She knew the Lord had turned her marriage around during the last four months of study. She had tasted the joys of a clear conscience; could she give it all up for a little stone?

The day came for the baptism and she hadn't gained the victory, but she came to the baptism anyway with the diamond and the rest of her jewelry all in place. She knew she would not be baptized without gaining the victory, nor could she stay away. She had come too far to turn back now. She approached the pastor and asked him to study and pray with her again. It was time for the baptism to begin, and there were several others awaiting baptism, but Mary and the pastor went back into his study, opened the Bible and studied everything it said on the subject.

For over an hour the congregation and other baptismal candidates waited for the pastor. They sang song after song, not knowing the cause of the delay. But a soul was tottering in the balances between life and death; would she again turn away sorrowfully to her private God or would she, like Levi Matthew, leave all to follow the lowly Jesus?

It is interesting that God never requires anything that is not for our best interest. He doesnt require us to lie on a bed of nails, go on long pilgrimages, or starve ourselves.

In Marys case, there was nothing physically painful, or humiliating, in not wearing her diamond. But it was her test, and she knew it. Satan, who was striving for her soul, was making it seem like the all-important thing in her life. At the same time, the Holy Spirit was also influencing her and painting the picture of Gods love and the value of eternal life. She was lingering in the balance.

Finally, after over an hour of prayer and study, with tears rolling down her cheeks she said, "I surrender." She had surrendered to the Holy Spirit. How surprised she was to find that she had a peace and joy from winning the battle over self that she had never known before!

That day twelve people were baptized, including Mary and her husband. Her baptism was not just a form as it is with so many, but it truly represented a new birth. The Holy Spirit could use her now as He never could before, and within a short period of time, she brought three new people to Christ, who were also baptized as she had been.

In every life there is some cherished sin that Satan has developed an intense desire for, The Bible calls it a "besetting sin" (Hebrews 12:1). With the rich young ruler it was his money. With Mary it was her jewelry. The cost of eternal life requires the conquering of our besetting sins.