GOD - PREPARING HIS JEWELS
Anita Clark – Pastor, Grace Chapel
“Then, they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another; and the LORD hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them , as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” Malachi 3:16-17.
These verses from the last book of the Old Testament were written of the Jews, concerning their actions and attitudes when they were allowed to come back to their land, after being taken captive by Babylon. Ezra and Nehemiah both wrote at this time and were leaders of these people. The verses above are speaking of the faithful ones who were not doubting God’s deliverance for them, and were obedient to rebuild the temple and the wall of Jerusalem, which was torn down by the Babylonians 70 years before. God blessed them so greatly, but so often they rejected His kindness to them. Therefore they were allowed to go into captivity to Babylon. This was just the beginning of their subservience to Gentile powers, which has continued for all these years until now, they are finally restored to their land and are a nation again.
I am going to use these verses to express the work that God is doing in the lives of faithful men and woman today, who are believers in Christ and make up His jewels in the Church Age in which we live. We live in a society that has some of the same attitudes as ancient Israel had. In verse 14 it says Israel said, “It is vain to serve God and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance?” But in that day there were faithful ones “who feared the Lord and that thought upon His name.” (V. 16).
What does it mean to “fear the Lord?” Are we who live and follow God in this day supposed to fear the Lord? This word, “fear” means in the Hebrew “to revere, respect, reverence.” This word is mentioned twice in this one verse. If we truly revere and respect God and His things, we will be a person whose mind is occupied with Him, and one who spends time communing with Him in prayer, and thinking upon His name. Philippians 4:8-9 tells what to think about, “the things that are true, honest, just, pure, virtuous, and lovely” all speaking of the wonderful things of our God. Paul says, “Casting down imaginations. And every high thing ... and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).
In Malachi 3:17 it says, “They shall be mine in the day when I make up my jewels.” The word, “make” in Hebrew means, “to accomplish, or appoint, bring forth, perform.” “It is God which works in you to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). God is the one Who is making the jewel. Our part is to let Him.
What does it take to make a beautiful diamond or other gemstone? We know that it takes heat and pressure. Also, it takes a master to shape and cut the facets in the diamond to glisten in the light. What can we say to describe the work that God does in a yielded life of a believer, who wants the best God offers to him? It takes suffering, and trials to do God’s eternal work in our lives. God does not make a priceless jewel of a believer unless that one gives his will over to Him.
Notice that vs. 17 says, “in that day when I make up my jewels.” God has jewels of Israel. There were individuals who allowed Him to do His work in them. Now it is the day of Grace. He is doing a work in whosoever will, who will let Him change them ‘from glory to glory.” Some diamonds in the natural are not very beautiful, but they are hard enough to be used as cutting tools for industry. The most valuable are the ones which are beautiful, and shining.
Notice that in our verse in Malachi, He is making up His jewels. This is His work, not our work, not trying to be better, and an over comer in our own strength. We will never become what He wants us to be by our own determination and power. All who try that, fail. Notice he says, “My jewels.” God wants the honor and glory for His divine work in us. As Phil. 1:6 states, “Being confident of this very thing that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” This divine work will go on until Jesus Christ comes back, and has finished His work preparing His bride, His jewels. She will reign with Him, for the Bride of Christ is a company of believers who fully yield to Him and the will of God.
Right now is “the day when He is making up His jewels.” The world is getting darker and darker. Many Christians are taken up with worldly things, rather than really dedicating their lives to God. God’s work to find His jewels is going on right now, and after He finds them, He perfects them through the heat of trials and the cutting of His peculiar tools, “working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Paul says in II Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory; even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Are you willing to let Him work in your life and change you? The results will be beautiful. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament (visible arch of the sky) and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” Praise the Lord!