Greater than Diamonds
- Tuesday, March 04, 2008
They've "starred" in Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. They cling to both the rich and the famous with casual ease. They're generally regarded for uniting people, but just as easy they've set nations at war. And, though they're relatively small, they always gather a crowd. "They" are diamonds.
The world's love affair with these sparkly wonders began 3,000 years ago. The ancients believed--because of the stone's ability to fracture light, and in some cases glow in the dark--that they were fragments of stars or teardrops from the gods.
Early Kings would defiantly lead their troops into battle while wearing a diamond studded breastplate, believing their own invincibility because of the stones.
During the dark ages, diamonds were used to calm the mentally ill and to ward off demons. They were even believed to contain medicinal properties. Patients were told to hold a diamond in one hand while making the sign of the cross with the other. The wealthier patients swallowed the gems like aspirin as their remedy de jour.
Even the great minds were captured by the diamond's aura. Plato thought they were living beings. Other thinkers believed them to be male and female, claiming diamonds could marry and reproduce.
In 1477 Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy and thus introduced the engagement ring era. And, by placing it on her third finger of the left hand, he subscribed to the ultimate love theory--a belief that the vena amoris (the vein of love) runs directly from the heart to the tip of the third finger.
Whether it's the world's largest diamond--the Star of Africa weighing 530 carats--or a minute speck mounted on a bride's gold band, the diamond is considered the nearest thing to "priceless" that we can possess.
It's a nice thought, but it isn't so. If fact, according to the Bible, it isn't even close.
According to scripture, there are still four things of greater value than a diamond, or, for that matter, a sea of diamonds, or a river of gold, or a mountain of silver. These four unfathomable valuables are:
"...for it is more precious than jewels and nothing you desire compares with it."
- God's Ways
"...they are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold."
- An Excellent Wife
"...for her worth is far above jewels."
- Personal Reputation
"A good name is to be more desired than great riches; favor is better than silver and gold."
And who would know better than the wise and wealthy men who penned these words--David and his super-rich son, Solomon?
The truth is, as beautiful and magnificent as diamonds are, they're still a simple chemical composition made of common carbon--like the graphite in a lead pencil.
But God's valuables are of inestimable worth.
For a pastor, much of every day is spent protecting these scriptural treasures, and with good reason. The enemies of God have deliberately and repeatedly tried to dilute, discredit and destroy them all. The enemy knows their worth as well as God does.
And He, the maker of all diamonds, has yet to create one--or any number of pricy baubles--that can surpass the greatness of His priceless four.
In the constellation Centaurus, according to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, there's a white dwarf star that's been found to have a 1,864 mile-wide core of... yes... diamond. They've calculated its weight as 2.27 thousand trillion trillion tons. Or, 10 billion trillion trillion carats--that's a 1 followed by 34 zeros.
What a rock! It's huge. But it's still just pure carbon.
Nothing compares to God's incomparable four. And we've been given the custodial duty to defend them all.
Vice President of Church Relations
P.S. If you're looking for great preaching tools, don't forget Preaching Magazine. It's my favorite. Check it out at Preaching.com. Do your congregation a favor by subscribing.
Copyright 2007 by Ron Walters. Used with permission.
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