Sermon #17                                                                                                                                      Malachi Sermons

 

      Title:                                 Jehovah’s Jewels

 

      Text:                                 Malachi 3:17

      Subject:               God’s Elect — His Jewels

      Date:                                Sunday Evening — January 17, 2010

      Tape:                                Malachi #17

      Readings:           Ron Wood and Joe Blakely

      Introduction:

 

My subject is Jehovah’s Jewels. Our text is Malachi 3:17. — “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

 

These words were spoken by God through his prophet Malachi in an age very much like our own, to a graceless generation, when the worship of Jehovah was peculiarly distasteful to men. Men and women who claimed to worship and serve the Lord God scoffed at his altar and his sacrifice. — They said, “What a weariness is it!” — They scornfully asserted, “It is vain to serve God!” — And asked, What profit is it that we have kept his ordinance?” — And scornfully asked, What profit is it that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?”

 

Yet, even in those dark, dark days, as in ours, there were bright stars shining out of the darkness. Though the great majority of those who claimed to worship God, only mocked him and blasphemed him in their religious exercises, there were small assemblies of devoted worshippers, here and there was a man, a woman, or two or three, upon whom the Triune Jehovah gazed with delight, people who “feared the Lord,” who “spake often one to another” of his great goodness, peerless majesty and wondrous grace, a people standing on the tiptoe of faith and expectation, waiting for the Consolation of Israel.

 

And our God “hearkened and heard” this elect remnant. He so approved of that which he heard, as they worshipped him, that he took notes of it and declared that he would publish it. — “A book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” He highly cherished these hidden ones…

 

“Faithful among the faithless found,

A meek and holy few they were,

Kept in all their heavenly armor bright,

And bravely scorned ‘midst error’s night.”

 

The Lord Jehovah so highly cherished these few that he called them his “jewels; and he declared that, in the great day when he gathers together his peculiar people, his special treasure, the distinct emblems of his royalty as the Monarch of the universe, he would look upon these hidden ones as being more priceless than emeralds, rubies, or pearls. — “They shall be mine,” said he, “in the day when I make up my jewels, when I gather my choicest jewels into my royal treasure house to be my glory and crown forever.”

 

What a great declaration of grace! — “They shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.Let’s look this metaphor together for a few minutes and seek to worship our God.

 

The Comparison

 

First, consider the comparison. The Lord God here compares his elect to jewels, his own peculiar jewels. Throughout the ages, men have treasured precious stones. Unbelievable prices have been paid for rubies, emeralds and diamonds. Nothing, it appears, is valued by men in whose hearts God has set the world, like gold and diamonds. So we should not be surprised by the fact that our God compares his chosen to those two things (gold and diamonds)[1] that we may know, and that the world may know, how precious we are to him. The very walls of Zion, the walls of God’s church built upon Christ the Foundation Stone are made of gold, and silver, and precious stones.

 

Though God’s people are, always have been and, as long as time shall stand, always shall be, esteemed by men as something less than the off-scouring of humanity, the great Jeweler of Heaven, the Triune Jehovah, esteems them as precious beyond all price.

 

Š      Oh, how God the Father values his people! He so great values our souls that he spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all (Romans 8:32).

Š      God the Spirit so highly values the chosen that he makes it his work and his glory to call them, convert them, comfort them and keep them.

Š      And God the Son so highly values these sinners he calls his jewels that he gave himself for us.

 

Our Savior’s life was as dear to him as life is to us, and yet all that he had, even his life, he gave for his chosen (2 Corinthians 8:9). He counted-down the price of his jewels in drops of bloody sweat in the gloomy garden of Gethsemane. His very heart was broken, pouring out his precious blood that he might save his people from their sins and deliver us from the curse of the law.

 

Indeed, our Lord Jesus compares himself to a merchantman seeking goodly pearls, who, when he had found the one pearl of great price, the church of his elect, for the joy thereof went and sold all that he had to buy that pearl and make it his own by divine purchase.

 

Providence

 

Yes, the Triune God places great value upon those he calls his jewels. We see that, not only by the infinitely costly price of our redemption, but also by the fact that all providence is but a wheel upon which to polish and perfect the Lord’s jewels. Those stupendous wheels, Ezekiel saw, portrayed the great machinery of divine providence, by which he cuts the facets of his true choice gems, and makes his diamonds ready for his crown. It is written, — “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

The Lord God values his people very highly; not only the rich among them, not alone the most gracious among them, but the very least and most unworthy among us are Jehovah’s jewels. To fear the Lord and think upon his name are very simple indications of reverence, faith and worship. Yet, if we only measure up to that standard, so that we fear him and think upon his name, our great and gracious God declares that we are dear to him, his very jewels!

 

Though you possess no special gifts or eminent graces, though you have no talents or abilities others might envy, still, if you fear him and your heart is set toward the Lord Jesus, to think upon his name, you are precious to him.

 

Jewels well portray the Lord’s people, because jewels are extremely hard and durable. Diamonds will cut glass. Little penetrates them, to spoil them. Little injures them. They endure, and endure, and endure still. Well may God’s elect be compared to jewels. The believer has within him an incorruptible, undefiled new nature, “created in righteousness and true holiness,” called eternal life and immortality. — He shall never die.

 

Jewels will out last the world’s lifetime, and glitter on as long as the sun shines. — The rust of time does not corrupt them. — The moth of age does not devour them. — And no these jewels no thief can break through and steal. They are kept in Jehovah’s hands, in the grip of his omnipotent grace!

 

The believer is born of an incorruptible seed, which “liveth and abideth forever.” The world has often tried to crush or destroy God’s diamonds, but all the attempts of malicious fury have failed. All that enmity has ever accomplished has only been, in the hands of God, the means of displaying the preciousness and brilliance of his jewels.

 

The fake jewels of gaudy religious works, those imitations made by men are soon enough made manifest. They are soon tarnished and soon destroyed.

Š      The greenness of covetousness discolors them.

Š      The rust of time erodes them.

Š      The heat of trial dissolves them.

Š      The weight of opposition crushes them.

But the true believer, the true gem, the choice jewel of God, survives the fires of time, and when the fast dissolving day arrives, he shall come forth from the furnace without a flaw.

 

The jewel is prized for its luster. It is the brilliance of the diamond which, in a great measure, that is the evidence and test of its value. The colors of various gems and the purity of diamonds are best seen and known when the light shines most brightly upon them. So it is with Jehovah’s jewels. The heaven born soul catches the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; and his righteousness shines forth in them, for we are immortal and God dwells in us. We are partakers of the divine nature. Christ, the Hope of Glory is in us! — Stand there, my brother, my sister, in the bright, shining Sun of Righteousness. — See how the diamonds flash and sparkle with…

 

Š      Faith!

Š      Hope!

Š      Love!

Š      Joy!

Š      Peace!

Š      Patience!

Š      Forbearance!

Š      Tenderness!

Š      Care!

Š      Forgiveness!

Š      Mercy!

Š      Generosity!

 

Aaron’s Breastplate

 

Precious stones are the flowers of the mineral world, the blossoms of the deep mines, the roses and lilies of earth’s caverns. I imagine that few things seen by the eyes of men are as beautiful as the breastplate of the high-priest, studded with the twelve rows of gems, each with its own separate beauty, melting into splendorous harmony, that Lord commanded Moses to make for Aaron. The stones on that breastplate were intended by God to represent his people, as he beholds us, perfect, spotless, holy and pure in his darling Son.

 

There is a beauty, a divine and superhuman beauty, about God’s elect. The whole creation affords no fairer sight to the Most High God than an assembly of his saints, in whom he sees “he beauty of holiness,” the beauty of his own dear Son multiplied. The Triune Jehovah looks upon us with divine complacency, because he sees in us the beauty of his own ineffable perfection, because we are one with Christ, because we are in Christ and Christ is in us!

 

Christians are comparable to jewels because jewels are rare. Jewels are precious to men because they are rare. And God’s people are but few compared with the unregenerate multitudes of the world. Like the ruby, the diamond and the emerald, believers are marvelous creations of grace (2 Corinthians 5:17).

 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

 

There are not many gems of grace which enrich the nations of the world. The way to heaven is narrow, and the Savior says, “Few there be that find it.” But there is a city, called “The New Jerusalem,” where pearls, and jasper, and carbuncle, and emeralds are common things. The streets are gold; and the walls are precious stones. — O fair Jerusalem, when shall we enter your gates!

 

It should also be noted, as I have already indicated, that every jewel is the production of God. Jewels are often imitated; but no man has yet been able to make a diamond. Lives have been wasted in attempts to produce precious stones, but none have been made. They are the secret productions of God’s own wisdom and power; and men have no idea how he does it. And all the wit in the world combined cannot find out the secret of the heaven-born life. Religion tries, but can never produce one of these jewels.

Š      Papacy cannot.

Š      Reformers cannot.

Š      Ritualists cannot.

Š      Work-mongers cannot.

Š      Altar calls cannot.

 

To make jewels for Christ’s crown is God’s work, and God’s work alone. We might preach until our tongues can no longer move and men’s ears grew deaf, but not one dead sinner can ever be brought to life by our talk alone. The Spirit must go with the word, or it is just wasted breath. — The Lord God alone can create a jewel of grace. A believer is as much a miracle as Lazarus when he rose from the tomb. It is as great a work of Deity to create a believer as it is to create a world.

 

There are of many different kinds of jewels, too. Perhaps there is not a single ray in the spectrum that is not represented amongst them, from the purest white of the diamond, to the red of the ruby, to the bright green of the emerald, to the blue of the sapphire. So is it with God’s people. They are not all alike; and they never will be. All attempts at uniformity must fail, and it is very proper that they should fail. We should never wish to be one in the sense of uniformity, but only in the sense of unity. It is not one jewel, but many that are set in one crown. It matters little whether we shine with the sapphire’s blue, or the emerald’s green, or the ruby’s red, or the diamond’s white, so long as we are the Lord’s in the day when he makes up his jewels.

 

Jewels are of all sizes, yet they are all jewels. The Hope diamond is no more a diamond than the one my wife has been wearing for forty-three years. It is a little larger, but no more a diamond. And all believers, are God’s “workmanship (master pieces) created in Christ Jesus.” Unlike the jewels men cherish, no matter the size of God’s jewels, all are his master pieces, equally precious in his sight. Abraham and Lot, Peter and Thomas, Paul and Barnabas are Jehovah’s jewels. One may be valued above another by us, but not by him! He says of all his elect, — They shall be mine in that day when I make up my jewels.”

 

Once more, jewels are found all over the world. In the most frozen regions, on the tops of mountains, and in the depths of mines, jewels have been discovered, in the hot regions of the tropics and beneath the frozen icecaps, jewels have been found. So, God’s elect are to be found everywhere. Blessed be the name of God, ransomed sinners have learned to sing the praises of Immanuel in the regions of perpetual ice, and the children of the sun have learned to adore the Sun of Righteousness in the midst of the darkest corners Africa.

 

Wherever the jewels have been found, though they differ in some respects, yet they are all alike in others, and kings delight in them, and are glad to use them as regal ornaments. So, wherever Jehovah finds his precious jewels, North, South, East or West, he sees Christ in them and them in Christ; and he delights in them. The Lord Jesus counts them to be his true ornaments, with which he arrays himself as in ancient times a bridegroom adorned himself with ornaments, and as a bride decked herself with jewels. — Imagine that. The Triune God, our great Jehovah, delights in us!

 

The Making Up

 

In the second place, the Lord God speaks of making up his jewels. The Lord Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, has some, who are his jewels, his peculiar treasure.

Š      They are loved with an everlasting love.

Š      They were chosen in him before the world began.

Š      He redeemed them with own precious blood,

Š      Justified by his righteousness,

Š      And sanctifies them by his grace.

Š      They have the graces of his Spirit in them.

Š      And they will be glorified with their Lord.

Š      They are a peculiar people, separate from all others;

Š      And he prefers them above all others.

Š      The Lord God has the strongest affection for these jewels he calls his people,

Š      And takes special care of them.

 

And there is a time when he will make them up. Their number is already complete in eternal election; but they must be gathered.

Š      There was a gathering of them together in Christ at his death (John 11:52).

Š      As they are called and converted by his grace, the jewels are gathered as his regenerated and sanctified ones.

Š      Then, at the death these bodies, we shall be received into heaven, into his presence and bosom, gathered unto our Redeemer.

Š      And at the last day, in the resurrection, there will be a collection of all God’s jewels at once unto him in resurrection glory!

 

The day spoken of by Malachi is distinct from all other days, referring to this Gospel Day in which we are privileged to live and serve our God. In this our day, in this gospel age, in all his works the Lord our God, the Triune Jehovah is making up his jewels! So let us devote ourselves to the business of seeking jewels everywhere. All the chosen are not saved yet. Blood-bought-multitudes remain to be ingathered. Oh, for grace to seek them diligently!

 

Many jewels are found, but they are not yet polished. They are precious gems, but it is only recently that they have been dug from the mine. I am told that when the diamond is first discovered, it glitters little; you can see that it is a precious gem, but perhaps one half of it will have to be cut away before it sparkles with its fullest splendor. — So it will be with many of the Lord’s people. The great Jeweler of Heaven who cherishes them cuts them severely, that he may make them sparkle as diamonds in his hands!

 

The Master Jeweler takes off first one angle and then another, and breaking away much which we have foolishly cherished. Through this cutting process, he makes up, forms, works, dresses his jewels for his crown.

 

Today, the Lord Jesus is making up his jewels. When he has made them all up, as he purposed from the beginning, then he will come again and gather them all unto himself!

 

The Great Privilege

 

Think, thirdly, of what a high and honorable privilege it is to be numbered among his jewels, numbered among the crown jewels of Jehovah himself!

 

They shall be mine.” — That does not include all men, but only “those that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” If we are the Lord’s, then what privileges are ours! Then we are safe. Eternally secure in Christ.

 

Oh, how highly honored we are; and how highly honored we shall be (1 John 3:1-3).

 

 

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)

 

Remember where the jewels are to be forever. The Son of God himself shall wear them as his glory and joy. Believers will be unrivalled illustrations of the glory of divine grace throughout all ages. Can you see our glorious Well-beloved? There he sits: adored of angels and admired of men! But what are the ornaments he wears? Worlds were too small to be signets upon his fingers, and the heavens were not sufficient to serve as his footstool. But, oh, how bright he is, how glorious! And what are the jewels which display his beauty? They are souls redeemed by his death from going down into the pit. Blood-washed sinners! Men and women who, but for him, would have been tormented forever in the flames of the damned, but who now rejoice to sing, — “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.”

 

Soon, we shall be in the closest possible, the most intimate possible communion with Christ; and it shall endure forever! You are, one day, to display the glory of Immanuel. Unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places shall be made known, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God. You shall be his “gold rings set with the beryl.” With you as his reward, he shall be “as bright as ivory overlaid with sapphires.” You are so dear to him that he bought you with his own blood because you could not be “gotten for gold, neither could silver be weighed for the price thereof.”

 

“Your redemption by his death proves that your soul could not be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx or the sapphire; and when the ever-glorious God shall exhibit your sanctified spirit as an illustration of his glorious character and work, no mention shall be made of coral or of pearls, for your worth will be above rubies; the topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal you, nor shall the precious crystal be compared to you.” — C. H. Spurgeon

 

Spared

 

Then, in the last line of our text, the Lord God says, “And I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” That is a favor not granted to the apostate angels. God spared not the old world. And he did not the Jewish nation. He did not even spare his own dear Son. Yet, he promises chosen sinners that he will spare them as his own Son who served him faithfully throughout the age of his manhood and more: — who served him faithfully throughout the ages of eternity!

Š      Spared for Christ’s sake!

Š      Spared with Christ!

Š      Spared as Christ!

Š      Spared forever!

 

What a day that will be, when Jehovah’s Crown Jewels are all made up, gathered in and set as the diadem of his beauty and his glory, to the everlasting glory and praise of his name and to the everlasting, ever-increasing joy of our immortal souls (Isaiah 6:1-12).

 

1.    For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

2.    And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.

3.    Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

4.    Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

5.    For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

 

6.    I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,

7.    And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

8.    The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:

9.    But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.

 

10. Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.

11. Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

12. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. (Isaiah 62:1-12)

 

May God gather you with his jewels, for Christ’s sake. O that he might spare you as his own Son!

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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[1] God’s Elect Compared to Gold (Psalm 105:37; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3)

Compared to Diamonds (Exodus 28:18; 39:11)