Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:5-6)
God told Israel that if they would be true to the covenant, they would be regarded as a “special treasure” (other translations say, “peculiar treasure”). I had briefly pointed out, yesterday, that the Hebrew word literally means “jewels.” The actual Hebrew word is s’gulah and comes from a root word that typically means “to be select, exclusive” -– in other words something that is considered to be rare and valuable. The etymology of the word is derived from the idea of something being “shut up” because it is so valuable. You can see that idea in this statement God made concerning Israel as recorded in the book of Malachi:
“They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels (s’gulah); and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son that serves him.” (Malachi 3:17)
I should point out that, even though His people are considered as such, He doesn’t hide us away from the world; to the contrary, we are to be in the midst of nations so that they can see the difference between light and darkness. So instead of locking us away in a “safe,” He displays us before the nations for all to see. Couple this idea with the fact that we are considered to be “living stones.” I would suggest that we should not think of ourselves as stones cut from marble or granite. No, according to Scripture, we are stones considered to be more valuable than that — jewels. The foundation stones of New Jerusalem are all precious stones. The breastplate on the priest was comprised of twelve precious stones, and thus, distinguished from the granite and other stones of the Temple.
All stones, whether common or precious, are formed by heat and pressure, however, precious stones are subjected to more heat and pressure than others. Also, precious stones are usually cut in order to bring out their inner beauty. As I understand it, this is why diamonds sparkle when the different facets of the stone catches the light. So the point is, as God’s people, we are bound to be subjected to more heat and pressure in this world than most. Your heathen neighbor may never have to endure some of the things that you will have to endure in this life, but remember, you are His treasure. All of us are going to go through the fire; we are all going to be cut, polished and subjected to more scrutiny simply because we are His. However, to be regarded as His jewels is well worth the price. Let’s keep this in mind in the days ahead.
Blessings and Shalom,