It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width. And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones. (Exodus 28:16-17)
As we discussed yesterday, God considers His people to be His own “special treasure” — His jewels in fact. That is one of the reasons we see the precious stones worn upon the heart of the High Priest, signifying that the Body is always upon the heart of our heavenly High Priest. In consideration of this concept, there is something else we must address, and that is, how these precious stones come to be.
For the most part, any type of stone or rock, such as granite and flint for example, are formed when sand and silica are fused together, over time, by intense heat and pressure. That means, then, that stones which are considered as precious are formed by even more heat and pressure. By nature of our calling, the people of God are subjected to more pressure and heat than those who go their own way. Have you ever wondered why it seems that the heathen down the street doesn’t seem to struggle in the same way you do? Now you know why.
The Hebrew word typically associated with the idea of pressure or being squeezed is צרה tzarah. In some verses, this word is actually translated as tribulation. Remember, the Messiah said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:23). In other words, He has already alerted us to the fact that we will have to endure much if we are going to follow Him. Yet, the pressure is intended, not to destroy, but to perfect us; to transform us from a collection of dust particles into a precious stone. So in the words of the Messiah, let us “be of good cheer” because He has overcome the world. And because we are forever upon His heart, we can too.
Blessings and Shalom,