Saturday, July 09, 2022

A diamond rush


Photos courtesy of Unsplash

South Africa is famous for its diamonds. Not many ‘world records’ stand for more than a century, but a diamond discovered in that country in 1905 remains the largest ever found. So when, a few months ago, a cattle herder unearthed a promising-looking stone near a village in the east of the country, he hoped that it was that precious mineral. Word spread, and by mid-June this year many people had arrived, from different parts, to dig in the earth. Most were poor and longed to discover gems that would lift them out of poverty.

The Bible describes poverty that is not material, but spiritual, and affects not just a high proportion of the population, but all of it: the condition of sin, which afflicts all of mankind. The wealthiest are not exempt: the Lord Jesus spoke of “a certain rich man” who was “not rich toward God” Luke 12.21. In Scriptures such as Luke 7.40-50, sin is likened to a huge debt, which we cannot pay. Hence, if left to ourselves, we would remain unforgiven, to suffer the consequences, in the Lake of Fire: a state of unending spiritual poverty, with no hope of escape.

The people who went seeking diamonds knew their circumstances and longed to escape (unlike many sinners, who are unaware of their situation, or who know it, but who have no desire to be free). Sadly, however, their hopes and efforts were in vain, for analysis of some of the stones showed that they were not diamonds, but quartz, and of minimal value. With heavy hearts, the workers packed up and headed home. And it is so for many in their sins, who seek to escape by methods such as religion, good works, or ‘doing one’s best’, which are of no avail, and inevitably result in disappointment.

Although the experts could tell the disillusioned diamond-seekers that they would not find diamonds in the place where they were searching, they were unable to point them to another location where they could dig and find them. In contrast, we are glad to be able to tell you where you will find what you need. Our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, saw us in the poverty of our sins and came from Heaven to earth to rescue us from it. Paul wrote, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” 2Corinthians 8.9. This verse is not just saying that He experienced material poverty here (although that is true), but that He went all the way “unto death, even the death of the cross” Philippians 2.8. In order that we might be lifted out of our dire situation, He made the ultimate sacrifice: He laid down His own life, and by His suffering and death He provided for us eternal life, which is received by everyone who trusts in Him.

You will never find true wealth and satisfaction in the things of this world, but if you turn from your sins and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour today, you will, as the verse says, “be rich”; not in the things of this world, which do not last, but in the true riches: forgiveness, salvation, peace with God, a home in Heaven, and so much more.

Now none but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me;
There’s love, and life, and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee!

Used by kind permission of Assembly Testimony Publications

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