Stone, Gems, Earth & Clay

"Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."      1 Peter 2:4-5

Whenever you do a study as complex as one on earth, rocks, stones and precious gems there can be a thousand trails to follow. Life is interesting. Knowledge is fascinating. None of this study is necessarily wasted time, but it is important to be led by the Spirit to take the path that the Holy Ghost wants you on, not simply the one that sparks interest.

During our home group last night we looked at Isaiah 54 again, paying particular interest to verse 17 that tell us it the inheritance of the saints to silence the enemy's tongue of condemnation. Then we looked at Ezekiel 28 and discussed the stones of Lucifer's covering and the fiery stones on the Mountain of God where Lucifer walked in covering authority. A key to Lucifer's fall was "the abundance of your trading." Some translations say "merchandising" and others say "traffic." The actual word means traffic, but what does traffic mean? Those of you in large cities certainly know one meaning. Or, listen to the news and you often here the terms "trafficking in drugs," "trafficking in death," etc... The word here actually means "to move about spreading malicious slander." The "trading" that Lucifer did was in convincing 1/3rd of the angels to rebel against God. He continues to spread the same slander and it is this tongue that we are called to silence.

Verse 17 explains that Lucifer's heart was lifted up because of his beauty. The word beauty here, from the root of Strongs #3202 literally means "to be bright," and also implies to make one's self fair, to deck, or to embellish." Lucifer walked among the stones of fire on the mountain of God. I've not yet been able to determine what exactly these fiery stones are, but we do know that jewelers use the term "fire" for the light that is refracted and dispersed through finely-cut and polished precious gems. Imagine a mountain of gems the size of boulders, all of them reflecting the glory of God. If Lucifer lived and walked through such a "boulder field" it would be easy for him to begin to believe that the light was coming from him, not from God.

In any case, pride overtook his heart.

But beauty itself is not bad. Beauty in Strongs #5278, from #5276, means "pleasantness, agreeableness, suitableness, delight, splendor, grace, sweetness."

Strong's #8597 is a fascinating word for beauty that is set, like a gemstone, in a very interesting place. Follow me on this:

Strong's #8596 is the word for "timbrel" (again, see Ezekiel 28) and it is from this word we get "tambourine."
Strong's #8598 is the word for "apple," which is actually a pomegranate, and also means "eye," or more directly, "the pupil."
In between these two, Strong's #8597 is a word for beauty that includes "bravery, glory, honor, and majesty." What do you think of when you think of a child of the King; a true Prince or Princess? How about bravery, glory, honor and majesty?"

Back to Strongs #8598 . A phrase found five times in the Bible is "the apple of His eye." This is a fascinating term and its roots actually include Strongs #1129, a primary word for "stone" that means "to build" as well as "to obtain children." Generally when we think of the term "apple of his eye," we think of it in reference to a father and his children, and in particular, a father to his daughter. And, in fact, that is part of the original meaning. Strongs 1323, which is derived from #1129, literally means "daughter." Strongs #1121 means "young children."

Years ago I heard John Sandford explain the saying "the apple of His eye" in a way that I have never forgotten. John explained that "apple" was a reference to "pupil," more even more so, it was the diamond-like glisten that a highly polished fruit has. It is that spark of brilliance that glistens in a father's eye -- pure, holy love and pride -- when he considers his fair and beautiful daughter.

Highly polished fruit. A diamond-like glisten. A temple of living stones. Pure love, pride, and acceptance from the window of God's soul.

Yes, I used the word "pride." God knows pure pride and he delights in his "gems" and "treasures."

Going back to Strongs #8597, another word for "beauty" includes "honor." The Word says give honor to whom honor is due. A true Prince or Princess has a duty to receive honor. But, being noble of heart, they reflect all glory and praise back to the King.

Lucifer did not want to reflect. He wanted to absorb and emanate. He wanted to be considered the source.

It is an honor to be "the apple of His eye." We are to receive that diamond-like glisten from His eye, be a light in this age of darkness, and reflect all glory back to the Mountain of God.

So, as we continued a study on gems last night we actually followed a trail to "beauty" and then to "honor." That trail led us to being "the apple of His eye." We ended with worship and also ministry to one another to receive honor. For many of us, the favorite time was probably when young Billy had his hand placed on Deb's guitar as she played and we prayed over him to receive the honor of music. We are to be living instruments, a timbrel of worship on God's holy mountain.

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