Daniel 6:16-22, Don't give up, Fatihfulness, Gates of Pearl, Hebrews 13:5-6, Look up and press on, Matthew 13:45-46, Oysters, Pearl of great price, Quitting on God, Revelation 21:21-23, Romans 8:28-31
Bible Ballistics: BBs #680 The Question Of The Pearl???
“And the twelve gates
were twelve pearls;
every several gate was of one pearl:
and the street of the city was pure gold,
as it were transparent glass.
22 And I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty
and the Lamb
are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need
of the sun,
neither of the moon,
to shine in it:
for the glory of God did lighten it,
and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:21-23
I am going to do something that I seldom do, and that is take the liberty of offering some food for thought that is purely conjecture. It is just a thought that I can’t get out of my mind. As you’ve probably noticed I haven’t written as much as I normally do, but we took some time away to get some rest and refreshing; as most of you know it’s been a hard 9 months for us with the murder of my daughter, and seemingly just one crises after another, and the enemy so busy wreaking havoc and spiritual chaos on every hand. Friends and loved ones going through great spiritual warfare, health issues, crises of faith, as the song says, “fightings within and fears without” (from Just As I Am, written by Charlotte Elliott in 1835—and as true today as it was then!)! It is a busy time of spiritual warfare, but I don’t want to talk today about the warfare, but, in a sense, about the joys of victory!
In the passage above, we see the description of the New Jerusalem—the bride (see Revelation 21:9-11)—and its splendor, and as I was praying for a friend the other day, I was brought to this passage, and had the thoughts that I would like to share with you today (and I shared some of them with my friend already) concerning this reference to these gates of pearl. We’re told that there are twelve gates, and each gate is a single pearl. Now that is most mind-boggling in and of itself, but I want us to consider the pearl. What is a pearl?
A pearl is an irritant. I come from the Gulf Coast and love oysters—and a time or two I’ve gotten a surprise in my mouth, the beginning of a pearl! When a grain of sand or some other irritant makes its way into the oyster and isn’t washed out, the oyster begins to deal with the irritant by secreting what God gave it, to begin to surround this unwelcome ‘irritator’ and layer upon layer is formed around this irritator until it eventually loses its ability to irritate due to the work of God’s design within the oyster, it becomes a smooth jewel that we call a pearl! A priceless gem used to adorn the greatest of mankind. This irritant has become a treasure rare, yet it cost the oyster time, effort and the ability to endure until the work was accomplished.
What does this have to do with me? With you? Well, I just happened to think about this process of earthly oysters and pearls, and I can’t help but think that the heavenly pictures that God gives us, have a purpose (which we often don’t understand this side of heaven); yet, I’d like to offer a premise for you to consider! I’m not making a great theological foundation, but hopefully some food for thought about the great wonders of our God’s ways; and they are never fruitless or purposeless, so I was just thinking, could those pearls (those enormous pearls) be the picture of all of our trials, sufferings, and the “irritants” that God has allowed to come into our lives? Could God be telling us that we will rejoice throughout all eternity for the things that HE used to conform us into the image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus?
“And we know that all things
work together for good
to them that love God,
to them who are the called
according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate
to be conformed to the image
of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,
them he also called:
and whom he called,
them he also justified:
and whom he justified,
them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us,
who can be against us?” Romans 8:28-31
Our God is working all, yes that’s “ALL”, things for our good. He never says “OOPS”, and He never slips, or takes a nap when we find ourselves in the midst of horrible trials, sufferings and/or human disasters! God is ever at work to make “you” and “me” who are HIS, into the image of the son! Oh—glory, glory, praise be to our LORD! This is that pearl of great price that Jesus talked about, and HE said that the one who found it, sold all that he had to purchase it! What are you and I doing for HIM—with our “irritant”—with our present distress? God wants us to give it all to HIM and watch HIM add to those amazing pearls an eternal reminder of HIS unseen purposes! Can you see it? We can if we will but stand fast in the truth of HIS sovereign grace, goodness and love for us!
“Again, the kingdom of heaven
is like unto a merchant man,
seeking goodly pearls:
when he had found one pearl
of great price,
went and sold all that he had,
and bought it.” Matthew 13:45-46
So, what am I saying? I’m simply asking you to consider the true value that God has placed on you! HE gave Jesus to die for our sin, so that we could spend eternity with HIM; but He also saved us to be of value in this world to increase HIS kingdom. What are you doing for Jesus? Have you given up because the road is hard? Have you thrown in the towel, and taken to yourself a ‘god’ of your own making? And, no it doesn’t have to be a ‘little statue of gold or silver’, it can be your passions, your greed, your “acceptable” addiction, your bitterness, or unforgiveness, you name it, the list could go on and on, but suffice it to say, God is waiting for you/I to look up and stop looking at the lions but look up to Daniel’s God who delivers, for HE never fails.
“Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel,
whom thou servest continually,
he will deliver thee.
17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords;
that the purpose might not be changed
… 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel,
servant of the living God,
is thy God,
whom thou servest continually,
able to deliver thee
from the lions?
21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
22 My God
hath sent his angel,
and hath shut the lions’ mouths,
that they have not hurt me:
forasmuch as before him
innocency was found in me;
and also before thee, O king,
have I done no hurt.” Portions of Daniel 6:16-22
Are you standing confident in God, as Daniel did even when he was falsely accused, or (as my former Pastor Brad often says) are you “doubting, pouting, and dropping outing”? You can choose to cave, or you can choose to determine to live in truth NOT the lies of the enemy of your soul, he who comes only to “steal…kill…and destroy”! Please don’t let him steal what’s NOT his! You belong to Jesus (and if you don’t yet, you can call on Him in repentance and faith to forgive your sin and save your soul, giving HIM your all), and HE IS working if you will but look up, stand fast on what you know, NOT what you “feel”. God is there, you’re just not looking, not opening your eyes. I implore you to consider the price! Whatever you are mad about, hurt over or fed up with—tell God about it, HE CAN HANDLE IT (you and the problems!)!
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:
for he hath said,
I will never leave thee,
nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say,
The Lord is my helper,
and I will not fear
what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:5-6
Let God work on your irritant—HE makes pearls out of them!
Amen and Amen!!!