Like Diamonds Set in Coal

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You know, it’s easy to look at an old photo and just see a still image. But what if that photo could move and talk? What if it could take you on a journey? Let’s imagine the Exodus story as one such living photograph. A moving panorama of dusty feet, twinkling riches, promises fulfilled and lessons learnt. And it’s all unfolding in Technicolor detail against the backdrop of a burning desert and the humbling expanse of the cosmos above.

We are stepping into an epic narrative. It’s not “Star Wars”, it’s not “Lord of the Rings”, and certainly not “Game of Thrones”. It’s the story of God’s chosen people. And it’s about you and me too.

Let’s picture the scene: the Israelites, their hands hardened by years of brickmaking, are now clasping onto an unlikely bounty. They had just done a bit of a “door-to-door” in Egypt, as you do when you’re about to be freed from centuries of slavery. Gold, silver, brass, and fine linen – they collected these precious materials, and the Egyptians didn’t put up a fight (Exodus 3:22). Peculiar, wouldn’t you say? Sort of like asking your boss for a raise and being handed the company jet!

Now, see the Israelites walking under the desert sun. Those glittering riches are an odd sight among the dust and grime of their journey. It’s like seeing diamonds set in coal. And isn’t that a snapshot of us? God’s chosen, marching on life’s rough road, rich in blessings that outshine our trials.

But here’s the plot twist. The Israelites, they took this divine bounty and turned it into a golden calf (Exodus 32). A bit like using a Monet to cover a hole in the wall! And it serves as a warning for us too. God’s blessings, mishandled, can be twisted into something grotesque. We’re given gifts to glorify God, not to fashion our idols.

Now, let’s fast-forward to King David. This is a man who didn’t just dip his toes into generosity; he dived in headfirst! He gave his wealth for the construction of the first temple (1 Chronicles 29:3). His example is a bit like seeing someone buy the entire stock of a charity shop. It’s not just about the money; it’s about the spirit behind the giving.

And what’s fascinating is what happened next. David’s act of faith was like a spark that started a bonfire. The leaders and people of Israel, inspired by David, also began to contribute (1 Chronicles 29:6, 7). It’s a stark reminder of how our actions can inspire others. The question is, are we starting positive chain reactions in our own circles?

So what’s in these stories for us? They’re not just tales of a bygone era. They’re mirrors reflecting our human tendencies and beacons guiding us on the right path. David, in particular, shows us what it means to set our hearts on God’s house (1 Chronicles 29:3). Our treasure is where our heart is, as Jesus later echoes in Matthew 6:21.

So, what’s your treasure? And how are you using it? Are your actions inspiring others, or leading them astray? You might not be building a temple, but are you constructing a life that glorifies God?

In our everyday hustle and bustle, let’s not forget the lessons these stories teach us. They remind us to be careful stewards of God’s blessings, to act in ways that positively influence others, and to set our hearts on God’s kingdom. We’re on our Exodus, my friends. Let’s make our journey count. After all, we’re not just looking at a photograph; we’re living in the picture.

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