Many years ago, when we were in America, a lady gave me a ring. I really didn’t want to accept such a beautiful gift, but she kept insisting. I’d never seen such a large stone, and it was of my very favourite! A ruby! I was overwhelmed and felt unworthy of such a gift. I’ve never worn the ring because it is rather ‘showy’ but occasionally I get it out to look at it and to also show it to my friends.
Rubies remind me of my eternal home, where the foundations are layer upon layer of priceless jewels, and where each of the twelve gates are of a single pearl! I hope my mansion has some rubies, with perhaps a few pearls thrown in, because from what I read in Scripture nothing is too extravagant for our generous Saviour.
*The history of rubies goes back as far as Bible days.
*A ruby was one of the chief stones in Aaron’s breastplate.
*Rubies were the most intensely coloured substances our ancestors saw.
*The ruby came to be associated with royalty
*Rubies are found in only a handful of mines.
*Rubies are one of a kind
*A ruby is the most valuable of the ‘corundum’ family.
*Large rubies are rarer than diamonds of comparable size and quality.
*Rubies have been known to bring more at an auction than a flawless diamond.
*Today, a fine ruby of 3 carats will command a higher price than a diamond of the same size.
New found sources of rubies cause great excitement in the trade!
When my husband and I were called to live by faith, we started to see any possessions we had as assets from the Lord. During any financial test, we would often find something to sell to keep us going. But a time came when we had nothing to sell, except that is, for my handsome ruby ring. I thought I’d got used to selling things and was immune from any pain of doing it. But on the way to sell my beautiful ruby ring, I felt sad and as if I was failing a test due to not wanting to give it up, even though I knew it would meet our families’ needs for quite some time.
I handed it to the jeweller who put a magnifying glass to his eye while I waited to see how much he would give for it. Taking off his eye glass he went into a back room for a while. He came out, looked at me, and said, ‘Madam, this ring is worthless. It isn’t a real ruby at all. It’s a fake!’ But the jeweller apologetically explained how the ring could fool anyone as it looked so genuine and that only a specialised test showed it wasn’t the real thing. The stone was set in such a way, being an American ring, that he couldn’t even release the gold from around the stone to give me the money for the gold alone. I left that jewellers in shock.
So I still have my fake ring and it has taught me so much. It has taught me how there will always be copies of the real thing. In the Bible they are not called ‘rubies’ they are called ‘weeds’ .
We knew a Swiss watchmaker who was the designer of originals, and he had watches displayed in a top museum. He told us that as soon as he’d designed an original that within hours of it going on sale there would be identical copies made from it. He said that even he found it difficult with some copies to recognise it from his original.
Just imagine, if your favourite ‘ruby’ isn’t the real thing! It may be the new ruby the sheep are all raving about, and running here, there, and everywhere to hear them; and you may think it would seem unspiritual to question if they are real. But imagine if they are just a copy.
It’s so sad, when the Lord’s people have been deceived yet again by another fake preacher or prophet just because they demonstrated a few sparkles of authenticity and some exciting sparkles of authenticity.
Whenever I show my fake ruby ring to my friends they ‘wow’ over it because it doesn’t look like a copy at all. It took the expert to do a ‘specialised test’ – a person knowledgeable ‘in their field’ to know if it was a fake or real.
As Christians we should be knowledgeable in our field! And we can be, by doing the test advised to do, “Do not believe every spirit, but TEST the spirit whether they are from God, because MANY false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). This is not a suggestion, it is a command ‘ DO NOT’
Why is it that Christians are so hesitant to test when we are told to do so? According to Scripture, in the last days there will be more and more imitations, more ‘weeds’. So more than ever, we must test!
God’s nature can be seen in His Word. Fakes change God’s word to what suits. They preach inaccuracies. They twist the Word of God to justify an agenda. Sheep can be so misled by a fake who knows a few exciting Bible verses, raises his voice, marches up and down the aisle, and screams ‘hallelujah.’ But fakes are supposed to look real.
I think of the story of Naaman, Gehazi, and Elisha in 2 Kings 5. Naaman was healed of his leprosy when he did what Elisha had told him to do, which was to wash in the river Jordan. Naaman wanted to pay Elisha for his miracle, but Elisha was appalled at the idea that a healing could have any connection with money, or that a miracle could be bought. But Elisha’s’ servant Gehazi couldn’t resist and went secretly to Naaman and accepted the gifts which made Elisha angry. The leprosy from Naaman was passed to Gehazi.
Any preacher who links money with prayer, a healing, or a miracle – is a FAKE.
Never think it wrong to do a ‘stone test’ or you could be admiring plastic! Don’t be afraid to reject anything that is contrary to Biblical truth as it is your protection against fakes. God isn’t best pleased if we are more afraid of man than of Him, “Do not fear the reproach of man” (Isaiah 51:7). “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts the Lord will be exalted” (Proverbs 29:25).
Don’t become yet another naive sheep that was gobbled up by a few exciting sparkles from an imitation. Listen carefully, and see if it aligns to the Word of God. As for me, I am not ashamed to test and reject an imitation. I want to be an astute one, not a deceived one.
It isn’t always the ones ‘out there’ that impress the Lord. YOU yourself could be that authentic ruby, that undiscovered gem, that unseen jewel, yet invaluable in the sight of the Lord.
Fake rubies are ‘created’ (i.e. conceived, packaged) and are ones of many!
But a real ruby… is just ‘found.’
NEW found sources cause great excitement in the trade!
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 3:10).
“You shall mount on it four rows of stones; the first row shall be a row of rubies” (Exodus 28:17).
Let us all aim to be on that first row!
A prayer for discernment – and courage.
Lord, give me courage to follow through your word. Help me to examine and to listen and test any new preacher. Give me wisdom to reject sham even when it may be unpopular to do so. I realise it could be a lonely path if I don’t follow the crowd, but you were lonely for me.
I pray for strength to do what is right. I pray for more discernment amongst us Lord, so as to make a band of people of truth who will reject any false prophet to create a body of astute believers who will be fully alert and prepared for your coming.
“False prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. I have told you in advance” (Matthew 24:24).
And the devil that deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire, where the false prophets are also! (Revelation 20:10).
“False prophets disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13).
Thank you Lord for Your word.
Part message taken from Daughters Under Trial.
Copyright. Living Devotions. 2011.
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