8th September 2015

The Diamond Standard 

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45 (NKJV)

Why is it that whilst we tut-tut at the wicked theft from the Hatton-Garden safety deposit box company, secretly we rather admire the chutzpah and audacity of the robbers? Quietly they went about their work over a long weekend, tunnelling through solid concrete and prising open some 80 or so deposit boxes with an unknown value of contents.

Most of us, I believe, even if an opportunity to carry out something similar were presented to us, wouldn’t be tempted to join in or “have a go” for ourselves. Civilisation clothes us with at least a veneer of honesty and civic behaviour, and perhaps a degree of self-preservation.

All of which brings to mind a situation found in the Bible which I have always felt maligned one of the parties involved. I have in mind Lot and his reluctant escape from the cities of the plain before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other settlements. You know the story in Genesis 19: The people of Sodom, where Lot lived, showed themselves to be irredeemably corrupt and so were scheduled by God for demolition. But before the destruction could begin, Lot and his family had to be persuaded to leave. Timorous Lot was terrified of fleeing to the mountains lest something nasty overtake him, completely overlooking the present unprecedented disaster about to happen, so he pleads to remain in Zoar (“it is a very small town, isn’t it?”).

But on the route there Mrs Lot looks back. Normally the reason given is that she lusted for the evil she was leaving behind. And this, so many preachers pontificate, is an example for us that we should not lust after evil things. I think that might well be a calumny on poor Mrs Lot. Read the story and you will see that although two unmarried daughters were leaving with them, at least two other married daughters were not. Here she was losing her daughters and her sons-in-law. And who knows? perhaps she even liked her sons-in-law; but certainly she loved her daughters. Maybe that’s why she looked back, grieving for their fate. And maybe there were grandchildren there, too. No, I think Mrs Lot has had a bad press. At least, I’m prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Of course, no one has been convicted for the Haddon Garden heist. Though we don’t know what’s been going on behind the scenes. I see that they issued a reward for information leading to the apprehension of the Hatton Garden mob; whereas it took the death of God himself through Jesus Christ, to rescue mankind.

We weren’t covered by insurance, any more than some of the gems lodged in those safety deposit boxes; the premiums apparently were too expensive. But our premium was exacted in full—the death of Jesus Christ. And him we can openly admire and praise him for his priceless gift to us of eternal life in his coming kingdom.

Merciful Father, thank you for kindness to us, in rescuing us from even ourselves to become part of your great family. Help us to appreciate that gift, value beyond diamonds and gold, every day of our lives, and to use that knowledge to help us become closer, better followers of your Way of Life. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford


johnstettafordAbout the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School, 6th Form Common Room
Honey End Lane
RG30 4EL

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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