“As for the saints of the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.” Psalm 16:3
David didn’t just forgive God’s people, and he didn’t just tolerate the saints; he delighted in them. How can we do the same? I think the key is seeing them the way God sees them: Diamonds in the rough.
In Exodus 28:17 God commanded Moses to make an ephod with four rows of three precious stones each. The stones represented the twelve tribes of Israel and the priest was to remember that this was how God felt about His people by wearing this ephod over his heart whenever he came into God’s presence. Four rows – three in each row – ruby, topaz, emerald; turquoise, sapphire, diamond; jacinth, agate, amethyst; beryl, onyx, jasper – the saints are God’s jewels.
A frequent accusation against believers and an argument against the truth of Christianity is hypocrisy. When an unbeliever sees a so-called Christian fall short of their expectation, they say out loud or think to themselves, “I thought you were supposed to be a Christian! Hypocrite!”
But the authentic Christian doesn’t claim to be a perfect diamond, but a diamond in the rough. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,” says the apostle Paul, “so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2Corinthians 4:7) We have a sin nature; we have a struggle going on inside of us, but we also have a new nature and are part of a new creation.
Our responsibility toward one another is to look past the rough and start seeing and speaking to the diamond. Christians often focus on the wrong thing and get paralyzed by sin and shame, their own, and that of their brothers and sisters. Can we look past the rough? Peter exhorts us, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins.” (1Peter 4:8) Don’t you want others to love you like that? We can’t excuse sin but after confession, we dare not dwell on it, or we will miss what God is seeing.
His delight is in the saints; let’s learn to delight in them too.