— By TOMMY POPHIN
In Arkansas lies a unique state park called Crater of Diamonds. For a small entrance fee, tourists can dig for diamonds and other precious jewels. According to the park’s website, more than 500 diamonds were found last year. The mine was discovered in 1906 by John Huddleston – a farmer who owned the field – while he was out plowing.
Many of us go through life plowing fields where all we see is dirt. Others go through life plowing fields and hoping for a harvest. But happy is the one who goes out into his field, digs around in the dirt and finds diamonds.
Spiritually, most people don’t go to church because they think all they will find is a field full of dirt. Many others go to church in order to fulfill their duty to God and think that if they plow the field, they might get some kind of harvest. But blessed are those who go to church, and what they find are diamonds. Diamonds are the jewels of life that God has buried among us.
In Matthew 13:44 we find these words: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
Here at Beulah Baptist Church, we have some diamonds that most people never discover. Some of those diamonds are Sunday School, children’s activities, youth activities, along with a generous and loving congregation. From my perspective, there is one diamond that stands out above the rest: our Wednesday evening Prayer and Bible Study meeting.
On Wednesday evenings, we are studying through the book of Nehemiah. This book in the Old Testament tells the story of the reconstruction of Jerusalem after a long period in exile. Upon completing the rebuilding, the people gathered to worship, and Ezra the high priest – standing on a platform high above the people – read the Torah.
Let’s take a look at how the people responded. In Nehemiah 8:5-6 it is written, “Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”
Notice the response of the people as Ezra read: they 1) stood up; 2) praised the Lord; 3) lifted their hands; 4) responded with “Amen! Amen!”; and 5) bowed down with their faces to the ground. What the Jews discovered that day is what people can find in the church when they come anticipating what God has in store for those who truly seek Him: diamonds in the dirt.
Tommy Pophin is the pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in Millsap. The church website is beulahbaptistmillsap.com. You can contact the church at 817-594-3757. The church is located at 350 Beulah Road, two blocks south of U.S. Highway 180 on the corner of Fox Road.