Wednesday, July 5, 2017

On the Diamonds

As poker hands go, a flush is pretty good. It's slightly better than a straight, because it's mathematically tougher to achieve. And it beats any pair, or even three of a kind.

In classic Texas Hold 'em, only one suit in a hand can be a flush. Other games open the door for more than one, and that's when suit rank might matter - with spades at the top, followed by hearts, diamonds and clubs.

But let's ask a silly-sounding question. If you were a flush, what suit would you want to wear? A spade might be more impressive at the table, but you won't find the word "spade" anywhere in the King James Bible. You won't find "club" there, either. But you'll see a reference to the other suits:
You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz and the diamond.... - Ezekiel 28:13 (KJV)

Some Bible translations replace "diamond" with "emerald" (which appears later on the King James list). But if diamond is correct, how nice it would sound to be covered by fancy jewelry. Someone was long ago.... but then:
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned.... - Ezekiel 28:15-16

God discovered this well-jeweled being was a sinner, so He cast it out of Eden. Here's the root cause of it:
Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. - Ezekiel 28:17

Other Bible references indicate this "guardian cherub" (verse 16) was what we now call Satan, or the devil. Satan let beauty get to its head, became corrupted with sin, then was tossed away by God.

Does that mean diamonds and other jewelry are wrong? Some Christian groups think so, but they overlook another place in the Bible where diamonds come up:
And you shall make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work.... And you shall set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones.... the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. - Exodus 28:15-17 (KJV)
This breastplate was worn by ancient priests, when they did ministry service. God instructed the stones on the breastplate to be made that way. This indicates diamonds are OK, and not something to be avoided. They're as good on your body as they are in a poker room, as long as you let God position them as He wishes.

And here's the amazing thing: some people say we are to become diamonds. We'll get into that in an upcoming post.

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