William Andrew Dillard
DROSS ON THE CROWN JEWELS OF ENGLAND
The crown jewels of England are sometimes referenced as the wealth of stability to royalty, and in some measure, to the country itself. I suppose it may be compared to Fort Knox in the U.S. Most have seen pictures of the vast supply of gold bars in the vaults of Ft. Knox, but have never been there to see it in reality. Although the currency of the U.S. is no longer backed by gold, its presence remains a stabilizing factor in the economy.
However, the crown jewels of England, while stored in the Tower of London under heavy guard and extremely thick walls, are treated differently. They are the possession of the state and are loaned to royalty for special events. As a matter of fact, pieces are often carried out for special purposes quite regularly.
It was the privilege of my wife and me to view a large display of those jewels. The occasion did not produce wonder or lust, rather an amazement, and some disappointment. Not being all that familiar with the precious metals and gems, their value could only be appreciated in words of the guide. The five to eight-pound crowns seemed extravagant nonsense, and so highly impractical. That certain crowns had been worn by ancient monarchs put some people in awe; to the rest of us it was “so?” A virtual mountain of silver and gold would not have excited me too much. However, one thing was apparent: the pure content of silver and gold by an occasional film of dross. It was a reminder that, after all, those things are mere elements of this world, and they will pass away.
On the other hand, there is silver and gold that will not pass away. It is the silver and gold of a righteous life. Paul spoke to the church of the Living God at Corinth about this treasure of life in I Corinthians 3:16-19. It is the silver, gold, and precious stones that will survive the judgment fires of God in the day that all of us face: the Judgment Seat of Christ. In that day everything unrighteous will be the victim of Holy Fire as will all else, but what survives the fire is not wood, hay, stubble (unrighteous deeds) but gold, silver and precious stones (righteous acts of life).
In that judgment fire, another great benefit is realized. The gold, silver, and precious stones have all the dross removed: not for a little while to then recollect it, but forever. What a day that will be!
God made a promise to His people through the prophet Isaiah says, “And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away thy tin:” While He spoke of things He would create on the condition of their repentance, He has made much greater and brighter promises to us concerning the day when He will take all our dross away! Even so, come, Lord Jesus!