"You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared." - Ezekiel 28:13 ESV
"You shall make a breastpiece of judgment, in skilled work. In the style of the ephod you shall make it - of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen shall you make it. It shall be square and doubled, a span its length and a span its breadth. You shall set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row; and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold filigree." - Exodus 28:15-20 ESV
It is interesting that the stones in the Eden of God match the the stones in the high priest's breast plate but instead of nine stone there are twelve... an extra row of three sandwiched in.
"and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;" - Exodus 28:19 ESV
Heaven's pre-creation covering was magnificent but humanity living in time and space has added a new dimension to cover.
Maybe we think of Heaven as having more then Earth... more light... more colors... perfection of display. No doubt the time before time was wonderful but God has added a row for us. It isn't a row on the end. It is a row sandwiched in the middle but off center.
There are also nine fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians chapter five...
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..." - Galatians 5:22-23a ESV
I was thinking yesterday how they all can be counterfeited somehow by something else. They have a match in our Earthly existence. People can be nice but not love. We can live in denial instead of true peace. All of the nine things have a match but there is something extra given to us as a covering.
God coming to Earth as a man is that extra row. Grace is in the mix of that extra row. Grace and mercy were not on display in the Eden of God. Man's faults put grace and mercy on display.
Different theologians describe the different qualities of the stones and make parallels but this morning I just see something extra and marvel that God would use us to put something extra on display.
The nine are great but I want to live in the twelve.
There a glory God wants to reveal.
"... the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." - Colossians 1:27b ESV