Purity and Oysters
by: David Ibrahim
Let me start by asking a question. True or false; every single jewel is made from the earth?
The answer… false. Every jewel is made from the earth, except one.
One jewel alone is made from a living creature. Any idea which one?
Yep, it is in fact… the pearl.
Let me tell you quickly how they are made.
Step 1: An oyster lays about until an irritant, like sand, makes its way through the hard, rough shell.
Just like that oyster which is surrounded by sand, we too are surrounded by desires to be impure. It’s everywhere.
To judge someone, to lust after someone, to envy someone.
And just like the grain of sand or parasite that bursts through the shell, so too do these thoughts and desires creep into our senses.
“Did you see what she was wearing?”
“How did he get that promotion?”
“You can look, but not touch”.
Or the infamous: “When an attractive girl comes my way, God will only judge me if I take a second glance…. So I better make sure the first glance is a long one!”
Impurity has become so common that we are accustomed to it; we consider ourselves to be righteous relative to the world.
Step 2: The oyster is unable to expel the grain of sand. Wanting to protect itself, it produces a smooth, hard, crystalline substance to coat the intruder. If the oyster does not produce the substance its organs will be damaged and it will die.
This is the reality. The sin of impurity, for 99.99% of us, is already dwelling within me, and if I leave it untouched then it will become a source of destruction for me.
Now we have a choice. Do I let this invader dwell within me or do I protect myself by building layers?
If you choose the first, then be prepared for a rough time, because although the path seems wide and fun, the predator “comes only to steal, kill and destroy (Jn 10:10).
“Okay, I want to protect myself. But I’ve tried in the past so many times. What are some ways I can build these layers of protection?
- In Ezra 9, the people disobeyed every law (to the point where Ezra tore his garment and even PLUCKED OUT HIS HAIR). So what did he do? He fasted, fell on his knees, and said, “Our iniquities have risen higher than our heads… Yet Our God did NOT FORSAKE US in our bondage… So Here we are before You”
- Make a covenant
- Ezra after this prayer, made a covenant to God with all the people to “put away” their sin.
- Job said “I have made a covenant with my eyes. Why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1)
- When Joseph was tempted he fled. He even left his garment behind and ran, because sin had touched it.
So our process:
- Remember the Lord never forsakes us, even in the midst of the worst sin
- ARISE and ADMIT my sin.
- Make a covenant to the Lord that I will put away all my former impurity
- Consecrate my eyes, my mind, my heart, my thoughts to Him.
- Flee from temptation when it comes.
- I must leave behind any TV Series, any place, any social media, and ANYTHING that causes me to be impure in thought, word, or action.
Step 3: Now back to the Pearl for the final lesson!
It keeps putting layer upon layer until the sand is completely covered. Now the grain of sand, the parasite, the intruder, has become a pearl.
Initially, the sand or parasite could KILL the oyster.
BUT if it protects itself, then this fatal enemy is what gives it WORTH.
It turns the ugly, useless oyster into a DESIRED, FLAWLESS TREASURE.
Impurity of mind, heart, soul, and body can KILL me.
BUT if I protect myself, purity is what will give me WORTH.
It will turn ugly, sinful, me into a DESIRED, FLAWLESS TREASURE!
Lord when I am drowning in sin; catch my hand like you did to St Peter.
If my eyes cause me to lust; give me new eyes like you did to the blind man.
If my ears are filled with impure words; give me new ears like you did to Malchus.
If my mind is filled with impure thoughts; give me a new mind like you did to St Paul.
And whenever I feel the struggle against me is too great, remind me that the king of kings became the bloodied offering on the Cross for me and told me;“Whenever you feel that you are impure, look at the word ‘impure’, and let it be a reminder to you that ‘I’m pure’. So therefore you, YES YOU, are pure IN ME! ‘The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that He had and bought it.” (Matt 13:45-46).
You are that pearl of great price. You are worth me selling everything for. Yes You! No one else could make the same pearl that you can. And your pearl, made from purity, is the one I want. I want you!”