“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” (Dan 12:3)
When we sang hymn 232 before the Sabbath morning service, the last sentence of the chorus caught my eyes. It read, “And they that turn many to His righteousness shall shine as the stars ever bright.” It reminded me of the afternoon Bible study topic, as we were going to study 1 Corinthians 3. In this chapter, Paul used the metaphor of building to illustrate the qualities of the holy workers’ works.
According to the Apostle Paul, the foundation of the building is Jesus Christ. There are two kinds of material that can be employed in the building. We are urged to examine how we build—with the valuable and lasting material (gold, silver, and precious stones) or with the worthless and fleeting material (wood, hay, and straw). In contrast to the former, the latter will not withstand the trial by fire. On the Day of Judgment, rewards will be given for the works of permanent value. Worthless and insincere works will be destroyed, but the worker will be saved even without reward (1 Cor 3:15).
What are the rewards for those who build with gold, silver, and precious stones? We may get a hint from the reminder that the messenger gave to Prophet Daniel at the conclusion of his revelation regarding the end times. The message is that those who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever. We all bear the message of Christ’s saving grace. More or less, we are also entrusted with some teaching duties whether as RE teachers, Bible study leaders, sermon leaders, or even as parents. We have a choice to take the responsibility sincerely or not—to work diligently or casually. While it is possible to hide the true quality of our service for Christ in this life, there is coming a time when it will be openly displayed for what it is. Shall we strive to receive the rewards and shine?
Hymn 232, verse 3 reads, “Then let us go forth to the work yet to do, with zeal that shall never decline. Be strong in the Lord, and the promise believe that those in His image shall sine. They shall shine as bright as stars in heaven bejeweled with light; And they that turn many to His righteousness shall shine as the stars ever bright.”