The crowns

Denmark crown (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

I happen to love jewelry. Imagine my delight as I read the Haftarah portion “Nitzavim – Vayelech” and read this in Isaiah 62:3, “You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

As I read this verse, I could see Israel with her crown on her head looking so beautiful. But, I thought about the diadem in God’s hand. In Ellicotts Commentary for English Readers it says, “the new crown (the new glory) is not worn on the head (thought of, we may believe, as already crowned from eternity), but held forth in the hand for the gaze of the adoring nations.” Israel crowned by her God, splendid and held out to the nations for them to see her beauty!

We also will stand before our God looking beautiful and radiant with our crowns. In the New Testament there are many references to crowns, and I want to cover five of them:

Crown of Self-Control – 1 Corinthian 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games exercise self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

When we watch the Olympic games we see as them showcase specific athletes as they train. We see how they sacrifice financially, their family life, sleep, food and deny themselves in many ways. Well, we also, as we walk with our God, need to exercise self-control each day. We need to stay away from immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissension, factions, envying, drunkenness, and carousing (Gal. 5:19-21). This is difficult but, we must exercise our self-control!

Crown of Exultation – 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Yeshua at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.”

David Stern, in the Jewish New Testament Commentary says something really interesting about the Greek word “coming” (parousia) in this verse, “this is chronologically the first use of this important word in the New Testament. It means “presence, being present,” and was used for the arrival of a great personage, such as a king making a royal visit.” So, Paul is making a point that when Yeshua returns, it will be a royal visit! As we share about our Messiah to others, aren’t the precious souls who we have guided into the kingdom our joy? Our crown of exultation? We must never get weary of speaking and loving those who do not know the Messiah yet.

Crown of Righteousness – 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

The crown of righteousness is for those have fought the good fight, have finished the course, have kept the faith and have loved His appearing. They are not perfect! So many times we equate righteous to perfect but, it is not. We are righteous because our God has made us righteous through the blood of Yeshua. We may fall down many times but, we get up and move forward in Him.

Crown of Life – James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

This crown is for those who have endured suffering, tribulation and trials. Some believers have given their life for their faith. Each one of us have suffered to some level in our walk with God. Sometimes, we thought we wouldn’t make it through! But, if we persevere we will receive the crown of life!

Crown of Glory – 1 Peter 5:2-4, “shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

This crown is for those who faithfully teach the word of God and minister to the flock. Many of us are blessed to teach, mentor, minister to others and God promises a crown of glory to those who are faithful!

“Nitzavim – Vayelech” is the last portion before Rosh Hashana. On this day we celebrate our king and His coronation but, remember our crowns are waiting for us. We will stand in His presence radiant, beautiful and in awe of our King!