A Dye of High Price
You may think that blue is just another hue, and while technically true, being able to paint with this color was at one time considered a break-through!
So step back imaginatively in time with me… past the first World War, right on by the Industrial Revolution, back before the Baroque period – why we’ve gone too far, but here we are! The incredible history of the mysterious vividity of the color blue can be traced back to an ancient gemstone. Known as lapis lazuli, this stone was found in the Sar-e-Sang valley in the Badakhshan mountains in northeast Afghanistan, where it was mined and sold to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians for use in jewelry and ornaments. But artistry and ingenuity soon found another use for this gemstone of blue… Fast forward some more!
Ah, arriving at the Renaissance! Between the 14th and 17th centuries, creative masters produced works of art which even today are of unparalleled beauty and merit. It was during this time that lapis lazuli was first ground into a powder and used as a pigment in paint, producing an exceptionally intense shade of blue that was highly prized by artists of the period. An ounce of lapis lazuli was worth as much as an ounce of gold!
However, I can think of one treasure that is ever more valuable than the most precious pigment or the most well-guarded gold hoard… Can you guess what this best belonging might be? In the book of Proverbs, King Solomon lets us know what this priceless paragon of perfection truly is:
"There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel" (Proverbs 20:15).
Through all my adventures, I’ve found this truth to be sound: that the knowledge which God provides through His Word and His church is worth the most strenuous search!