Friederich Mohs was a German scientist who lived during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. He studied chemistry, math and physics. But he also studied at the Mining Academy in Freiberg, Saxony. He became foreman at a mine and gained a lot of experience with minerals. Then in 1802, he moved to Austria where a banker had a special task for him. He didn’t want Moh to work in the bank. He didn’t want Moh to run a mine. He employed Moh to try to identify various minerals in his private collection.
How would you like that for a job? A banker agrees to pay your moving expenses and provide you with a salary just so you can spend time with his rock collection! Apparently, this took 10 years. So Friedrich’s resume from 1802 to 1812 would say something like “Identified rocks of Banker Joe.” Banker Joe must have had a pretty big mineral collection or Friedrich was a slow worker.
But apparently Friedrich learned something. For in 1812, he moved to Graz, Austria to a new job at the Museum and Science Academy. As part of his responsibilities, he started classifying minerals by their physical characteristics. This approach went against the more common study of the chemical composition of minerals. But the museum let him do his studies. It involved something pretty basic. He scratched one mineral against another. He came up with a scale that measured the ability of one mineral to leave a visible scratch on another mineral. So at social gatherings, when people asked Friedrich what he did for a living, he could say “I scratch rocks.”
What did he discover? If mineral A left a visible scratch on mineral B, it was harder than mineral B. Some minerals would not leave visible scratches on other minerals. So he classified them as softer. He came up with what is now known as Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness. Which mineral do you think he classified as the hardest? Diamonds. So Diamonds were given the number 10. Diamonds could leave scratches on quartz. So quartz was given a 7. A quartz could scratch a fluorite. So fluorite became a 4. Fluorite could scratch Talc. Talc couldn’t scratch anything. So it became a 1. So Moh’s Scale of Hardness goes from 10 – diamond to 1 – Talc. Some of you know this to be true. You would never sprinkle diamonds on your baby to comfort them. That’s too hard and risky. But you would sprinkle talcum powder. Now today, Moh’s scale is not really used in the lab because chemical composition is a much more precise study. But it still can be helpful in the field when they’re trying to identify a mineral discovered in a mine or in the ground.
Now we know that Moh’s scale of hardness applies to minerals. But what if we could apply it to our hearts? Specifically, what number of hardness, using Moh’s scale of 1-10, would be found on our hearts if Jesus came along and scratched them gently with His Word? When it comes to God and His truth, is the hardness in our hearts closer to diamonds or to talc?