How the gold has lost its luster,
    the fine gold become dull!
The sacred gems are scattered
    at every street corner.

This is about how their sins had cheapened them and caused them to lose their beauty. They had come to be treated as worthless objects are when thrown onto a rubbish heap. As Warren Wiersbe observes, no-one is made more attractive by sin

But I also remember a friend of mine talking about how ‘the shine can go off’ your salvation. I think you will know what he meant. I know I do.

As an old hymn puts it in one of its verses:

Where is the blessedness I knew
when first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul-refreshing view
of Jesus and his word?

Or, more recently a contemporary pastor, Mark Buchanan, expressed it in this way:

‘I long to get back to a place I was at a few years ago, where every day I heard God. I was more vigilant then, I think, more expectant and hungry. I was the hunter hunted. I was the man in the woods who depended on the keenness of his senses in order to eat and not be eaten. My pursuit of God had an end-of-the-world kind of desperation. Like Rachel crying to Jacob, ”Give me children or I die,” I cried to God, ”Give me your Spirit or I die.” I was spiritually lean, wily, stealthy, alert, and yet also vulnerable, wide open. A child and warrior both.

Somewhere I got dull. The child got old, the warrior timid. Again, I think I know how this happened – a combination of growing responsibility and increased privilege – but so what? Somewhere, I started to play things safe. I started to fall back on tried, tired methods of doing things and stopped asking God each day whether I should fight or not fight, go up or go down. I got formulaic in my thinking. I got hidebound in my routines. In the spring, when kings go out to war, I started to stay home, wander bored and restless on the palace roof, looking for something to make me feel young again.’ (‘The Rest of God’. p.154).

It may be that more than one person reading this will want to pray today:

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
” (Psalm 51:12).