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THE WORD OF GOD: GOLD
by Philip Owen

With some notable exceptions, gold has been the standard measure of wealth and luxury for civilizations throughout time.  Even the possibility of obtaining it has triggered some of the most significant events in our history (the California gold rush of 1848 and the Klondike in 1898, for example).  And as one present-day dealer in precious metals advertises, contrary to most other investment vehicles, “Gold has never been worth nothing.”  “The Gold Standard” is a term connoting excellence.  Little wonder, then, that the Word of God should be compared to gold, or, strictly speaking, contrasted with gold.  For as valuable as gold may be, it is worthless by comparison with the eternal riches contained in the Word of God.  A number of Scriptures make this point, including three in the Book of Psalms.  Speaking of the Word, David declares it “more to be desired . . . than gold” (19:10a); and the psalmist in 119 affirms that “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver”; “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea above fine gold” (vv. 72, 127).  In this concluding note in the series on the Bible, then, we are reminded of the inestimable value of the Word of God.  We will consider, then, briefly the signification of the Word of God under the metaphor of gold.

 

Treasured.  First, gold is something that is treasured for its inherent value.  The Word of God should be precious to us.  We should love it and delight in it for its infinite value.  When we realize that the Word of God is a direct communication from the God of heaven and earth in which He reveals everything we need to know for time and eternity—essential things we could never know apart from Divine revelation—we should devote ourselves to it.  When we realize that it is the means of salvation and of fellowship with the Lord, it should thrill, excite, and humble us all at the same time.  All the wealth of the world is insufficient to purchase the illuminating, redeeming, life-imparting power of this Book.

 

Protected.  Gold is something that is protected.  We do not leave valuable objects lying around casually.  Gold owned by governments, for example, is kept under the tightest of security.  So should it be with the Word of God.  We should allow nothing to steal its truths from our hearts and nothing to disturb our affection, reverence, faith, and obedience in the Word.  It is our sacred privilege and utmost responsibility to know, understand, believe, and obey the Word of God and to fend off any attacks, whether from within or without, that would steal the Word of God from our hearts and lives.  How carefully we guard certain precious physical objects we own, how we lavish attention and care on them, yet how careless we are regarding the place of the Word of God in our hearts and lives.  Do our actions evidence that the Word of God is precious to us?

 

Displayed.  Gold is something that is displayed.  A gold ring on the third finger of our left hand tells the world that we are married.  Museums display gold figurines of various sorts.  We wish to see gold for at least two reasons:  first, the metal itself is beautiful; second, we know that it is valuable.  The Word of God should be on display—not the paper-and-ink pages between two covers, but living and active in our lives.  Our lives should be governed by the will of God as revealed in the Book.  Our character should be shaped by the transforming power of its truths.  Our public lives should be a rich, living display of its promises and exhortations.

 

Used.  Gold is something that is used.  As a commodity it is traded; as a precious metal it is shaped into real objects of beauty.  Just so, the Word of God is to be used.  We must read and study it; we must memorize and meditate on it.  And we must believe and obey it.  Joshua reminds us that we are to “meditate therein day and night”!  That thought is probably astonishing to many of us.  But he does not end there, for he says that we are to do so in order that we might “observe to do according to all that is written therein” (Josh. 1:8).  This command is so contrary to our lifestyle that we dismiss it out of hand.  But the command stands.  And if we value the Lord and if His Word is truly as gold to us—for it truly is of infinite value—we will devote ourselves to it.   Failure to do so dishonors our Savior and Lord and impoverishes us.

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