Many people have a heart for gold, and this awe of wealth isn’t found only in America. Countries all over the world promote and glorify the lives of those who’ve acquired great wealth. The French have their gilded shrines to Napoleon and the King Louis’ of Versailles. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Normandy, India, Florence, China, Russia, and Austria all proudly claim to be home to the top richest men of the world. Tribute to their wealth is still maintained by people today. In earlier centuries, even the kingdom of Ghana in Africa was known for being so rich that the dogs wore golden collars and horses slept on lush carpets.
According to the Bible, hungering for gold and all it can buy is the ultimate mirage of this universe. Gold is portrayed as temporal and subject to the dirt it came from.
(Isn’t a rich man in a gold coffin just as dead as the poor man is in a pine one?)
Getting gold is a gamble. Not everyone can reach the gold he seeks.
Then there’s the problem that not everyone who gets his gold has the power to maintain the conditions that produced the gold in the first place.
Finally, (and most difficult if you have become used to your wealth status), given the right set of circumstances a man can lose all the gold he’s gained.
Psalm 119 gives us a perspective on dross (metal scum) and gold, and how it all ties to God’s teaching.
“God, You spurn and set as nothing all those who stray from your statutes (teaching), for their own lying deceives them and their tricks are in vain.” (vs. 118)
“You put away and count as dross all the wicked of the earth (for there is no true metal in them); therefore I love Your testimonies.” (vs. 119)
“…I love Your commandments more than resplendent gold, yes, more than perfectly refined gold.” (vs. 127)
There is a greater gold and replacement desire for our hungry heart.
“I opened my mouth and panted with eager desire for I longed for Your commandments.” (vs. 131)
There is a greater pleasure and heritage than a gilt walled castle.
“Your testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart.” (vs. 111)
Psalm 119 teaches me that I must set my heart on the things of God and not on the shrines of wealth and men.
I must go for the “greater gold” and find my awe in God.
Dear God, sometimes it’s hard to see with clarity the achievements of great men and the lack we perceive in our own situation. Help us read the measurements correctly. Our lack or gain in the world is nothing compared to the lack or gain we might have in our relationship to You. Give us more of that “greater gold,” the knowledge of your teaching, goals, and plans for us, and grant us amnesia toward the rest. Amen.