Devotional Word for Tuesday, June 23, 2020
I’m still stuck on gold. Why have people down through history agreed to value it so highly? It has none of the features that would make it useful to ancient civilizations: being the most malleable of all metals, it worthless as an arrow or as a shield or as a hammer or any other tool. So, why is it so valuable? Two reasons: it is virtually indestructible, and it is very heavy. Let me read you some facts to detail what I’ve just said:
- It does not react to oxygen; hence it cannot be destroyed by rust.
- It is unaffected by most acids; it is unaffected by most bases. It’s stable! It lasts! It is virtually indestructible.
- It is 19.3 times as dense as water: 1 gallon of water = 8.3 pounds; 1 gallon of gold = 160 pounds. It’s very heavy.
- It is the most malleable of all the metals. It can be shaped most easily. Gold leaf can be hammered so flat that it becomes semi-transparent.
- It has the most ductility of all the metals. One ounce of gold can be stretched out into a wire that is 49 miles long.
- There are approximately 190,100 tonnes (tonne = 2,204 pounds) of mined gold in the world. That could be made into a cube 70 feet by 70 feet by 70 feet. That cube would weigh 418,980,400 pounds. It would be heavy and virtually indestructible.
What I’ve not mentioned thus far is that gold is attractive. It shimmers and shines; it glistens and glitters. It can be quite beautiful. For all these reasons, gold has been considered a most precious item since ancient times.
God’s Word is better than gold. It is more valuable than gold. It is truly indestructible; it is truly heavy, that is, it provides the most weighty insights into all areas of life. Have we properly valued God’s Word, that’s the question?
We read yesterday how God’s Word is settled in heaven and how it is the basis by which all the universe exists. But people down through the ages have contested God’s Word. People have preferred fiat rules made up by whomever, usually themselves. This causes conflicts with the people of God. We see this in our day in many, many ways. One need only mention God’s declaring that He would make man in His image, and He made them, male and female. That is a matter of controversy today.
Recently I saw a picture of a fellow participating in a protest and carrying a sign that said this: If Jesus returns. Kill him again. He was wearing a shirt that showed a stick-type figure throwing a cross into a wastebasket.
We live in a hostile environment. Many object to what we believe. They are increasingly hostile. What shall we do? Psalm 119:92 says this: If Your law had not been my delight, [note that word!] Then I would have perished in my affliction. We need to delight in God’s Word if we’re to stand in the face of adversity and contention. Verse 95 says: The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies. As has always been the case, there are those who want nothing more than to subvert the faith of God’s people, they want to destroy them. Hence, our need to focus more carefully on what God’s Word says. That section begins with the assertion Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven, ends this way: I have seen a limit [an end of] to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad. [v. 96]
Even gold has its limits. The proper mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid will dissolve gold (and platinum). Nothing dissolves the Word of God, however. The Psalmist says he sees a limit to all perfection – in other words, nothing is perfect. But he adds the kicker, God’s commandment is exceedingly broad. That is, it does not have an end. It reaches out and encompasses all of life. It is perfect. It is better than gold.
In verses 127 and 128 we find the practical application of this great truth: Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way. Isn’t that good! It sinks deep into one’s mind and soul; and we say, “Yes, that’s right! O Lord, I agree. Help me learn to live this out.”
I hope you know a lot more about gold than you did before. I know I do! And I hope we see how precious and valuable and enduring and heavy and practical – malleable enough to speak to every situation in life – how all this is the true character of God’s Word. May we desire to have it richly dwell in hearts even as it transforms our minds and thoughts. We agree with v. 97, O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Let us pray: O God, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for Your Word. Thank You for causing Your Word to be written down for us. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to cause it to pierce into the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. We especially thank You for the light Your Word sheds on our daily path, our daily interaction with the world around us. Help us be faithful to all that You teach us. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who is the Word of God. Amen.