I have been studying the life of King Solomon form the book of First Kings. Most Christians know that he was extremely wise. But he was also extremely wealthy. In First Kings 10, we are told that the amount of gold that he would accumulate in one year was 666 talents. Now, often when we read the Bible, the numerations get lost on us. I mean, what's a talent? Would it mean more if I told you that 666 talents would be the equivalent to over 1.297 billion dollars? That's a lot of dough. That's a wealthy man. When we say that he was rich, we mean that every year he brought in at least 1.297 billion dollars.
As I have been studying his life and wealth, I have found myself thinking about money. I found myself thinking about wealth. I found myself daydreaming about just a few of those talents. I wouldn't want all of it, but just a little of it would be okay. I found myself focusing on the things on the earth instead of focusing on the eternal glory that God has promised in our eternal home.
It is at moments like this that my faith in the Scriptures are tested. Do I really believe that wisdom is better than gold? Early in Solomon's life, he thought that. He wrote, "How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver " (Proverbs 16:16). I wonder what changed for him? I wonder why he once thought wisdom was greater than gold and then eventually he became a hoarder of gold?
Or do I really believe that the truth of God, revealed in His Scriptures are greater to me than gold? Solomon's father, David, once said that the law of God was "more to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold" (Psalm 19:10). Other Psalmists say the same thing. "The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces" (Psalm 119:72). And "I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold" (Psalm 119:127). Do I really believe that? Am I willing to pursue the truth of God with more fervency than I would pursue the treasures of this world?
Or do I really believe that my faith is more valuable than gold? The Apostle Peter once said that "the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:6-7). Later he states that we are not redeemed "with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18). Do I really believe that my faith in Christ is worth more than everything the world has to offer?
Money. We can't live without it. And apparently, it is difficult to live Christianly with it. So how do we live? How can we choose Christ as greater than the treasures of the world? That is a little series I would like to start this week. So check back each day as I try to wrestle with our response to God as we live in one of the wealthiest nations of the world (even during a recession).
Question: How Often Do You Think About Money?