While visiting with my dad recently I heard him say something that I do not recall hearing anyone else say, at least not in the same words. Dad is ninety one and he was reminiscing about his life and he said, “I have really enjoyed being a Christian! I have enjoyed going to gospel meetings, attending the New Year and Fourth of July meetings, participating in the preacher’s studies, and debating and discussing the scriptures. I have enjoyed being a member of the church!” I do not think I have ever heard anyone say it just like that. Looking back over his life he could say, “I have really enjoyed being a Christian!” My dad did not obey the gospel until he was about thirty years old and when he did, he made a drastic change of lifestyle. It was a total about face for him and sixty years later he could look back and declare how glad he was that he chose to live for Jesus. Here is how David expressed it:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law does he meditate day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not whither, and whatsoever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3) The word delight means “to give great joy or pleasure.” Can you say you delight in the law of the Lord? Does being a Christian bring you great joy and pleasure? There is nothing that brings greater joy and satisfaction than serving our Lord. It is of more value than silver and gold! This is the consistent testimony of God’s word. Notice some things that are “better than gold.”
“How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” (Proverbs 16:16) “Happy is the man who finds wisdom . . . for her proceeds are better than silver and gold. And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.” (Proverbs 3:13-15) Job declares that wisdom and understanding cannot be purchased with silver and gold. (Job 28:12-15) If wisdom and understanding are of such exceeding value and they cannot be purchased with money, how can we acquire it? “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) God will never reproach or upbraid or chastise if you ask for wisdom. He wants to give it and will give it liberally to the person who asks sincerely and in unwavering faith. How awesome is that? When you say your prayers tonight before going to sleep ask not for silver and gold, or some other temporal blessing, but ask for wisdom and God will give it to you. God was pleased, we remember, when Solomon did not ask for riches, or long life, or earthly glory, but for an understanding heart to judge the people of Israel. God gave him what he requested and he will do the same for you and me. Wisdom, that comes from God, is better than gold!
“The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.” (Psalm 119:72) God’s law, testimony, statutes, commandments, and judgements are “more to be desired than gold, yea, much fine gold, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, and in keeping them is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7-11) I ask again, do you delight as much in God’s word as in silver and gold, or sports, or television programs, or movies, or video games, etc.? It is remarkable that some Christians can name every player on their favorite football team but cannot name the books of the New Testament! Make it a deliberate and consistent habit to read a portion of God’s word every morning and evening, and the sweeter and more meaningful it will become to you. It will become your delight. His word is better than gold!
A WISE REBUKER
Like and ear ring of gold and an ornament of fine gold, is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear. (Proverbs 25:12) It may be a bitter pill to swallow but we all need to be rebuked once in a while. I am thankful that in the past there was someone wise enough and caring enough to rebuke me when I needed it. Such a rebuke, Solomon says, is better than gold. David had committed adultery, murder, and had covered it up – so he thought. God sent a rebuker, Nathan the prophet, and David wilted under the power of the rebuke of truth. Notice that it is a “wise” rebuker that is better than gold. Not everyone has the wisdom and expertise to rebuke. God’s word is a sharp sword that can be used to kill or heal. Not everyone is skilled in handling the sword of the Spirit and sometimes more damage is done than good. We need “wise” rebukers and experienced handlers of the sword of the Spirit. Notice also that a wise rebuker is better than gold to “an obedient ear.” I have to be open to the rebuke that comes from the truth. I have to have a heart that wants to know and do what is right. Truly then the rebuker is better than gold!
“Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6) Like Peter and John, we have something of far greater value to give to people than silver and gold. We have the unsearchable riches of salvation offered through Jesus. Jesus is better than gold.
I’d rather have Jesus than silver and gold,
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by his nail pierced hands.
Than to be the king of a vast domain,
or be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.
After all, Peter assures us, we were not redeemed with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus. What would we do without Jesus? Where would we be without him? Jesus is better than gold!
“The construction of the wall was of jasper; and the city was of pure gold, like clear glass.” (Revelation 21:18) “And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” (Revelation 21:21) John describes heaven as made not just of gold, but “pure” gold. Now of course, we understand that John was describing the indescribable and he used the most precious element known to man to describe the beauty and glory of heaven. I do not believe John is telling us that heaven is made of literal gold. It is better than gold! That is the point. It is more precious, beautiful, and glorious than all the gold in this world. Peter describes it as “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away reserved in heaven for you.” (I Peter 1:4) Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and has promised to come again and take us to be with him in His Father’s House. That promise is better than gold! Peter says it is reserved in Heaven for us. Do you have your reservations? You cannot just wait till you leave this world and hope there will be a room waiting for you. You must make your reservations now. Don’t wait too long. In fact, do it right now. Make your reservation by obeying the gospel and living for Jesus all the days of your life. Having a room reserved in Heaven is better than gold!
Article By: Jerry Dickinson