THE LORD’S GOLD
BY: JAN A. ANTONSSON
SEPTEMBER 18, 2011
“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts.” (Hag. 2:8)
As the economy has bumped and groaned along, now falling, now rising a bit only to fall further, like a lot of you, I have noticed that the price of Gold has steadily risen. There’s a Jewelry store up near where we grocery shop which keeps a running daily total of the price of “spot gold,” and when I saw the price go above $1,500 a few months ago, I was intrigued because a cousin had sold some gold jewelry for a LOT more than she paid for it. Another friend has invested in gold coins and he referred me to a website where I could check out for myself what’s going on.
No, this is not a treatise on the gold standard or any other economic condition, because I’m not interested and not qualified to speak about that, but when I watched a little video on the website (kitco.com) showing how they melt down the rocks to extract the gold, and once it is as pure as they can get it, they pour it up into gold ingots, I knew a writing was coming. The heat must be fantastic to produce such a result. The men who check the furnaces and pour up the gold have to wear full body suits with face masks and heavy gloves to prevent death or injury.
That, of course, reminded me of Mal. 3, where the last prophet to speak in the Old Testament wrote, “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.” About this messenger, he warns, “But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? “For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.” (Mal. 3:1-3) This metaphor of God being a refiner’s fire has always struck me forcefully, especially in light of the Hebrew writer’s assertion that “our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:29)
There are many references to the fire and heat of God in our lives, which prompted the title of the book I wrote, “Faxes From the Fiery Furnace.” I’ve been through so many rounds in the furnace, or blasts from the Holy Spirit’s “blow torch,” name your metaphor, that I have said, “Parts of me are pure gold.” I am reminded of that when stressors come, as they inevitably do to us or to people we love. The Lord made me smile when He replied to my recent whining (some call it prayer), by observing, “A lot more of you is pure gold now.” He knew that would jerk me out of my self pity or whatever it was at work.
I know that He certainly did NOT mean that He’ll keep on with the cleansing fire until my flesh is pure. There wouldn’t be much left of me if that were His meaning. What it is, I believe, is that the fire allows us to see the pure gold in ourselves and each other, and realize who we are in Him and who He is in us. He is the gold in each of us, and we are God’s gold. And, we ARE the “sons of Levi,” who will be refined. It’s as simple as that.
The History Channel did a piece recently in which they postulated that gold, which is an element, was part of the cosmic dust which came together to form this earth. When the tectonic plates shifted in North America (the Pacific Plate is plunging beneath the North American Plate), causing earth quakes and volcanic eruptions, the gold was carried closer to the surface. Gold veins run North to South along this plate line, and they can determine this because of advanced methods of using satellite technology to “see” the gold trapped in the rock. This treasure isn’t in chunks or nuggets for which the miners used to pan the streams around Sutter’s mill, but rather is in microscopic specks captured within the rocks.
Along this plate line, which can be seen from space, there’s a huge gold mining outfit somewhere along the fault line, where they have excavated millions of tons of earth. They dig it up, truck it to the furnaces and melt the rocks down, extracting the gold. As you might imagine, it is a vast and unbelievably expensive operation because of the amount of rock which has to be processed, transported to the smelter, and melted down, but it is worth it because as the paper money used in the world loses its value from inflation or other financial malady, the value of gold has sky rocketed this year alone.
As I write this, “spot gold” (the value of gold as it comes out of the ground, before it is molded into bars or coins) is $1,813 an ounce! It is projected to get to over $2,000 by the end of the year. Whether it does or not is not the point of this essay. When God put the elements into the earth as part of His creative process, He knew that the yellow metal would be sought after and even worshipped by various cultures. He says it all belongs to Him. Like everything else, man’s ideas about what is his and what is God’s are delusional. But I assure you that God loves and desires us more than anyone ever loved and desired gold.
The prophet Haggai put his comments about the Lord’s ownership of gold and silver in this context: “Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts.” (Ha. 2:6-8) Clearly, the Lord is shaking the whole world.
Why? To refine the Lord’s gold, which we are, “sons of Levi” all. Referencing Haggai, the Hebrew writer concludes: “His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:26-29)
The kingdom of God is the only thing which cannot be shaken, and God is manifesting this kingdom today, here on earth. Jesus said that the kingdom is among us or in us, depending on the translation. He is building it from “living stones” Peter wrote, which we are: “and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (I Pet. 2:5-6) Those are glorious words my friends. We ARE the living stones, God’s gold and silver, in whom He is preparing an edifice which reflects His glory.
How that will manifest or when, is above my pay grade to know, but we remember that Paul said we are “predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Rom. 8:29-30) Molten gold is poured into molds to form ingots, and we are poured into the mold which is Christ Himself! In case we miss the glorious truth that it is God who called, justified and glorified us, not our works, but God alone, Paul ends with this oh so comforting thought: “What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Vs. 31)
Father we fall on our faces in worship before Your Throne. You alone have brought us into relationship with You and You alone will keep us from falling, and present us spotless “before the presence of Your glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever.” (Jude 24-25) And we all say, Amen and amen.