The value of gold is an indicator of the financial strength of a country. Gold has always been considered an extremely precious metal. Indeed, the word "gold" is used metaphorically in many descriptive words and phrases.When anyone or anything is trustworthy or dependable, we say "as good as gold." We also speak of golden years, the golden rule, a golden opportunity.The golden age refers to some mythical past of progress, prosperity and happiness. When we want to speak negatively of a woman whom we think is marrying just for money, we call her a "gold digger." Even silence is "golden" at times.
In the Old Testament Aaron asks the people to bring him their gold earrings. They want a new god, one they can see and touch and admire. So he melts the gold and makes a calf, which excites the people and causes revelry. (Exodus 32 v 2, 3, 20.)No idol, regardless of its material worth and beauty can take the place of the One Immortal, Invisible God. King Solomon, who ruled Israel for 40 years, made 200 large shields of hammered gold, 300 smaller shields of hammered gold and a throne overlaid with pure gold.Even the drinking cups and other utensils are of gold. ( 2 Chr. 9: 15-20) But all of this vanity and wealth were not able to prevent his decline into disloyalty and immorality.
Yet gold remained a symbol of royalty and we remember the account of the birth of Jesus when the wise men offered gold as a gift to the child, in recognition of his kingship.In the Old Testament there are reminders that there are gifts more precious and enduring than gold. In Proverbs Ch 8 v 19 Wisdom declares, "My gifts are better than the purest gold."In Proverbs l6 :l6 we are advised, "How much better to get wisdom than gold." Also, "wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies." ( Prov.20 :15 ) In praising the ordinances of God the Psalmist says that "they are more precious than gold, than of much pure gold." (Psalm l9:10) He loves God's commands more than gold, even the finest gold. (Psalm ll9: 127)Gold is also used as a metaphor in a different way in the New Testament. It is used to give hope and encouragement in time of great suffering and despair.Peter is warning the early believers about persecution for their faith. Is there any value or purpose in this suffering? He writes that "trials test your faith to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-and your faith is more precious to God than mere gold." (1 Peter 1 :7 )