We’ve all heard of Fool’s Gold, that stuff that prompted so many unwarranted celebrations during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s.
Nearly identical in appearance to real gold, the stuff’s true identity as worthless metal sometimes could not be confirmed until it was chemically analyzed by trained assayers.
Countless miners thought they had struck it rich when they first discovered a vein of what was actually pyrite. There were all the emotions of celebration, anticipation, and dejection through that cycle of discovery and later disclosure of worthlessness.
The desire to find gold was so strong that it overwhelmed some miners with the delusion that geological garbage was actually the ticket to fortune and fame.
These miners had invested too much time, money and emotion into their search and didn’t want to hear that their investment was wasted.
I was reminded of pyrite this morning while reading from 2 Kings 17 in the One-Year Bible. It’s a tragic account of the zeal shown by the post-David Israelites (both the Northern and Southern kingdoms) toward false worship involving idolatry, immorality and even child sacrifice.
The fervor shown by the Israelites toward false religions was stubborn and sickening.
Particularly to God.
“So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, and even Judah did not keep the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. Therefore the LORD rejected all the people of Israel; He afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until He thrust them from His presence” (vv. 18-20).
It is difficult reading in an emotional sense because of the countless amount of suffering and irreverence that resulted. Even so, I encourage you to read the chapter in order to get a sense of why God was so upset and why He did what He did in exiling the Israelites from both kingdoms.
I share this topic today because of our human tendency toward rebellion against God.
We want the “gold” of a valued religious life since we’re hard-wired by God at birth to worship something.
But we too often don’t want to put in the hard work, the time and investment of money that goes along with discovering an enduring, priceless vein of spiritual riches.
That was too often the case with Old Testament Israel and look what it got them.
God called them to seek genuine riches in His way but the shortcuts were too alluring.
Dear friend, I pray that you don’t settle for fool’s gold when it comes to your faith.
Put in the hard work of digging for truth, tossing aside large amounts of theological garbage in order to find that which truly is timeless, inspired and precious.
Test everything you consider believing against the assaying Word of God.
On Judgment Day, it won’t matter if your beliefs and practices are shiny. It will only matter if they are true and faithful to God.
I Corinthians 3:15 says that the “gold” in our lives will pass through the fires of judgment when we stand before God.
Please make sure that your heart and your faith and your hopes are as good as gold, real gold possessing value because God’s purposes, God’s Spirit and God’s Son have filled them up.
As always, I love you