More Precious than Gold?
Written By: Chris Mace
In 1923 Robert Frost wrote the short poem “Nothing Gold can Stay”.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
The poem beautifully but sadly states the ancient lament that there is no permanence to life. Things change. Youthful vigor declines; beauty fades; wealth dissipates; power and prestige are fragile; relationships devolve; dreams fail and disappoint…..Life is but a mist. “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (James 4:14) That is all true, but there are precious, rock solid, unchanging truths that are reassuring and pertinent to our lives. God, His Word, His love, His Son, and His grace filled redemption never change.
God is constant, consistent; He revealed His immutability to Malachi: “For I the LORD do not change…” (Malachi 3:6) Jeremiah expressed it this way: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. (Lamentations 3:22) The Psalmist begins and ends his song: “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 118:29)
Scripture is authoritative and enduring truth. It flow from God’s integrity and eternality. “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6) The Psalmist exults, “The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160) and “the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:9-10) Christ prayed, “ Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
God’s Word is eternal. Like Frost, the prophet Isaiah, recognized life’s transient nature but also realized that the Word of God endures forever: The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 4:8) Notably, Christ claimed to do God’s works and to speak God’s words and proclaimed that “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.” (John 17:17)
God’s Word is powerful. He assured Isaiah: “…it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) Furthermore, generations of God seekers can testify that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3:16)
God’s love is steadfast and all encompassing and is vividly and ultimately expressed through the incarnation and sacrifice of Christ. “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:10) “ Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Christ and his redemptive love are a constant. He loved and died for the world and is “the same yesterday, today and forever.” (John 3:16) (Hebrews 13:8)
Golden moments flit away. We experience loss; we age; we malfunction; we face societal diminishing. Gold corrodes. Its brilliant luster fades. It is easily spent. “Nothing gold can stay.” But the Apostle Peter reminds us that there is something more precious. Faith that endures when under fire is more precious than gold. “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so 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 1:6-9)
There is a simple but profound children’s chorus which connects these enduring gold threads of God’s grace: His Word, His love, His Son, and His redemptive mercy: “ Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so”