A. Brother

“In the fifth year of King Rehoboam,
Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem.
He carried off the treasures of the temple of the Lord
and the treasures of the royal palace.
He took everything, including all the gold shields
Solomon had made.  So King Rehoboam made
bronze shields to replace them and assigned these
to the commanders of the guard on duty
at the entrance of the royal palace.
Whenever the king went to the Lord’s temple,
the guards bore the shields, and afterward
they returned them to the guardroom.”
1 Kings 14:25-28

          This is the picture God gives us today of our spiritual condition. 

          Most who claim to be “Christians” have become captured and carried off by the world and are part of this earthly and carnal kingdom.  As Shishak here carried off the gold God had created through Solomon, His chosen King (the type of Christ in this example) so our enemy, Satan, has stolen into the Temple and carried off God’s gold, His chosen people, and carried them to Egypt.  Their hearts are in Egypt.  Their lives are entwined with the world, and they are in love with the culture and their place in it.

          All day, every day, God’s chosen seek the peace and prosperity of the culture of Egypt, padding their nests, fortifying their own places, and hoping to stay safe within its borders.

          In the meantime, the leaders of God’s people (represented here by King Rehoboam of Judah) pretend nothing is different.  They have crafted bronze shields, which are but fake, flimsy, worthless imitations of the gold shields wrought at God’s direction.  The temple functions go on, but the Spirit that God put in the gold shields is gone.  His presence is not in the bronze.  It is a sham, like this embarrassing sham carried on by King Rehoboam.

          Do we think that God is fooled by our pretense?  Is He a man, that we can disguise ourselves and gain what we want without obedience to His Word?

          We claim Scripture, and quote Scripture, as if it is a pagan incantation, whose power can be waved like a wand and used to conjure up what we want and need.  We speak peace, hoping to create peace where there is no peace.  We claim this and that promise, hoping God will fulfill our dreams to become rich in this world, or at least to be comfortable and at ease on our couches.  The gold we want is here in Egypt, but God’s gold standard for us, the rich life of Christ in our hearts and lives, is gone.  We don’t even miss it, because we are so busy chasing after Egypt’s favor. 

          Brothers, God’s gold is here.  He is Christ.  The gold standard of God is life in Christ, set apart from this world.  But it is only for those who would follow Jesus, our Lord, on the narrow road of true salvation. 

          Are you willing to die to your own place in this world today?  Are you willing to go outside the walls of Egypt, across the burning deserts of Sinai, to gain the Promised Land of new life in Christ?  Are you willing to give up trying to save your life here, in order to gain Christ?  Will you lose your life in order to find it? 

          God’s basic gold standard has never changed and never will. God requires that we enter through the narrow gate, who is Christ, and He never allows anyone to bring anything through the gate that is not of Him. 

          Bronze is not acceptable.  Christ offers us His gold today.

“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined
in the fire, so you can become rich;
and white clothes to wear, so you can
cover your shameful nakedness;
and salve to put on your eyes
so you can see.
Those whom I love
I rebuke and discipline.
So be earnest and repent.”
Rev. 3:18,19

          These words were spoken by Christ to His churches, not to the world.  In this prophetic word, we see ourselves today.  Trying to appear rich and wonderful, as if we are carrying on the temple worship as it has always been decreed.  Yet it is a sham.  Our huge and televised services, our loud worship, our full calendars that keep us busy with activities, these are all for ourselves.

          Like the church in Laodicea we are “wretched, poor, pitiful, blind and naked.”
Rev. 3:17

          God will discipline us because He loves us too much to allow this to continue.  Be earnest today, and repent, He says, because He is coming, and His coming will not be delayed.  Be ready to meet Him with golden lamps burning, which are fueled by the Spirit of God in us, and the white robes of a pure Christ-life adorning our bodies, and our eyes fully open to the riches of Christ through the Word of God and the Spirit of God.

          Egypt has nothing to offer.  The tombs of the Pharaohs testify to that.  Dry, sad, desiccated, lifeless; their treasures lying with their dead bodies under tons of sand.  The promises of Egypt lie with them.  Do not be led astray by the enemy.

          Christ in us is the hope of glory.  He is our gold standard.  In Him we are heirs of a Kingdom that cannot and will not die or be shaken.  Do not be fooled by imitations.




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