Did you ever wonder what happened to the gold, frankincense and myrrh?
Scripture doesn’t tell us, but it’s been suggested that these precious gifts from the Magi were used to fund the years Jesus, Mary and Joseph spent in Egypt, or perhaps to reestablish the family when they settled back in Judah.
Gold is a substance people have desired to possess since the beginning of recorded history. It’s associated with wealth and power. Owning gold jewelry can be a status symbol. Winning the gold medal is to receive the highest accolade. We even talk about the golden rule and being good as gold.
But the pursuit of gold can lead to corruption and violence. The Ipili people of Papua New Guinea have experienced this first-hand. They live near a large gold mine. The expectation was that this valuable commodity would bring prosperity to the people in the area. Instead, there have been environmental issues and periodic fighting among different tribes over mining profits.
When the Ipili New Testament was dedicated in Papua New Guinea, Rev. Terry Borchard addressed those assembled. “People want to get earthly gold,” he said. “But that kind of gold causes people to die because they fight over it. If you have an Ipili New Testament and read it often, God’s Word will cause you to live forever.”
From Proverbs to Paul’s epistles, the Bible warns us about the lure of treasure and points to the enduring Word of God. Thankfully, the Ipili took Rev. Borchard’s words seriously. Interest in God’s Word is growing as work continues on the translation of the Ipili Old Testament.
We can all feel the lure of gold, the desire to possess material riches that bring momentary satisfaction. No matter where we live, whatever our circumstance, we need Scripture to show us that Jesus Christ is true treasure. And just as God led wise men from the east so they might bear witness to the birth of the Savior of the world, He leads us to share Scripture with those still waiting to hear about this most precious of all gifts.
May God’s richest blessings be with you as we work together to share God’s eternal Word in the new year.