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From Gold to Brass: The Effects of Sin

SIH STSTA ICONDevaluing of the US dollar is a significant issue in today’s time. A devalued dollar has both good and bad results. Increased exports and a lower balance of payments deficit are the two most referenced positive results to devaluing the dollar. The greatest downfall of a devalued dollar is increased inflation and a higher interest payment, for government borrowing.

As you can see from the the chart in the link below, the dollar has been greatly devalued, beginñng in the 1970s and it continues to retain its lower value even unto today. You can read much more about the devalued dollar at: ‘
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historv of the United States dollar.

This chart speaks volumes about the decline of the US economic system. Prior to the seventies, the economy of the US was strong and a devaluing of the dollar was unnecessary to sustain international supremacy. Beginning with the 70s, and the decline in our economy and deficit balance of payments, the US has had to permanently devalue its dollar to remain competitive in the new “global” economy. As the dollar continues its decline, it will signal a continuing weakness of the US economy.

Gold and the US dollar are valuable assets for anyone to own, but; there are spiritual possessions that far outweigh the value of these. Our faith, and its resulting testimony to others around us, will retain eternal, spiritual value.

1 Pet 1:6-9 (KJV)
6) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,  though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; 8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9) Receiving the end of your faith, (even] the salvation of [your] souls.
THE SCRIPTURES:
1 Kgs 10: 16-17 (KJV)
16) And king Solomon made two hundred targets [of] beaten gold: six hundred [shekels] of gold went to one target.  17) And [he made] three hundred shields [of] beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of theforest ofLebanon:

1 Kgs 14:21-28 (KJV)
21) And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam [was] forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. And his mothers name was Naamah an Ammonitess 22) And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they, provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. . 23) For they also built them high places, and images, and groves. on every high hill, and under every green tree. 24) And there were also sodomites in the land: [and] they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.  25) And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam,’ [that] Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:  26) And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s. house even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solornon had made.  27) And king Rehoboam made in their stead brasen shields, and committed [them) unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the king’s house.   28) And it was [so], when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them,
and brought them back into the guard chamber.

THE STUDY:  

1Kgs 10:16-17 (KJV)

16) And king Solomon made two hundred targets [of] beaten gold: six hundred [shekels] of gold went to one target.

“target” – large shield, you can hide your entire body behind it

“600 shekels of gold” – equals approximately 300 oz of gold with a value of $357,000.00 per target

17) And [he made] three hundred shields [of] beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

“shield” — smaller shield hooked to arm, hold it up to defend in hand to hand combat

3 Hebrew pounds = 3.75 American lbs = 6Ooz = $ 72,000.00 per shield

All of the targets and shields together totaled over $93 million dollars.

These were only for show and not for use in battle.  We know this because the targets were too heavy for a warrior to easily maneuver during battle, and the metal was too soft to supply protection for either the target or the shield.

This collection of targets and shields was symbolic of the nation’s wealth.  This collection was a testimony to the strength, presence and grace of Jehovah, as He brought prosperity to the Nation of Israel.  These symbols of God’s blessings, were meant to bring Him honor and praise throughout all generations.

Approximately 20 years after the making of the targets and shields that King Solomon died and his son Rehoboam took the throne of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
1 Kngs 14:21-28

21) And Rehoboam the son of Sotomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam [was] forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in – Jerusalem, the city[which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel to put his name there And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess

At the death of Solomon, Rehoboam his son, takes the throne of Judahthe southern
kingdom. During his reign Rehoboam did not follow the desires of God for his nation but allowed his nation to turn to the worship of false gods and sinful lifestyles….

 22) And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done 23) For they also built them high places and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. 24) And there were also sodomites in the land: [and]  they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

Israelhad turned their backs on being faithful to Jehovah! They began to worship the false Gods of the Gentiles. The high places, images, and groves were all instruments for their idol worship taken from the heathen nations that surroundedIsrael. Not only did they worship false gods; but they incorporated the sin of homosexuality with the idolatrous, worship services.

25) And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, [that] Shishak king Egypt came up against Jerusalem: 26) And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he even took away all: and he took away all the shields of gold which Solomon had made.

Following the five year decline ofJudahinto idolatry, the Lord allowedEgyptto invadeJudahand pillage the land. Some of the riches that were taken  by the Egyptians were the contents of theTempleofSolomon.  The contents included the shields of gold that had been previously stored there by Solomon.  The times of blessings and superiority that Jehovah had given to the Israelites had come to an end.

 27) And king Rehoboam made in their, stead brasen shields,” and committed [them] unto the hands of the chief of the guard, which kept the door of the King’s house  28) And it was [so], when the king went into the house of the LORD, that the guard bare them and brought them back into the guard chamber.

King Rehoboam now replaces the golden shields with those made of brass.  What a poor replacement for those that were previously displays of Jehovah’s blessings and prosperity uponJudah.  These new shields were now a stunning admission of the loss of Jehovah’s favor upon this adulterous nation, who had turned their affections from the true God Jehovah to the idols and practices of the ungodly world around them.  These replacement shields were a public declaration of sin and its devastating effects upon the public testimony of God’s chosen nation.

Please remember, gold throughout the Bible is a picture of high value and Divine presence; brass, on the other hand, is a picture of minimal temporal value and Divine displeasure.

Israeltraded their worship of the True God, His presence and His favor and blessings; for the worship of man made gods, and the loss of spiritual fidelity, intimacy and displeasure of Almighty God.


PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are not saved…

Just as habitual sin ruinedIsrael’s testimony and communion with Jehovah; sin in the lives of Christians, can bring ruin to our testimony and relationship with the Lord, as well.  One of our greatest privileges is to possess communion with the Lord and a testimony which is unspotted from this world and results in eternal praise to Almighty God. Let’s strive for faithfulness, allowing the Lord to be shown through our lives to His eternal glory.

Jas 1:27 (KJV) – Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Job 23:10 (KJV) – But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

For those who are not saved…

Living a spiritually prosperous and blessed life of communion with God begins by entering into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  By trusting in His person and work on the cross, you can receive the forgiveness of sins and an assurance of communion with Him.

John 1:10-13 (KJV)

10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Heb 13:5-6 (KJV)

5) [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

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