Shields of Gold or Shields of Brass?
2Ch 9:16 And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold: three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
2Ch 9:17 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
2Ch 9:18 And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays:
2Ch 9:19 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom.
2Ch 9:20 And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; it was not any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
2Ch 9:22 And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
2Ch 9:23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.
Can there be any doubt that King Solomon was the richest man in the world? Lets consider the shields that are spoken of here in Scripture. In today's market, if a shekel represents 17 grams of 24k gold at $47 a gram for a swiss ingot, then one shekel of gold would be worth $800. If there was 300 shekels of gold in a shield, then each shield would be worth $240,000. And since there was 300 shields, that is $72,000,000 in gold . This was a tiny part of the treasures of Solomon.
The glory of Solomon's kingdom was known throughout the earth. He was courted by kings and queens from all over the world. They came to see his glory and to hear of his famed wisdom. Oh the beauty and the splendor of a man who displays the treasures of heaven. Are men not drawn to those who have have treasures even greater than the treasures of Solomon? For some perspective from God we can see in Matt 6 that we have to consider the lilies of the field, how they neither toil nor spin and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed in such splendor. Can I suggest that God's children are more glorious that the lilies of the field? Its not in our toiling nor in our spinning that makes us glorious, its in the treasures that lie within us. Its in the fact that we are a light in the great darkness of the world because it is no longer us that live but it is Christ who lives in us.
The treasure that lies within our own house, or tent, or temple is the treasure of Christ Himself. He alone is our "exceeding great reward." His presence, to walk in the presence of God, to walk in such a way that the glory of God goes before us much like the glory of Solomon's shields went before him, this is our calling. We know that Moses face was veiled after his encounter with the almighty God on the mountain, and we know that we walk in a glory that goes beyond this by the Spirit of the living God. Can we honestly say that we walk in such a glory with the treasures of the Lord on display. Are men dazzled by our treasure? Are men drawn to us because of the wisdom of God that is within us?
2Co 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
2Co 3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
What are the riches of our dwelling place with the Lord. Out of the beauty of dwelling with Him, do we have the finest gold of unconditional love? Are the walls of our dwelling place encrusted with the jewels of forgiveness and mercy? Are the windows of our dwelling places draped with meekness and humility? Do trophies of grace hang on every wall? Are they framed with the finest materials of patience and kindness? Do we pursue the riches and the glories of heaven with the same vigor and single-mindedness that men here on earth pursue gold and silver? And the treasures that we have attained in Christ, do we protect them with all the resources that we have? Do we value the treasures of our heart in the same way men value their wealth? There is a direct correlation between how much we value something to the lengths we will go to protect it. Guard your hearts brothers and sisters in Christ, for we have an enemy who seeks to steal and destroy what we have. Satan knows the value of what we have oftentimes more than we do.
The richer a man is, the more elaborate is his surroundings. He fills his house with symbols of his wealth and status. Men will go to any lengths to extract riches from the earth. They will literally remove mountains in the search for gold and silver and jewels. What lengths do the people of God go to in order to gain the riches of heaven? What are we willing to do in order to protect the treasures that have been poured into us? Have we compromised with the world? Have we allowed the world to steal our treasures. Consider what happened when Solomon died and Rehoboam ascended the throne.
2Ch 12:1 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him.
2Ch 12:2 And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD.
2Ch 12:9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made.
2Ch 12:10 Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king's house.
Ah the tragedy brothers and sisters of compromise with the world. Whether it be individually or as a church or as a body. When we compromise with the world, we allow the world to steal our treasures. And the pathetic site of brass shields in our lives as opposed to the magnificent treasure of God's grace and wisdom and beauty and holiness, can there be a greater crisis? Is this not the state of Christianity? Do we not display our shields but they are shields of brass rather than shields of gold? We will either serve the Lord with all of our hearts or we will live a compromised life. The man of God who is divided in heart may not be destroyed but he will fight battles all the days of his life.
2Ch 12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
2Ch 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually
Where is the treasures of your peace brothers and sisters? Do you walk with a singleness of mind and a purity of heart, a heart that only ever seeks after the Lord our God? Do we shine and glow in the presence of God like the pure gold Solomon's shields? Or , if men were to look a little closer at us would they discover that it is not gold at all but merely Rehoboam's brass, a pale and worthless imitation?
Those who serve the Lord their God with all of their hearts will keep the treasures of their temple. Those who do not , they will replace the pure gold of His presence with the brass of a soulish existence. So what is it brothers and sisters? Do we have shields of Gold or do we have shields of brass?