Can you find an investment of lasting value?
"Buy gold!" is the cry from countless financial newsletters, television commercials and Web sites. It seems that the economic uncertainty of our times has motivated people with assets to seek a safe haven—and few investments seem safer than gold, which has served for millennia as the standard of monetary value.
The demand for gold has driven its price above $1,000 an ounce from time to time; the last time it breached that barrier was earlier this year, in September. Yet, when we consider inflation, the current price of gold remains far below the $850 per ounce price it reached in January 1980.
Demand for silver, and for precious and semi-precious gems has also soared, and there is great interest in natural resources—including petroleum, natural gas, oil shale and coal. Even "workaday" metals like copper are bringing record prices—prompting thieves to steal copper from construction sites, industrial sites, foreclosed homes and in many communities even from the underground piping that supplies street lighting.
You may not be in the market for gold, but I will hazard a guess that no matter what your financial status, you have had feelings of uncertainty about the economy. Ours is a worrisome time.
The hunger for what folks think gold can bring is not new. It certainly played an important part in the settlement of the United States. Early explorers, having heard legends and fables about abundant gold in the New World, came to America's shores seeking fabulous wealth.
In the early 1700s, prospectors flocked to the Carolinas to seek their fortune, after hearing news of a gold discovery there. And who can forget the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill, which set off the 1849 Gold Rush, enticing tens of thousands of fortune hunters to trek west to California? In 1897, the Klondike Gold Rush brought thousands north to Alaska. Most of those intrepid prospectors did not strike it rich, but as they settled in once-remote areas, the U.S. took shape from coast to coast and border to border.
So we can see that our history has been shaped by the desire for the wealth and power mankind believes gold can bring. But do we recognize that these treasure seekers were looking in all the wrong places? Could it be that their searching took them in the wrong direction, leading them away from ultimate happiness and true prosperity?
King Solomon wrote: "How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver" (Proverbs 16:16). Speaking as personified wisdom, Solomon wrote: "Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her" (Proverbs 8:10–11).
The Apostle Paul instructed young Timothy: "But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:9–10).
Notice that it is the love of money—that is, the inordinate desire for riches, not the riches themselves—at the heart of the problem.
What is your priority? What are you seeking? If your quest is only for money and what it brings, you are headed in the wrong direction. There is a better way, and you can find it in the Bible. Start your hunt for real treasure today! If you have not already done so, please order your own free copy of our informative booklet, The Bible: Fact or Fiction? It will help you find the nuggets of God's word that can enrich your life beyond measure!