A Celebration of Gold

On December 5, 1848, in his State of the Union address, President James Polk confirmed “an abundance of gold” had been found in California, sparking the great gold rush. Gold had been discovered at the beginning of 1848 and the gold rush lasted until 1855. It brought 300,000 workers to California and played an important role in integrating California’s economy into that of the eastern United States.

Who among us wouldn’t want to discover the world’s most precious (although not the most expensive) metal in their backyard? It’s intoxicating to think about what we could do (hopefully good) with all that money.

But Solomon, who had plenty of gold and silver, wrote, “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). In fact, what’s most useful is to learn contentment, which Paul had as he expressed, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

Kyle Campbell

Bible Lectureship

(March 17-20, 2024)

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