The use of gold is referenced many times in the Bible. For this particular examination, I’m going to focus on the color and material characteristics of gold—not the value of it.
In the Old Testament, we see God instructing the Israelites to build many things in pure (24-karat) gold: the ark (Exodus 25:10-22), the menorah (Exodus 25:31-35), and so on. Gold represents God’s holiness.
What’s very interesting about gold is that besides being beautiful in appearance, it is the least reactive of all metals. It never tarnishes and does not react with air or most other substances. In other words, from a chemical standpoint gold is the least changeable of all the metals. This is significant when we consider that God is also unchanging.
For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6) So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6:17-18) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)
It’s also significant in that when we consider the Word of God, He has commanded us that nothing should be added or taken away from it. The Word of the Lord is perfect.
You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2) Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32) I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. (Revelation 22:18)
The fact that pure gold is 24 karats should also set off some alarm bells since it’s associated with God’s assigned priests. Granted, the reason we measure gold in karats (or carats) originates from the design of a medieval coin called themark. Nevertheless, if we recognize the sovereignty of God and that nothing happens by chance (Proverbs 16:33), then the notion of the world defining pure gold as 24 karats should not be understated.
As we already studied previously in The Color Spectrum is Significant, Revelation 4:4 notes: Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
We can also go back to 1 Chronicles 24, where we read about the 24 priests organized by David:
The first lot fell to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, the fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah, the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim, the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab, the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Happizzez, the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezkel, the twenty-first to Jachin, the twenty-second to Gamul, the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah. (1 Chronicles 24:7-19)
A final interesting fact about gold: unlike a mirror, it does not reflect all of the colors the same. According to Causes of Color, “Gold reflects yellow and red, but not blue or blue-green. The direct transmission of light through a metal in the absence of reflection is observed only in rare instances.”
When we examine the recurring instances of the color red in the Bible, the first thing that will likely come to mind is blood. Consider the Passover account.
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. (Exodus 12:21-28)
God’s holiness (represented by gold) reflects the red and spares His people who obey His commandments.
Now check this out, and forgive me for getting a little excited! In the Gospel of Matthew, as Jesus is speaking to the people, this happens:
While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe [κρασπέδου (kraspedou)] of his garment, for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I will be made well." Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, "Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district. (Matthew 9:18-26)
What was so special about the fringe [κρασπέδου] of his garment?
Take into account the following definition of κρασπέδου (kraspedou): The fringe, edge, corner, tassel. (Strong’s Greek 2899)
Let’s go back in time about 1,500 years to the book of Numbers.
The Lord said to Moses, "Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. (Numbers 15:37-40)
We see the color blue referenced numerous times in the Bible, many times referring to God’s presence and truth. In this specific case (in Numbers 15), the cord of blue on the tassel was specifically there to remember the commandments of the Lord and be holy. So here (in Matthew 9), we have a woman who has discharged (red) blood for 12 years (not an insignificant number – think twelve tribes of Israel, twelve disciples, etc.); she sees Jesus (God’s holiness – think gold) wearing the blue tassels, and touches the fringe [κρασπέδου (kraspedou)] of his garment.
We just learned that gold reflects red but absorbs blue. Thanks be to God for Jesus absorbed our sins on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). Those who believe in Jesus and remember His commandments are holy unto Him (1 Peter 1:13-16).
But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. (1 Corinthians 6:17) In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. (John 14:20) Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16) For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)
Equally exciting, contemplate Revelation 21:21, where John is giving an account of the new heaven and the new earth. He records:
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
How could a street of gold appear transparent like glass? Very easily, when the blue (us, made holy through Christ) and gold are like one!
Jesus went on to pay for our sins by shedding his (red) blood on the cross. Every one of us has the opportunity to choose death (red), or life (blue > gold/white). For those who choose death, their sins (red) will be reflected on themselves, and the wrath of God remains on them. For those who choose life through Jesus, their sins (blue) have been absorbed by Jesus Christ, and they will live together with God in eternity.
And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as Light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me." (John 12:44-50) Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)
Choose your color.
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