Gold was an extremely precious resource in Old Testament times. It was the symbol of wealth and was used as an offering to God on many occasions (Numbers 31:50). Why did it have this value? Why did Abraham amass gold as a result of his uprightness in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 13:2)? Why did the Israelites carry gold out of Egypt (Exodus 12:35)? Why was it brought as a gift by the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon (2 Chronicles 9:1)?
The answer is not what one might expect. It is not simply for its use in jewelry or its luster and beauty. It was because gold was an incredibly useful material. In the Bible we see the many ways that gold was useful. For early metalworkers, gold was a very easy metal to work with (Number 8:4). It was malleable and could be hammered into sheets or plates (Exodus 37:16). It could be beaten around carvings to protect and decorate them (Exodus 30:5). Its ductility meant it could be drawn into wires which could be used in chains (Exodus 39:17) and finer wires to add weight to cloth (Exodus 28:6), and secure many things. Gold did not rust or deteriorate. It could be recycled and reused (2 Kings 18:16). Gold was a valuable commodity because it was so useful to the craftsmen of the Old Testament world. Gold jewelry originated as a way to conveniently carry, and perhaps display, one’s wealth. Similarly gold coinage has its origins in gold’s value as a practical material and not because of its color, shine or scarcity.
Gold continues to be useful today and has many hundreds of uses in medicine, sciences, space exploration, and electronics. Every cell phone produced has about 50 cents worth of gold in it. Not much you may think, until you realize that there are over 1 billion cell phones produced each year. Gold’s use as an efficient and reliable electrical conductor ensures its continued demand in the computer industry. It is used as a lubricant in satellites and other space technology. It is increasingly being used in glassmaking processes. Most of the ways gold is used today have only been discovered in the last two or three decades. Like the craftsman of the Old Testament, we will continue to discover even more uses for gold. As the number of these uses increase, so will its value.
In the current economy we can see how important it is for our investments to have real worth. Many of our current economic woes come from the fact that we gave value to things which had no intrinsic value. The mortgage bubble was just that: a bubble of empty and worthless investment. Gold, however, just as it did in the times of the Old Testament, has true value. It is a precious material given to us by God so that we can use in many ways and, as a result, we accord it considerable value. The lesson we can learn from the Bible about investing is that when something serves a good and true purpose, we should give it value according to that worth. Gold meets that standard and has no room for the moral deviation and false values that shares and bonds can sometimes have.
Related: Selling your gold for Cash
This post was written by Marc Lubaszka. Marc is the founder and CEO of Aurum Advisors. has dedicated his professional career to helping people understand the complexities of the precious metal market and then aiding them in utilizing that knowledge. His website, www.goldmadeeasy.com, walks people through the gold acquisition process and enables them to enjoy the security that comes with gold ownership today.