Monday, March 02, 2020

What type of stuff holds its value?

Collins dictionary gives the following description for  the word stuff (noun) ‘you can use stuff to refer to things such as a substance, a collection of things, events or ideas, or the contents of something in a general way without mentioning the thing itself by name’ it can also be used as a verb if you ‘stuff something’. Another source gave twenty-eight different definitions on the word, fifteen as a noun with the remainder as a verb. Two of the verbs used indicate the work of a taxidermist in stuffing the skin of an animal or a bird to produce a lifelike image. It also could refer to a cook putting sage and onion into a bird’s cavity ready for the oven. Two definitions of the noun give us details of things, worthless things such as clutter and valuable things.
There are fifteen quotations of the word stuff in the Old Testament and one quotation in the New Testament. In Exodus chapter 36 verses 1-7 we read of two men, Bezaleel and Aholiab, who were skilled craftsmen handling precious things such as gold, silver, brass, jewels and a variety of fabrics in the construction of the Tabernacle. 

The Bible passage says - ‘Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded.And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning.And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much,’ Exodus 36 v 1-7  

One of the items they made was the golden candlestick (menorah) which weighed a talent, being approximately 75 lb. The current gold price is £1,259.88 per troy ounce revealing the immense value of this item alone. As an Israelite symbol the menorah is used to represent justice and righteousness. This symbol was on the Judges desk in the Nuremburg war crime trials where the dark deeds of individual Nazis were brought to light and justice was dispensed.  Some offenders chose to bite a cyanide capsule in their cell rather than face the death penalty. 

Another Old Testament example is found in 1 Samuel 30 v 1-24 and concerns David’s avenging the destruction of  Ziklag. Some men went to the battle and some held back and tarried ‘by the stuff’ 1 Samuel 30 v 24 For who will hearken unto you in this matter?  But as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff’. The stuff in that situation refers to flocks, tents, equipment, women and children and all of their valuables. A dispute arose of those who went to the battle, complaining that those who tarried by the stuff should not receive the same reward. David chose an equitable resolution.

The New Testament singular reference is in Luke 17 v 30-31 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.  In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back’.   

It is interesting to compare the two future comings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first is when he comes to the air to receive the Church. This is when millions of born-again believers will be snatched away from the earth to meet him in the air. 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 52 tells us that this ‘rapture’ will take place in a moment of time. All possessions will be left behind, there will be no time to gather up ‘stuff’ that we value, everything will be left behind.  

The second will be when Jesus Christ returns to the Mount of Olives as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It will be at the end of the seven years of tribulation. The above reference in Luke’s gospel refers to the time prior to the Lord’s return to Earth. Those who, at that time, believe in God will heed the scripture to flee to the mountains and hide themselves in the caves. They will be fleeing from the Man of Sin (Antichrist) whose intent is to obliterate all Jews. There will be no time to gather up possessions when they flee, all will be left behind. Historically some precious things have been found in the caves in the Judean mountains. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in earthen vessels in a number of caves. How lovely it will be for those people seeking refuge at that time to have the word of God in their earthen vessel. God said I will write my laws in their hearts. 

Paul said in Romans chapter 10 verse 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved’.

Holding on to stuff is of no value for eternity. Holding on to the word of God brings salvation for eternity.

Written by a guest blogger

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