For John Sutter, it started as a normal January morning in California. He was a prosperous rancher, owner of a 50,000 acre spread. He had no idea how much his life would change when one of his employees, John Marshall, walked into the room with the news that gold had been discovered at the construction site of a sawmill.
The year was 1848 and Marshall and Sutter agreed to become partners in mining the gold, but soon the news leaked out. Sutter’s property was besieged by thousands of people – trappers, farmers, sailors, lawyers, school teachers and preachers – from nearly every corner of the country. All of them had one mission, one vision, one passion. They wanted to strike it rich. Within a year, the “49ers” flooded by the 1000s into California and the gold rush had started.
Gold rush – what is your rush? What would cause that sort of excitement, passion, and a willingness to rush away from all you had in the hopes of rushing toward something of greater value? Gold rush. It’s interesting, some very wise people have compared the word of God to gold. Proverbs 19:8-10 says that the words of God are right, making the heart rejoice, more to be desired are they than gold. Psalm 119:72 says that the words that come from God’s mouth are better than thousands of gold coins.
So I’ve been pondering the power of words. Thinking back, some words were like gold. I’ve held onto them for decades. Some words were like poison. unfortunately I held onto some of those for decades as well. Those were the words that laid bare the lie that “sticks and stone will break my bones but “just” words will never hurt me.” I wonder how many sticks and stones words are said in our homes verses gold words?
There is power in words, power for good, power for harm. Words formed the wave that President Obama rode to the White House — not just his words, but also words like “I have a dream.” There is power in words. If God speaks, wouldn’t you expect that his words would hold the greatest power of all? Wouldn’t you expect that his words would be of the greatest value?
If we believe He speaks, why do so many of us, spend a seemingly small amount of time — at least in proportion to their value — listening to His Word? Maybe we think His Word is just words? I’m looking forward to the next few weeks at Calvary…pondering His Word.