Voices from the Past–Treasure

Gaul gold stater 58 BC

Gaul golden stater 58 BC

Caesar, The Gallic War 6:17

As Caesar traveled through the land of the Gauls, he noticed an unusual custom observed by these warrior peoples.  After battles, the Gauls gather the spoils of war into the local village and pile them in sacred heaps in public places.  As the inhabitants go about their normal duties, they pass by the glittering mounds of gold and silver objects with no thought of taking them secretly.   Day after day, the morning sun reflects off the treasures reminding citizens of the victory in battle, fanning a pride in accomplishment.  And in the evening’s moon glow, as people return from the fields, these spoils of war usher them home, breeding quiet confidence in the army’s power.

    Should anyone break these rules and pilfer from the treasure pile secretly, woe to them.  If discovered, they are dragged from their home and tortured grievously for the offense.   

            Achan could have profited by this custom of honesty.  It was Achan who stole from his town’s sacred pile of war loot, dreaming night after night of a beautiful mantel from Shinar. He took the mantle and stole 200 shekels of silver and a heavy bar of gold, hurrying home to bury them in the ground beneath his family tent. When Joshua discovered this breach of trust, the retaliation was brutal and swift (Joshua 7).

            Jesus offers valuable spiritual advice about treasure:  “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21).

Earthly treasures fade.
Heavenly treasures glitter forever.

“Memories are timeless treasures of the heart.”