More Precious Than Gold

Reflections on the 2013 Gold Rush in Chad and the Darfur

Gold mine workers wait to get their raw gold weighed at a gold shop in the town of Al-Fahir in North Darfur [photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah]

Our family was there in Chad, Africa for the 2013 gold rush.  A few prospectors had secretly found gold on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, and everyone got excited about it.

On the Sudanese side of the gold zone, it was easy to find a job in the mines.  It was dangerous work, but Chad is a country full of desperate people.  The mine owners were easily able to find fathers and sons willing to risk their lives in an attempt to rise out of poverty.

Meanwhile, on the Chadian side, the government gave everyone a few months to stake their claim.  If a fortune seeker found gold after the cutoff date, it would belong to the Chadian government.

A gold mine worker uses a detector at Al-Ibedia locality in the River Nile State, in this July 30, 2013 file picture. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/FilesAs a result, everyone who could rushed up north to join the prospectors!  Normally the road to the village in the Kapka region (where my camel lives) would only see a few vehicles each day. During that time, lots of Land Cruisers would always be passing me, leaving a cloud of dust behind them.

I am far from being a specialist in Mineralogy, but all my friends were coming to me with samples of the rocks they had discovered in their village.  I also ended up becoming the “Go-To” guy for teaching villagers how to use the metal detector their brothers had sent over from the US.

Some of the prospectors were successful in finding gold and of making a fortune.  Most of them were impoverished by the upfront investment.  Once a group of prospectors did strike gold, the struggle wasn’t over.  To succeed, they had to devote themselves to exploiting it before their money ran out, and staying alive long enough to profit from it.

More precious than gold

As valuable as gold is, no measure of it can pay for peace of mind, happiness or satisfaction in life.

King David of Israel also spoke of something more precious than gold in Psalm 19, verses 7-10 [LITV]:

The law of Jehovah is perfect, converting the soul.

The testimony of Jehovah is sure, making the simple wise.

The precepts of Jehovah are right, rejoicing the heart;

the commands of Jehovah are pure, giving light to the eyes.

The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring forever;

the judgments of Jehovah are true, they are righteous altogether.

They are more precious than gold, even much fine gold,

and sweeter than honey and drops from the honeycomb.

The Good News is, Christ gives us what cannot be purchased at any price, free!  But it cost Him everything to give it to us.  What an insult it would be to Him to turn away His gift of salvation!

More than gold, the most precious thing in this world is the Word of God.  We have prepared a Sunday School Lesson which illustrates this, for you to share with your church.  You may also wish to use it as part of your Sunday sermon, or in your home Bible Study.  To view it, please click here.

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