Earthly Treasures

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries3 Minutes

“I collected great sums of silver and gold…I denied myself no pleasure…As I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11 NASB

It all began on January 24, 1848, when James Marshall discovered gold in Sutter Creek, California. As more gold was discovered, thousands began arriving from throughout the world, hoping to share in the bounty.

This was not seen as a fad but a genuine opportunity. United States President James Polk fueled the frenzy by declaring that gold had been discovered in “abundance.” He described how “nearly the whole of the male population of the country have gone to the gold districts. Ships arriving on the coast are deserted by their crews and their voyages suspended for want of sailors.”

Some left everything behind, even abandoning their families. Within five years, around 300,000 people came to California, seeking treasure. An estimated 12 million ounces of gold were discovered, as were silver and other precious metals.

As a byproduct of this stampede, towns sprang up out of nowhere, built around mines. Many appeared to prosper, until the mines dried up. Then people moved on, leaving behind “ghost towns” that still dot the landscape. While a few seekers found riches, most did not.

The ghost towns remind us of just how temporary the earth’s treasures can be. This was the discovery of one man who, the Bible says, “collected great sums of silver and gold” and indulged in every pleasure imaginable. Eventually he realized that his effort was “like chasing the wind.” His earthly treasures did not last. Sadly, “it was all so meaningless.”

When Jesus came, He promised a different kind of treasure for those who invest in God’s Kingdom. With this foundation, we don’t need to worry, but can trust Him to provide every need, with riches that satisfy and last (Matthew 6:33-34).


Prayer: Father, thank You for Your promise to provide for my needs. I trust my life to You. I seek first Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.