What We Value

What We Value

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Sometime around 1663, Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer finished a painting now known as Woman Holding a Balance, one of only thirty-six paintings he completed.

A Vermeer specialist recently described how this painting provides glimpses into seventeenth-century life. The only person pictured is a woman thought to be Vermeer’s wife. Holding a balance, she prepares to weigh gold and silver coins. Weighing coins was common at that time, the only way to learn their real value.

To understand Vermeer’s symbolism, we must consider a painting about the Last Judgment seen behind the woman. While the woman and her balance might seem dominant, the painting within the painting reminds us that God is weighing our lives. Counting gold also was important in Bible times. Gold could be used to honor God but also to form idols. And it symbolized worldly riches and wrong pursuits.

In the time of Jeremiah, many people focused on gold and forgot about God. In imagery similar to Vermeer’s symbolism, they once were “worth their weight in fine gold” but had become mere clay (v. 2 NLT). All their value had faded away.

God continues to weigh people and nations in His balance, to evaluate what we value and what is important to us. He measures where we invest our time and resources.

Make sure that you seek first the Kingdom that will never fade. Invest in the riches that cannot tarnish. Focus on God and His Kingdom.