The Bride's Jewels of Gold

 •  17 min. read  •  grade level: 8
When the servant comes to call Rebekah, he brings out the things that fit her for the sphere to which she is called. We have seen the value of the “jewels of silver,” namely, redemption; now let us look at the “jewels of gold.”
Gold, in Scripture, is used as a symbol of Divine righteousness. As such, it occurs in many of the types of the Old Testament, specially in the articles in the Tabernacle and Temple, which are symbolic of God’s righteousness in government and judgment.
Take, for example, the Ark of the Covenant. “And they shall make an ark of shittim wood; two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold; within and with out shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.... And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee” (Ex. 25:10-11,1610And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. (Exodus 25:10‑11)
16And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. (Exodus 25:16)
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Now the Ark of the Covenant was the throne where God manifested Himself in righteousness, if any could, in righteousness, draw near to Him. God, who was to be approached, is holy — infinitely so; and holiness is a nature which delights in purity and repels evil; hence He sits on a throne, which judges in righteousness and with authority the evil that holiness abhors. Further, the law — the testimony of what God required of man — was in the ark, but thank God it was covered by the mercy — seat. Another has well said, “Suppose an ark with no mercy-seat. The law would then be uncovered; there would be nothing to hush its thunderings, nothing to arrest the execution of its righteous sentence. Could a nation of transgressors stand before it? Could a holy and righteous God meet sinners there? Could mercy reign, or grace shine forth from such an ark? Impossible! An uncovered ark might furnish a throne of judgment, but not a seat of mercy.”
But God knew this better than we, and hence we read: “And thou shalt make a mercy-seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy-seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end; even of the mercy-seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof, and the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy-seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy-seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark, and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee” (Ex. 25:17-2217And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 25:17‑22)).
With the cherubim looking down on it, the mercy-seat thus formed the basis of the throne of God. Both were of gold — pure gold. Thus in the ark and its covering we seem to have a marvelous connection of human and Divine righteousness in the Lord Jesus. He was perfect in human obedience and love to His Father, and lived perfectly up to the responsibility of man according to God. But He also glorified God. All that God is was glorified by the Son of Man, and not only does the Son of Man go righteously into the glory of God, but by His going to the Father righteousness is proved; and we can go where He is, in virtue of Him and His work for us.
The shittim wood and the tables of the law are in the ark, but all is clothed with the gold — God’s own righteousness.
The cherubim, who always in Scripture are connected with the judicial power of God, or are the executors of the will of that power, are of gold also, and the direction of their faces is important. Inwards towards the mercy-seat. Why? Because they could thus see that which the moral nature of God demanded should be on the mercy seat, if man, a sinner, is to draw near to a holy God who hates and must judge sin. But what do they see on the mercy-seat? Blood. Yes, blood must be put upon the mercy-seat, as the witness of the work of atonement done for those who had failed in responsibility before God. The claims of His throne must and can only be met by blood — the sign of death having been undergone — and when the blood is sprinkled, the cherubim gaze upon it as expressive of the satisfaction of God in that which enables Him to permit the sinner to approach to Himself.
What a comfort to see thus that God’s claims in righteousness are met by the blood of atone, merit, and we draw nigh to a mercy seat sure of acceptance in righteousness!
We have the same truth taught by the use of gold in the New Testament. For example, turn to the hook of judgment, which the Revelation most emphatically is. There the Apostle John says: “I saw... in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a GOLDEN GIRDLE.” John had often seen Jesus, had often enjoyed sweet companionship with Him, had heard His life and peace-giving words, had lain his head on His loving bosom, knew Him well; but now when he sees Christ, he sees Him with a garment down to His feet, and he recognizes Him not. The garment down to the feet shows priestly discriminating judgment, the golden girdle Divine righteousness as displayed in Christ where He now is.
He threatens with judgment those who have departed from Him. Priestly discrimination and judgment are here brought out. It is no longer grace meeting man’s need, but judgment meeting him as he is.
That the “golden girdle” signifies Divine righteousness is clear from Isaiah 11:55And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. (Isaiah 11:5), where the Spirit of God, speaking of the judicial dealings of Christ in righteousness with the earth, which usher in the millennium, says, “And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.”
Again, the Lord says to the Church of Laodicea, “Because thou sayest, I am rich ... and knowest not that thou art... poor... I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich” (Rev. 3:17-1817Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Revelation 3:17‑18)). What a solemn call! And who is it to? To the professing Church, accounting itself rich without having Christ as the righteousness of the soul by faith.
Reader, are you a mere professor? or do you really possess Christ as your righteousness before God? If the former, you had better heed the call of Christ in glory to possess yourself of true and approved righteousness by buying it of Him. You must have to do with Him in order to get it.
Now in order to stand before God, man must have a righteousness suited to God. Do you think man has any righteousness? No; yet he must be righteous to stand before a righteous God. Man may say, “I will work it out, I will fit myself for the presence of God,” but when he stands before God he finds he has no righteousness: “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:66But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)). Ah, why does man not take God’s word for truth, and seeing that he can have no righteousness of his own, accept what God has provided and so freely gives?
“There is none righteous, no, not one,” is written against man once, yea, thrice, by God (Psa. 14; Psa. 53; Rom. 3). Spite of this, many serious souls drop into the snare laid by Satan, and, “being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:33For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:3)). Dear reader, are you one of this class? If so, may God use this paper to show you the utter folly of your course.
Now the essence of the gospel is this — that when man is utterly helpless and guilty, and can furnish no righteousness suited to God, so as to he able to stand before Him, then God comes out, and by the work of the Cross — the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus — confers on everyone who believes in Jesus divine righteousness, which enables the soul to stand before God in unclouded peace. When man has no righteousness for God, then God has righteousness for man.
This is the burden of Romans 3, to which I would direct my reader. Should you think that in order to stand before God there must be works on your part, how does verse 20 dispel such an illusion: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin — not the blotting of it out. The law can recognize, detect and measure the sin, and then can only condemn the sinner; so that it is clear the law can afford no help, and confer no righteousness. Whence, then, is it found, if not in man’s own efforts to keep the law? The answer is plain. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:21-2321But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:21‑23)). All have sinned, and come short of yielding what was due to God, and then, all being manifestly without righteousness, God manifests His righteousness to all, and confers it upon all that believe (not who work).
The aspect of this manifested righteousness is unto all, that is, it is universal; its application is to all that believe. Here is a limit: “All them that believe.” But why this limitation? Because “righteousness” is not by “works” now, but by faith on our side, even as it is of grace on God’s part, as it is written: “Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (or mercy-seat) through faith in His blood, to declare at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:24-2624Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:24‑26)). The righteousness of God is declared to be this, that He is just in justifying the one who believes in Jesus. This is no new doctrine, for “Abraham believed God, and it (his faith) was counted to him for righteousness”; and at a later day, David also (Psa. 32) “describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness with, out works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Rom. 4:3,6-73For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (Romans 4:3)
6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (Romans 4:6‑7)
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Now the point of all this is, that it is God’s grace and not man’s good behavior which secures these blessings to the poor guilty one. Did you e’er ponder these words of the Spirit of God, dear self-righteousness worker? “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:4, 54Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:4‑5)). If I work for you at £1 per week, it is only right and fair you should pay when the work is done; this is debt; but if, when the work I should have done I fail to do, and then you come and give me £5, that would be grace. Just so does God act. Unable ourselves to do anything but sin, Christ has come in grace, and on the cross borne sins, and been made sin. The judgment due by God to sin has been sustained by Jesus, and He has glorified God about sin.
The proof of this is clear, for God “raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:24-2524But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:24‑25)). Then what now is this justifying righteousness of God? Simply, WHAT IS DUE TO CHRIST. Our due, and the due of sin, Christ took and sustained on the cross. The judgment that was due to us fell on Him. The moment He bare “the sins of many” (Heb. 9:2828So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)), God in righteousness forsook Him; hence His cry, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” What is the answer to this cry? God raises Him from the dead, and then in righteousness accepts and connects with Christ every one who has faith in Him.
To make it plain. Christ took my place in death and judgment on the cross, and now I get Christ’s place before God, by faith in His blood. Is this right? Clearly so; it is due to Christ that if He took my portion to extricate me from it, I should share His portion, if, in grace, He be willing to share it with me. God, therefore, against whom I have sinned, is “just” in now justifying me, because Jesus has been delivered and condemned for my sin, and then raised by God in proof of His satisfaction and delight in Him and His work of redemption for me. I might go further, and say He would be unjust to Christ to condemn me for those very sins for which He condemned His Son. Nay, He is righteous, “faithful and just,” as John puts it, and shows His righteousness by justifying every soul that clings in faith to His beloved Son. He judges sin, and justifies the sinner who believes in Jesus. Thus is God’s righteousness declared.
How beautifully harmonious is every part of this wondrous way of possessing a righteousness suited to God, needed by man, provided by God, and possessed by the believer!
A threefold cord of righteousness now binds the believer to God, and the Scripture says, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” The various strands of this golden cord of righteousness are: (1) Grace; (2) Blood; (3) Faith.
1. God’s GRACE is the SOURCE of justification.
“Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:2424Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (Romans 3:24)).
2. Christ’s BLOOD is the MEANS of justification.
“Much more then, being now (not hoping to be by-and-by) justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5:99Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:9)).
3. The soul’s FAITH is the PRINCIPLE of justification.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:11Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (Romans 5:1)).
Now if these be the true sayings of God, where have you room for “works”? Nowhere, at least in Romans. Someone will say, What about James? Does he not say, “Ye see then, how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”? Yes, he says this, and it is most needed. But do not for a moment think that Paul and James clash. The truth is this. In Romans you are justified before God BY FAITH. and that only in James you are justified before men BY WORKS. God can see faith, men cannot, but they can see works. God must see both, and surely will see works when faith exists.
But there is more than this. Not only is the believer justified from all offenses by faith in the Lord Jesus, but “they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1717For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (Romans 5:17)). The “gift of righteousness” is to be “received,” you notice — not earned, as many suppose. When received by faith, the possessor is assured he shall “reign in life.” This sweetly accords with the expression, “justification of life,” which flings a flood of light upon the present standing of the believer. “So then as it was by one offense toward all men to condemnation, so by one righteousness toward all men for justification of life. For as indeed by the disobedience of the one man the many have been constituted sinners; so also by the obedience of the one many will be constituted righteous” (Rom. 5:18-1918Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:18‑19) JND). In verse 18 we have the aspect of Adam’s path and Christ’s, given us in contrast. Adam’s involves “condemnation,” Christ’s “justification of life.” In verse 19 you have the effects. Adam’s disobedience constituted all his family “sinners.” Christ’s obedience unto death constitutes all who are His (and we are His by faith in His blood) righteous.
Then the moment I am linked with Christ by faith I see (1) that I am through His work justified from all the offenses and sins of my old life as a child of Adam, and (2) that I am the possessor of a new life, called in Romans 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23), “eternal life,” and that I have “justification of life,” and hence shall “reign in life,” being constituted “righteous” by God Himself, in virtue of my association with Him who died and rose again, and is now at God’s right hand in glory.
We also read in 2 Corinthians 5, “He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
The truth therefore is, that Christ is the believer’s righteousness before God: and the believer is also made the witness as well as the subject of God’s righteousness, inasmuch as he is brought into the same place of nearness to God, in life and glory, as Christ Himself (viewed of course as the Man who died and rose again). The believer and Christ are viewed as one, and as Christ is the righteous One, all His are viewed as possessors of a righteousness in Him, which is suited to the glory of God where Christ now is. On the cross Christ identified Himself with us in our sin, shame, guilt, and death. By His atoning death all we had done and been was forever swept away from before God. Rising from the dead, the head of a new family, He associates with Himself in life, standing, and place Wore God in glory, all who trust Him, and whom therefore He calls His “brethren.”
In conclusion, I would only now ask you, beloved reader, have you yet accepted the “jewels of gold” the gospel messenger brings to you? Have you yet received the “gift of righteousness”? If not, I would urge you to delay taking so important a gift no longer. Come to Jesus as you are. Receive Him, and in receiving Him you will receive all and far more than I have written of, for all that God can give you in blessing is wrapped up in the Person of Christ, and once you receive Him you receive all. May you be able to see what another saw and wrote, namely:
“The risen Christ had ended
Righteousness of law:
God’s
righteousness was something
Quite distinct. I saw.
That MAN above — whose dying
Closed the things of old —
WAS HEAD OF GOD’S CREATION,
Channel of the gold.

“That MAN was in the glory,
I in Him up there;
Before His God and Father;
I was thus brought near.
The Place I found was opened,
Where was wealth untold —
The MAN beginning all things,
In Himself the gold.

“I once was lost, a sinner
Under Satan sold,
And now I’m lost in glory,
In the source of gold.
‘Tis when God’s Christ in glory
We at last behold,
We learn, as with Rebekah,
He begins with GOLD.”