What Are We Singing: More Precious than Silver
- 2010 6 Nov
Many years ago a friend of mine decided to invest in silver. This was during the 1980s when the price of silver per ounce had hit an all time high. I’m not sure how much he invested exactly, but a decade later, he’d lost it all. The 1990s brought a drastic drop in the precious metal.
Likewise, in the 1980s, gold rose in value. I distinctly remember the new “gold rush,” that of Americans to their jewelry boxes to dig for unused, broken, or unwanted gold pieces. I was among the many. I turned in old rings, bracelets, and necklaces from days-gone-by boyfriends and made a pretty penny in return.
But what did I do with the money? I have no idea.
The problem with investing in any kind of precious metal is this: its value waxes and wanes. They never lose their beauty, of course, but their value can plummet with the ring of a bell on Wall Street.
Fasting and French Fries
What is the most precious thing you own, not including spouses, children, grandchildren, or other family members? What is the most expensive? (For some, that might be one of those children!)
If you’re like me, you’ve probably walked around your home and thought about what you would grab if the house were on fire. Perhaps it’s a picture or a painting (I have one that came from my grandparent’s estate that means the world to me), your silver or crystal, a piece of jewelry (especially heirloom jewelry), collectables, or—let’s hope—your Bible.
Or, you may have played the game where you are on a deserted island and you can only have one item with you … and what would it be.
Now shift in thought. Can you think of a time when you did something so horrible, so awful even, that when you ran to the Lord with your misdeeds, He met you first in Word and then in song? And what, if anything, does that have to do with the value of possessions?
If you’ve read my “What Are We Singing” articles before, you know I rarely go write about the inspiration behind the song. Rather, I expound on the thoughts and emotions brought about by the song. But having read the story behind this song, I thought you might want me to start there.
In her song, More Precious than Silver, Lynn DeShazo explores a number of elements created by God and considered of great value—silver, gold, diamonds—as well as those elements of nature created by Him to be seen as impressive in and of themselves.
But did you know the song came to be because of a French fry?
After graduating from Auburn University in 1978, Lynn DeShazo took a job at McDonald’s. One day, and while she was fasting, her manager put her on “fryer duty.” For anyone who has ever entered a McDonald’s completely full or ravenous, you know the power of a French fry. In a moment of weakness, Lynn did, too. In spite of her fast, she … shall we say … partook.
…for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
A song was born. A song we can all relate to.
Lord You Are…
Place five believers in a room with the lyrics of More Precious Than Silver and you might come up with five different “favorite lines.”
I have two. ...more beautiful than diamonds, is one.
I admit it, I like diamonds. I love the way they glitter under light and the fire shooting from their centers. But—again if we were playing that game of “deserted island,” and I had to choose between my Bible and my most beloved diamond ring, I would choose my Bible. It is, after all, God’s Word to me.
Second favorite line: Who can weigh the value of knowing you?
Who, indeed? Just as jewelers and gemologists weigh silver and gold and precious stones such as diamonds to determine their value, if we lay “knowing God” in the opposite scale, we’d soon learn which has more value. Knowing God.
In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul wrote:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! (11:33)
When we, as mere mortals, attempt to wrap our minds around the thoughts and intents of God, we will struggle. And yet, the disciples and apostles and all the saints who have come before us, have attempted to do just that because in knowing God, in becoming more intimate with Him, we become quite wealthy.
In Peter’s letter to “God’s elect,” he writes:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade … In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed … Even angels long to look into these things. (excerpted from 1 Peter 1: 3- 12)
Your Time for Personal Reflection
Oh, I hope you will go back and reread those words. They are so powerful!
Now, let’s go back to a question I asked early in this article: what, if anything, [do misdeeds] have to do with the value of possessions?
Do you recall the story in Luke 7 of the sinful woman who came to the home of the Pharisee because she’d heard Jesus was dining there? A sinful woman (perhaps one who had heard Jesus preaching and had decided to turn from her lifestyle) brought to the house an alabaster jar of perfume. Jesus was reclining (laying on one side) at the table. The woman stood behind him and began to weep, her tears falling to his feet. Then she knelt, wiped the Savior’s feet with her hair, kissed them and poured the perfume on them.
Simon, the Pharisee, was appalled, but he kept his opinion to himself. Jesus, however, knew the Pharisee’s thoughts and began to tell a story, the parable of the two men indebted to a moneylender.
One owed 500 denarii, the other 50. Neither of them could pay the moneylender back, so the moneylender cancelled the debts. “Which would love him more?” Jesus asked.
“The one who owed the 500,” Simon said.
Jesus then turned to the woman. “When I came into the house, Simon, you did not offer water for my feet, but she wet my feet with tears. You did not kiss me, but she has not stopped. You did not give me oil for my head but she gave me perfume for my feet. For her, much has been forgiven, so she loves much.”
Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
To you and me, and to all believers everywhere, God’s love—God Himself, for God is love—is of greater worth than silver, gold, diamonds, expensive perfume, anything. But I would dare say that our faith—strong and sure—is of most importance to God. Without it, in the face of trial, conflict, and even in weak moments with French fries, we are drawn to Him, and in that drawing, we pour out praise, glory, and honor to our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit who moves us ever closer to the Throne.
Eva Marie Everson’s most current work is Reflections of God’s Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel (Thomas Nelson/Nelson Bibles). For more information about the book and Eva Marie's speaking topics, go to: www.evamarieeverson.com