Friday, October 12, 2012

Thoughts on the "street of gold"

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass." (Revelation 21:21)

We often marvel at the fact that the main street of the city in our future new home of New Jerusalem will be made of pure gold.

'Wow!' we think. 'Isn't it amazing that Jesus is adorning the place He is preparing for us so beautifully!' And He is. (Revelation 21:2)

But I often wondered about the street and its main material: gold. Paving materials are usually waste materials. The Romans used broken stones mixed with cement and sand, cement mixed with broken tiles, curving stones—so the water could drain, and on the top they used tightly packed paving stones, according to Wikipedia. Below is a Wiki photo of a street in Pompeii. I have walked on the Appian Way in Rome and it looks the same.


Encylopedia Brittanica says that in the 1800s when paving became more widespread, "common paving materials were hoof-sized stone blocks, similarly sized wooden blocks, bricks, McAdam’s broken stone, and occasionally asphalt and concrete."

Do we ever use precious materials for roads? No. We use waste materials, common materials.

I think the street of the city is of gold to remind us that when we tread upon it, what we once thought of as precious will be a vivid reminder that the real preciousness is Jesus. What He considers truly precious is our faith:

"so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Our faith is more precious than gold, because it is tested by trials. Gold will perish, but Jesus, the object of our faith, will never perish.

In heaven, gold will be as nothing to us, not when the real treasure is before our eyes. In that case, it is only fitting that gold will be under our feet.

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