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 Vol. 4, No. 2 

 

February, 2002

 

~ Page 5 ~

 

The Duchess Kissed
Herself to Death

By Burt Jones

In the gold fields of Alaska, California and Brazil, there was the practice of "salting" rocks and mines by loading a shotgun with gold dust then firing the dust into the rock. The rock would then appear to be thoroughly laden with the precious metal. The prospective purchaser of the claim, upon discovering that he had been duped, would confront the unscrupulous seller, which often ended in a shoot-out, ending the life of one or both of the participants. A little glitter would mislead the person into accepting fraud as truth.

Some look for happiness in pleasure, position, power or wealth. True happiness is experienced when we turn from pursuing self-satisfaction in the pleasures of this world and begin to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

For What Did They Die?

Nine prominent people (a baseball star, six entertainers, two who had inherited great wealth) committed suicide. A highly regarded educator and his wife took a lethal dose of drugs upon learning that she had terminal cancer. They all failed to find the real "stuff" by which to cling to this life. Human beings were created to bring glory to God. Our lives have purpose for time and eternity. God made us in his image (Genesis 1:5; Colossians 3:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7). We are to bring honor to our Creator. We may choose the glitter of this world or we may choose that city of pure gold whose builder and maker is God (Revelation 21).

Money is seemingly the purpose of life to a generation brought up on unchecked materialism. The glitter of success is surely more attractive than the understated and understudied Gospel of our Lord. Jesus said, "life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment" (Luke 12:23). Before we come down too hard on the "baby boomers," we need to examine ourselves to determine if we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Which do you serve -- God or mammon? Does God's promise of streets of gold mean less than the glitter of this world's goods?

A Crafty Deceiver

Wrinkled skin made youthful, graying hair to the silken gold that it had once been was her desire. Duchess Isabella purportedly went secretly to her court "spiritist" with such a request. The court medium was a crafty deceiver. He promised that he could fulfill the request if she would immediately sign over half of her fortune to him. She would be protected by his proposition that if his magic failed she would have him executed at the end of three months and her fortune would thereby remain intact. She agreed. All that she had to do during the three months to regain the beauty of her youth was to kiss daily the glittering, golden hair of a young girl in a painting hanging in the huge ballroom. Each day the court medium smeared a tasteless poison on the painting, which stuck to the Duchess's lips when she kissed it. Her health gradually declined and she was told by the medium that the weakness was to be expected during the process. Before a hundred days had passed, she was dead. The medium then owned her fortune and the kisses of Isabella on the golden tresses of the girl in the painting became the kisses of death. They brought no gold to her hair, only the paleness of death (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

Satan uses the glitter of this world to trap Christians as tribes in Africa used gourds with a small hole to catch greedy monkeys who, after reaching into the hole to grasp the bait or nuts or berries, refused to unclench their fists, which would have set them free. So they were captured. As long as Christians tenaciously hold onto the things of this world and refuse to let them go, they are enslaved to glitzy, glittering possessions (1 John 2:15). All that glitters is not gold!

The World & Literature of the OT
hardback, 378 pages, published by ACU Press
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