Wisdom Devotionals

A Priceless Pearl

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Matthew 13:45

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

The Double Eagle twenty dollar gold coin was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Irish-born American sculptor who attained critical success in the design of monuments commemorating heroes of the Civil War.  These coins were issued from 1907 until 1932. 

As soon as Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President, he took the United States off the gold standard, and the 445,000 Double Eagles that had been minted in 1933 were not released into circulation because of changes in currency laws during the Great Depression. 

Other than the two specimens which were turned over to the U.S. National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institute, the 1933 run of Double Eagles was to have been melted down by the Mint and turned into gold bullion bars.  However, at least twenty-seven of these rare coins were stolen—one  exported to Egypt, hidden for years, and almost destroyed by fire twice.

The story behind that coin is a tale worth telling! Although the Secret Service eventually recovered eight of them, the most famous “lost coin” made its way into the hands of the King of Egypt—a man obsessed with collecting coins.

When King Farouk was deposed from power in 1952, U.S. authorities wanted to confiscate it, but the coin vanished once more.  It wasn’t seen again for over forty years, when it surfaced in New York in the possession of a British coin dealer!

The dealer went to court and battled the United States government over ownership of the coin. During the court battle, the coin was placed in what seemed to be a secure location: a vault at the World Trade Center. Just days before 9/11, it was moved to Fort Knox where the government agreed to release the coin for auction and split the proceeds with the dealer. An anonymous telephone bidder purchased that twenty dollar Double Eagle coin for 7.6 million dollars!

Goodness . . . all that for a gold coin worth twenty bucks.  Because it was so rare—one-of-a-kind—meant that its worth reached into the stratosphere. 

I can’t help but wonder what would be considered a Double Eagle coin in our lives.  What is the one thing that no amount of money could take from us? What is rare and priceless to us?  Better yet, what’s the one thing in our lives that we’d give any amount of money to keep?

When Jesus Christ was on earth, He likened the kingdom of God to a pearl of great price.  He went on to add that in order to enter the kingdom, we must give up everything we hold dear—even our lives—in order to claim this kingdom/pearl.

Let’s not spend today collecting things like twenty dollar gold coins that won’t matter all that much in light of eternity, but rather spend today chasing after the kingdom.  Let Christ rule in our lives now, and experience a growing anticipation of that literal kingdom which will come to earth one day.

In light of that glorious pearl, nothing else will ever be worth as much . . . not even a Double Eagle gold piece.

Prayer Point: Take time today to come clean before God and ask Him to reveal to you any idols in your life. Ask Him to show you what matters most to Him—then rearrange your priorities of time and energy.  And don’t forget to thank Him again for the gift we so often take for granted.

Extra Refreshment: Read Matthew 19:16-30.