Things began to go downhill when Solomon started to stray from the Lord’s ways. As America strays from the Lord’s ways we also suffer likewise.
The land of Judah followed suit and did “according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel” 1 Kings 14:24.
After Solomon, his son Rehoboam reigned in Judah. Then the world infiltrated the temple:
“Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. And he took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house; he took away everything. He also took away all the gold shields which Solomon had made” (1 Kings 14:25-26).
Though our faith is not in material treasures in a temple, this is an illustration of the world stealing the very life of faith from God’s people. When we let our defenses down and give in to the ways of the world, it is harder to operate in faith.
According to 1 John 5:4, faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Thus we have a devil out there, just like Shishak king of Egypt, that wants to rob us of our treasures so that we will end up defeated. But the shield of faith will quench his fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16).
Let’s assume the shield of faith, the victorious faith, is made of gold like the shields Solomon had made.
“Then King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who guarded the doorway of the king’s house” (1 Kings 14:27).
This sounds a lot like the way things are today. A lot of people have entrusted their faith to the ‘captains of the guard’, the teachers and preachers who do all the studying and gain the degrees. That’s okay to a degree, but the danger is when hearers don’t dig into the Word for themselves. And there are many who have forfeited the gold for the bronze, and trusted in the Word generally, but not in a way that is effective in taking down the enemy when he comes.
It doesn’t have to be this way! Jesus says, “Buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich” (Revelation 3:18). He has promised to restore what the thief has taken! We just have to make the decision to move forward and trust Him for the goods.
Take God’s Word for more than just doctrine. Use it as a sword. When life hits you hard, strike back with the exceeding great and precious promises of God. Don’t settle for bronze faith, faith that simply agrees with good teachings. Go forth with the gold that believes that God “gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17).
If the situation seems hopeless, still stand on God’s Word, even as Abraham, “contrary to hope, in hope believed” (Rom.4:18).
No matter what happens, the battle has already been won. The treasures are no longer in Jerusalem’s temple, but in our very selves- treasures in earthen vessels! (2 Corinthians 4:7). The enemy cannot steal them without our permission.
It’s not getting any easier out there. This is certainly a time that requires our gold.