Precious metals and stones was therefore aesthetic rather than

economic; their economic significance grew out of the fact that they were valued for their beauty. Aesthetics is prior to economics.

Historically, gold came to serve as a medium of exchange precisely because its value was independent of, and prior to, its monetary function. Gold is not intrinsically valuable (only God possesses intrinsic value); instead, it is valuable because man, as God's image, imputes value to it. Biblically, a medium of exchange is first a commodity, an item which men value as such. Scripture always measures money by weight, by hard currency (Lev. 19:35-37), and condemns all forms of inflation as a debasement of currency (Prov. 11:1; 20:10, 23; Isa. 1:22; Amos 8:5-6; Mic. 6:10-12).

God has placed value upon precious metals and stones, and He has built in us an attraction for them; but He has also made it clear that these things cannot be permanently owned or enjoyed apart from fellowship with Him. The ungodly are allowed to mine for these materials, and to own them for a time, in order that their wealth may ultimately be possessed by the restored people of God:

Though he [the wicked man] piles up silver like dust, And prepares garments as plentiful as the clay;

He may prepare it, But the just shall wear it,

And the innocent will divide the silver. (Job 27:16-17)

To the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that He may give to one who is good in God's sight (Eccl.2:26).

He who increases his wealth by usury and extortion, gathers it for him who will be kind to the poor (Prov. 28:8).

Indeed, there is a basic principle that is always at work throughout history: "The wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous" (Prov. 13:22), "for evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait on the Lord will inherit the earth" (Ps. 37:9). A God-fearing nation will be blessed with abundance, while apostate nations will eventually lose their resources, as God inflicts the Curse upon rebellious people and their culture.

What - or rather Who was it that was needed for such grace and such recall as we required? Who, save the Word of God Himself, Who also in the beginning had made all things out of nothing? His part it was, and His alone, both to bring again the corruptible to incorruption and to maintain for the Father His consistency of character with all. For He alone, being Word of the Father and above all, was in consequence both able to re-create all, and worthy to suffer on behalf of all and to be an ambassador for all with the Father.

St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation [7]

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Preparing for Armageddon, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Strikes, the Zombie Apocalypse, and Every Other Threat to Human Life on Earth. Most of us have thought about how we would handle various types of scenarios that could signal the end of the world. There are plenty of movies on the subject, psychological papers, and even survivalists that are part of reality TV shows. Perhaps you have had dreams about being one of the few left and what you would do in order to survive.

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