Investing in Silver and Gold

Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold (Gen.13:2).                            

Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb.13:8).

One of the first things a Christian person should learn, is that we are all accountable to God for the use of our talents; indeed, for everything: “So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Ro.14:12).

Accountability in the use of our talents was taught by Jesus in the Parable of the Talents, in Matthew 25:14-30. The two servants who traded with the talents and gained double what they were originally given, were each commended by their master. But the servant in the parable who refused to invest his master’s talent for reasons of fear, and hid the talent in the ground, was later called a “wicked, lazy slave…” (v.26), and the master had this servant consigned “into the outer darkness” (v.30).

The point of the parable, is that Jesus Christ expects us to be diligent servants in the use of all that He has given us, and that includes our resources, such as money. It is the diligent person who is often commended in the Bible: “the hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labour” (Prov.12:24).

Upon his return, the master calls each man to give an account of his stewardship. He expects each steward to have increased the number of talents in his possession (Mat.25:20-23). The skills of each man are different, the initial capital is different, and the ultimate rewards are different. The only equality in the parable is the equality of the law. None can escape the final day of reckoning. In fact, the very term “day of reckoning” means a day of giving an account, a final counting.[1]

In a number of places, the Bible warns us about our attitude to money and possessions. Jesus warned us that “no servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Luke 16:13). Achan coveted silver and gold and brought judgment on himself, his family and Israel (Joshua 7:20-21).

So to please the Lord we must always be careful that we are holding to the correct attitude concerning money and resources, and that we “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Mat.6:33). It’s always an issue of priorities. Wesley encouraged people to “earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”

Precious metals and jewellery have been regarded as basic wealth objects for as long as man has left records. Gold has been a form of money for as far back as we can investigate. Its brilliance, durability, malleability, and universal respect as a metal of continuing value have made it a unique economic resource. Its scarcity in relation to the high value men place on the ownership of the metal (high marginal utility) has made gold a universal currency… The gift of gold was a fine one indeed. It still is… Even the New Jerusalem, God’s final and most glorious physical gift to redeemed mankind, is referred to as pure gold (Rev.21:18). From the garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem, gold is wealth.[2]   

Clearly in Abraham’s day, gold and silver were considered worth acquiring. They were precious metals. They were also considered precious in Moses’ era (Ex.25:1-3), in David’s era (I Chron.29:1-3), and in the New Testament era (Acts 3:6). They are certainly considered precious today, and will certainly be considered precious a hundred years from now.

The Christian and Precious Metals Today:                                                                 

One of the things that is happening today, is that governments all around the world are doing foolish things with money. This means that currencies everywhere are being steadily debased. Paper money is printed, but none of it has any gold backing. That means that governments can print a million dollars and put it into circulation, but not have it in the form of taxation. The U.S. government in this (in cohoots with its Reserve Bank) is being more irresponsible than the Australian government. This is one reason why the U.S. dollar has been steadily devaluing against the Australian dollar.

You may hold a hundred dollar bill in your hand today, but will it have the purchasing power in three year’s time, that it has today? You probably know that it won’t. $100 today, will have the buying power of about $97.00 in a year’s time.

In fact, the lesson of history is that all paper currencies end up being worth … nothing. Over the last hundred years, a U.S. dollar has lost about 95% of its value. An item worth a dollar today, was worth about 5c a hundred years ago. So, a prudent person begins to consider (as I hope you have), “how can I protect my fixed assets? What can I do to stop the value of my money being consistently eroded through inflation?”

Anyone reading this article today has resources. You probably have a computer, possibly a house and a car, and a bank account. Almost everything we buy today, depreciates when we take it out of the shop.

But precious metals are different. The price will certainly fluctuate due to variations in supply and demand, but the precious metals have enduring value. At present, there are two factors driving the price of precious metals consistently higher.

The first is international uncertainty and suspicion among investors about the wisdom of the government borrowing and spending programs, which are endemic in the western world. Many countries are thus teetering on bankruptcy, especially in Europe. U.S. government spending is essentially out of control, and there is no real likelihood that this will change before there is some form of financial calamity.

“Investors are frustrated with US monetary policy. They’re saying the heck with the dollar, the heck with currencies and they’re buying metals,” said Ira Epstein, of the Linn Group.[3] Like an alcoholic who ransacks his wife’s purse to steal her new credit card for another drinking binge, the U.S. government keeps finding new ways to borrow, slap the extra loan on top of the other unpaid loans, and say “Who cares?” This cavalier attitude, resulting in rapidly growing debt has been continuing for thirty years, with no concern of the future. In fact, over the last two hundred years, the U.S. government has rarely been out of debt.

Debts must be paid. The alternative is default. The U.S. government’s debts cannot be paid. Yet voters cannot bring themselves to face the reality of default. There has always been a way to delay the day of reckoning. There has always been another central bank rabbit to pull out of the fractional reserve hat. There has always been a way to move the decimal points to the right on the asset side one more time, and move the liabilities off budget. There has always been a way to persuade lenders to lend the drunken government enough money for another night on the town.[4]

The Chinese government appears to be seeing some of the writing on the wall in relation to the folly of the West, and is reportedly buying hundreds of tons of gold annually in response.

The second factor is that the Chinese and Indians populations are moving into forms of middle-class capitalism, and their demand for precious metals both for jewellery and saving (especially gold), has been rapidly accelerating now for years. Australia is the second biggest gold-mining nation, producing 261 tonnes of gold in 2010, but we could only supply the start of the annual gold demand for these two nations. For jewellery alone, they needed over 1,100 tons of gold last year.[5]

Furthermore, these nations’ communities have historically been investors in precious metals: Indian fathers traditionally give their daughters gold as a dowry at their wedding.

What is a person to do?                                                                                                       

a) Make wise choices, based on what you know about God and His dealings with people, human nature, and history. Accountability before God is a fact of life for all of us.

b) Don’t trust in government promises. There is no “quick-fix” to our international economic and financial problems. They have been building for two generations.

 c) Prepare for further international economic upsets: they will come, and many will be caught short. The Bible teaches us that “the prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it” (Prov.22:3).

 d) Gold and silver have been considered precious, ever since the Book of Genesis. This side of heaven, they have been genuine stores of wealth right through history.

 e) Consider how to fit precious metals into your investment portfolio. Individuals should consider having 30% of their cash assets in silver and gold.[6]

f) Seek to preserve and grow your assets for your old age, and the sake of others, so you are not dependent on government promised taxpayer-funded pensions. The government pensions of today may not be with us forever. “A good man leaves his inheritance for his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Prov.13:22).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                          

Most people only learn some things the hard way, and few today remember the pains of the Great Depression. But Christians are remarkably privileged people: we have the Bible to guide us, so we know that human nature is fallen, we understand the shocking results of large-scale abuse of power which are apparent everywhere today, and we understand how God brings everybody, everywhere, to judgment. 

The future is uncertain. The Bible warns us about this. Man cannot know everything perfectly. He cannot know the future perfectly. Yet he has to deal with the future in terms of his knowledge and his resources today. Men must count the cost of reaching goals in the future. And what we know is that we all, constantly make mistakes when we try to estimate future costs and future rewards.[7]

We also know that when God’s people have a properly balanced attitude to money and possessions, and we are acting obediently and faithfully towards Him, He is willing to bless abundantly. He said that “you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deut.8:18). Gold and silver have historically been evidence of His blessing.


[1] North, G., “Unconditional Surrender,” 2010, p.264.

[2] North, G., “The Dominion Covenant,” 1987, p.78, 80, 81.

[3] Quoted in ‘Gold, Silver rise to Record Highs,’ “The Weekend Australian,” 17/4/2011.

[4] North, G., “The Billion Dollar Loser,” 15/4/2011.

[5] Reuters, Factbox, “Gold and Silver Trends in 2010,” 15/4/2011.

[6] Precious metals in Australia are available at www.ausbullion.com.au

[7] North, “Unconditional Surrender,” p.263.

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