King Solomon of the Royal House of David has been the richest human in the world – ever. The legend of King Solomon’s gold mines, where much of his wealth came from, has haunted people’s minds for centuries.
According to the Bible, King Solomon, the wise son of David, ruled in Jerusalem from 970 – 930 BC. He was Israel’s third king and ruled during the nation’s Golden Age.
Solomon was renowned for his wisdom and his riches. Now the crowning achievement of Solomon’s illustrious reign was building a magnificent temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
A golden temple! Walk inside, and all you would see was gold! All the furniture was solid gold. Then, the walls, the ceiling, and even the floors were all covered with pure gold. It seems that there was gold everywhere. By the end of his reign, it’s estimated that Solomon had accumulated over 500 tons of gold. Today it would be worth not billions but trillions of dollars. It was the largest concentration of gold on the face of the planet.
So, we are told that all this gold came from the land of Ophir. Adventurers, explorers and fortune hunters have been obsessed with the search for Ophir and King Solomon’s fabled gold mines. Well, here is Ophir.
It’s not the Ophir of King Solomon’s mines, but Ophir is located not far from the mighty Macquarie river and just east of the town of Orange in New South Wales.
Now, please don’t be too disappointed – because there is gold here.
In February 1851, Edward Hargraves discovered gold in this area, now known as Ophir in New South Wales. His discovery triggered the Australian gold rush, which attracted thousands of eager diggers from all across the colony and even worldwide.
Soon Australia was producing a third of the world’s gold. The Australian population doubled in the short space of a decade because of the droves of immigrant prospectors streaming ashore.
Thousands of eager prospectors swarmed over the Australian goldfields seeking their fortune. They were convinced that the goldfields held the key to securing a better life for themselves and their families.
But there is another kind of treasure. Jesus presents us with a different type of treasure, a treasure that is incorruptible and eternal, a treasure that will last beyond the fleeting insecurities and uncertainties of this world and offer us a far richer and more lasting reward than anything this world can offer.
It is an invitation to every human being on the planet to come to Jesus so that they can find the peace and hope, and eternal life He offers. Indeed, it is a treasure that is far more valuable than all the gold of Ophir, here in New South Wales, or the Ophir of Solomon’s mines, or anything else the world can offer.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” (NKJV) Friends, what Jesus has to offer us is of far greater value than the richest goldfields the world can offer.