All that glitters is not gold; Often have you heard that told: Many a man his life hath sold, But my outside to behold: Gilded tombs do worms enfold. Had you been as wise as bold, Young in limbs, in judgement old. Your answer had not been in scroll’d. Fare you well, your suit is cold.
-The Merchant of Venice
“Not all that glitters is gold” is a popular form of expression derived from a line in William Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice. I find it as a suitable expression on how we exchange the glory of God for things that shines like gold but nevertheless not gold at all.
To be honest, I first heard of this expression when I was in high school from a line in Led Zeppelin’s most popular song Stairway to heaven, but in reverse meaning. The verse goes like this: “There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold and she’s buying a stairway to heaven”. Now that exactly is what we think and do.
We exchange the glory of God for anything less than Him and the worst thing is that we even try to buy our way to heaven.
The first chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans indicts all men and shows how we exchange the most valuable being in the universe for worthless things.
Three ways on how we exchange true gold for worthless glitters
- Exchanged the glory of the immortal God for things and beings that worth nothing. Romans 1:23
- Exchanged the truth for a lie. Romans 1:25
- Removed God from our knowledge and replace it with unrighteousness. Romans 1:28
God’s response for such insult and delusive exchange
- God gave us over to our sinful desire. Romans 1:24
- God gave us over to our dishonorable passions. Romans 1:26
- God removes all restraints and gave us up to a depraved mind. Romans 1:28
We are so enamored by the glittery illusion of our own lie that we are deceived by it, and being held captive by our own sinful desires. How can we find the everlasting treasure if we are blind left to ourselves.