by Stan Hudson, who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference
How does one value something? What determines its price?
Have you ever seen “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel? When someone brings an item in to sell, you can see it is based entirely on “demand.”
I have a couple of hobbies where I can illustrate this. I am a collector of ancient Biblical coins. This includes Christian symbolism on early Roman coins, like coins of Constantine. Despite his so-called conversion his coins did not depict Christian symbols…except for one! And this super rare coin came up recently in an auction. I’ve NEVER seen this coin offered before, so I was interested.
The coin shows on the reverse a “chi rho” at the top of a battle standard, piercing an evil snake and having the legend say “for the hope of the public.” This is purely Christian, unlike his other pagan themes. The auction catalog put a value of it at $1,000. What do they base this on? “What previous examples have gone for.” In other words, the value is placed on what people have shown they’ve been willing to pay before, called the “purchase history.’ I thought the estimated price far too low and became an active bidder, hoping people didn’t recognize the coin for what it was. But they did! And I was severely outbid to the tune of over $11,000.
Value. I also collect elements, partly for my work here in Creationism. I love the precious metals family. But once again, demand is everything. The super rare metal Iridium will suffice for an example. It is over 1,000 times rarer than gold, but is actually worth about the same. Why? Because everyone wants gold.
And this brings me to the main point. How much are WE worth? Do you remember the old evangelists’ illustrations about how our bodies’ chemicals are only worth a few dollars? Modern science has declared humans as being mere hairless apes, even animated pond scum, walking mutants with no future, purpose or hope. And given that low value constantly preached to our youth, suicide rates are high among the young. Low self-esteem and personal value issues are common.
Well, value is based upon demand, nothing else. And there is only one Person Who knows exactly what we are worth. When God lost us to Satan, He placed a bid to win us back. He “Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills,” Who owns galaxies and riches beyond measure offered up something He only has one of…something irreplaceable. He offered up His mostly valuable gift: His Son.
Did He offer up His Son just because He’s so loving and kind…or is His value of us accurate? Well, this one thing I know: “He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many.” God will be more than happy with purchasing us, even at such a high price. Perhaps we should view each other (and ourselves) with this established purchase history in mind.