I recently watched an old version of Shakespeare’s, “The Merchant of Venice.”
I love the symbolism of the three chests. Whoever chooses the right one wins the hand of the fair maiden.
First there is the Gold chest! Shining and glittering with promise of wealth and riches. The inscription on this chest reads,
“Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.”
Chest two is silver. It still has some shine, maybe not the glitter. It reads,
“Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.”
The third chest is a simple lead chest. Not worth much, no shine, no glitter, only the inscription,
“Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.”
The first chest seems to promise much. But is what we desire always what’s best for us? The answer is no! If you were to choose this one your answer would be,
“All that glisters 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.”
If you chose this one, you will quickly realize the mistake. What you thought was worth it, just isn’t. Sin has pleasure, but only for a season.
So maybe we can fare better with the silver chest. Getting what we deserve. Do you want what you deserve? I certainly don’t. Thank God I don’t have to. No choosing of this chest for me. I deserve punishment. But if you think you deserve fame and fortune and all of that, go ahead…
Inside you will find,
“The fire seven times tried this:
Seven times tried that judgment is,
That did never choose amiss.
Some there be that shadows kiss;
Such have but a shadow’s bliss:
There be fools alive, I wis,
Silver’d o’er; and so was this.
If you chose this one, you will realize how foolish it is to put yourself above others, to seek only your own advancement and comfort.
Of course, we are so much wiser than the foolish suitor’s. We choose the third chest, and rightly so. We hazard all, or gamble all, or give all, for true love! We see inside,
“You that choose not by the view,
Chance as fair and choose as true!
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content and seek no new,
If you be well pleased with this”
We choose by not looking at the outside, but trusting on what is inside. We aren’t seeking to gratify or glorify ourselves. We are seeking love. True love asks for sacrifice, not greed or self-seeking. Jesus chose chest three- to win your heart. Aren’t you glad.
And won’t you hazard all for Him?