Overlaid with Pure Gold

1 Kings

Overlaid with Pure Gold

September 10th, 1961 @ 7:30 PM

1 Kings 6:14-22

So Solomon built the house, and finished it. And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the cieling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place. And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD. And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.
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OVERLAID WITH PURE GOLD

Dr. W.A. Criswell

1 Kings 6:14-22

9-10-61    7:30 p.m.

There are three separate ways, kinds of ways to preach.  One is by subject: the preacher takes a subject, and then anywhere in the Bible he can find something contributing to the subject, he just calls on all the Bible, that is what I did this morning.  That was a subject sermon this morning, Is This The End Of The World?  Then there is a kind of a sermon that is an exposition; it is an exegesis.  You take a passage in the Bible, and you tell the people what the passage means.  Almost always that is the way that I preach, have been for these years preaching through the Bible, taking the passage as I come to it and try to expound it.  This is what God says; almost always that is the way I preach.

Once in a great, great while I spiritualize.  That is the sorriest, no-accountedest, good-for-nothingist way to preach in the world, but that is the way I am going to preach tonight.  Very rarely, rarely, rarely will you ever hear your pastor spiritualize.  That is, he takes a text or a passage of Scripture, and then he makes it mean something else.  He will apply it to something all together different, has nothing at all to do with what the actual Word says, but it has an application in other areas as you apply it to things never intended in the Scripture.  Now, I am going to do that tonight.  I am going to spiritualize, just once in a great while do I ever do it.

We are in our preaching through the Bible in the Old Testament, building the temple of Solomon.  And the last time I preached here in the evening, it was concerning the beauty and the glory of Solomon’s temple.  Now tonight we are going to spiritualize on that temple, make it mean something.  Turn in the Book to 1 Kings chapter 6, 1 Kings chapter 6, and we shall read together verse 14 through verse 22, 1 Kings 6, verses 14 through 22.  Now we all have it?  Let us all read it together, everybody sharing his Bible and all of us reading together; 1 Kings 6, verses 14 through 22.  Now, together:

So Solomon built the house, and finished it.  And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir.

And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the Most Holy Place.

And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.

And the cedar of the house within was carved with knobs and open flowers: all with cedar; there was no stone seen.

And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord.

And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.

So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.

And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.

[1 Kings 6:14-22]

Now my subject is Overlaid With Pure Gold.  And the Scripture basis for it from which we shall spiritualize is the beautiful temple of Solomon.  Not that it was beyond compare in the world—in size it was relatively very small.  Nor that it compared with the glory of the architectural embellishment, embellishment and enhancement and enrichment of a Greek temple such as Diana’s in Ephesus, but the glory of Solomon’s temple lay in the pricelessness, the preciousness of the materials out of which it was made.  There has never been a house, never an oracle, never a temple, never a sanctuary, that when you looked at it on the inside was solid gold.  Everything was gold, pure gold.  The lampstands were solid gold.  The tables of the showbread, the altar of incense, the chains before the veil, the cherubim under which the ark of the covenant was placed, everything was made of pure gold.

Now, on the inside of the sanctuary, on the inside of the house, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, the stones of course were jointed.  And when the house was overlaid with cedar, the cedar also was jointed.  But over it all, the Book says, there was no joint seen.  There was no stone seen.  There was no cedar seen, there was no plaque seen, there was no crevice seen, there was no joist seen.  Nothing of any crevice, of any crack, of any aperture, of any joint, of any meeting; everything was covered over with pure gold [1 Kings 6:14-22].

You couldn’t build a house without joints, without rafters, without sleepers, without crevices, but nothing of that was seen in that beautiful and holy temple because it was covered over with pure gold.  No rough place, no joint, no division, no crevice was seen, all of it covered over with pure gold.

Now I’m going to apply that to human life and to the nature that God has placed in the world around us.  The tendency to cover over with beautiful things, with precious things, things made out of pure and solid gold, to cover over rough places, harsh places, crevices and disjointedness, to cover it over with beautiful things, pure gold; I find that, I say, in nature.  There is a tendency in the heart of nature to recognize its wounds.  God put it there.  And all nature will command the ingenuity that God has laid at His disposal, to cover over and to beautify and to hide out of sight the rough places, the gashes, the torn places, the wounded places in nature.

For example, in the eastern part of our country where the rain falls, there’s never a gash, or a rock mountain range, or a great bluff, or a scar, or a ravine that nature immediately does not seek to heal it.  Nature will plant flowers, and trees, and herbs, and shrubs, and vines, and cover over all of those rough places.  And in the springtime, nature will cover it and daub it and cover it with emerald, and in the fall time, splash it with the colors of God’s rainbow, so much so that the most beautiful places in the world are the rough places.

This summer, I was in the Adirondacks in upper central New York State, that rough country.  We think of New York as being so populous.  There are literally thousands of square miles in New York where you’ll find nobody but wild animals.  And the country is beautiful!  It is rough and supports no population at all.  But when you go to see what God can do, that’s where to go, to a rough place and see nature cover it over with pure gold; hiding the rough places out of sight.

I one time read of a town that had in it a great unsightly rock, an awful looking thing.  And the city fathers gathered themselves together and advertised for bids to clear that thing out of the city.  So the bids came in and some bid thousands of dollars for this and thousands of dollars for that and thousands of dollars for the other, and one bid came in for a few cents.

Well, the city fathers were overwhelmed by such a difference in price.  So the one that sent in the few cents was sent for, and it turned out to be a woman.  And when she appeared before the city council to take that big ugly scar out of the heart of the city, they asked her, “How, in view of these thousands of dollars that others had bid to remove that unsightly rock, what could she do for just a few cents?”  And she said, “Give me liberty and let me try.”  And they acquiesced, and she took her few cents and bought seeds of vines and shrubs and herbs, and she planted beautiful herbs around the rock, and she trained beautiful flowering vines to climb the rock.  And she turned it into the one of the most beautiful spots in all the cities of America.  And people went from afar just to see what she had done, covering over the rough place with pure gold.

Now, that thing is also true in human life.  There is a tendency, glorious and given of God, in human life to cover over the rough places with pure gold.  I’ve often thought, in a certain magazine, in the Readers Digest, in a certain magazine, every month there is published the most unforgettable character I have ever met.  There is in this congregation once a year a most unforgettable character that I have ever met.  I met her first in my former pastorate years ago, and once a year I see her here in this congregation.  Knowing her through the years coming just once passing through, she sells some kind of a cosmetic for women mostly, for anybody, but for women, an unusual cosmetic.  And she travels all over America selling that beauty cream and lotion and whatever goes with it.  So upon a day after the passing of the year I was visiting with her.  She is one of the godliest most consecrated women I have ever known in my life.  Wherever she is and wherever she goes, the Lord’s Day will always find her in the Lord’s house.

So upon that day I said, “If you don’t mind, I’m curious about the kind of a cosmetic that you sell.  It must be something special because all of the females that I know go down to the drugstore or go down to some other kind of a store, and they have that stuff by the counters, full.  And why should you go around selling it personally, just you?”

“Well,” she said, “you do not realize that the kind of a cosmetic I sell covers over ugly birthmarks.  Now,” she said, “my entire face is blotched with an awful, hideous birthmark.”  I looked at her.

“Why,” I said, “I see no evidence of any such hideous mark covering your face.”      She said, “Thank you.  That’s what I sell.  But,” she said to me, “when I go to my room and close the door and I take off my makeup, I’m an altogether different person, and nobody ever sees me.”  To cover over our ugly places with gold, to hide it out of sight, to make it beautiful, that’s part of human nature, thus to do.

For example, over here in the twelfth chapter of the first Corinthian letter, Paul says, he’s talking about the members of our body, and how we need the hand and we need the foot and the eye and the ear, and everybody needs everybody else.  And when we all do good, the whole body is strong [1 Corinthians 12:14-22].  Now he says, in the twelfth chapter and the twenty-third verse he says: “And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, less beautiful, less presentable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness” [1 Corinthians 12:23].

Let me tell you something that I found out on my trip over there to Africa.  Clothes are worn not for warmth, clothes are worn for beauty.  Who needs a coat in the hot summertime in dear, wonderful Dallas?  Blessed, burning up, sizzling; but we love Dallas.  But who needs a coat?  Yet you never saw me in this pulpit in your life without a coat on.  Man, you should have seen me when I was preaching under those tabernacles in the country, I never preached in a coat, I took off my coat, I rolled up my sleeves,  I undid my collar, I took off my tie, and I really preached!  And you could hear me five or six miles on any clear day.  But I don’t do that here, I wear a coat.  I dress up and clothing is for beauty.  That’s why we wear it, for adornment, for embellishment.

Over there in Africa, they told me about a little colored boy that went to Sunday school, and his Sunday school teacher said to him, “Son, you can’t come to Sunday school without some clothes on.  Now you go back and tell your mother that I said put some clothes on you, and you can come to Sunday school.”  So the little boy went home, and he came back so proud of himself, he had clothes on.  You know what he came back with?  He was wearing a pair of suspenders.  It never occurred to that little colored boy that clothes were for any other thing but for decoration.  And all of our women folks have the same idea and persuasion; clothes are for beauty and for decoration, and we buy them like that.

Now Paul says that these members of our body which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor, and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness [1 Corinthians 12:23].  So any man who would take his body and those parts of him that are uncomely, he will try to make them a little more comely.  He just will.

For example, a man’s neck; there never was anything uglier than a man’s neck.  That’s why the man wears a tie and a collar to try to make comely his uncomely guzzlum, that’s why he wears a collar and a tie.  Did you know most men have the beatenest Adam’s apple that you ever saw in your life?  Did you ever see a man without his collar and his tie?  Well, look at him sometime and watch his guzzlum.  Watch his Adam’s apple.  Sometimes when a man eats, if he doesn’t have his collar and tie on, it looks like a giraffe’s neck with an ostrich egg going up, down, up and down, a man’s neck.

A little boy was sitting at a table, and he was watching one of those men who had a prominent Adam’s apple, and it just intrigued that boy.  See that fellow swallow and that Adam’s apple go up and down and up and down; and he punched his mama and said, “Mama, Mama, look! Look at his go-and-get-it.”

Well, that is very true.  We wear them to cover over our unsightly necks.  Same way with a man’s shoes, could you imagine anything more uncomely than a man’s old, dirty, stinky, smelling foot?  Could you imagine anything?  Could you imagine anything?  And what we do with our uncomely parts, we try to make them more comely, and we get shoes to wear, and there they are.  I just hate to think of the service and you fellows here without any shoes on, it would just be bad, just be bad.

In the days when B.B. McKinney and I went preaching around in these encampments in the summertime, he always spoke of his big feet.  He had the biggest feet of any man I ever saw in my life.  They looked like boats; I never saw such big feet.  And when he would get up and stand to lead the singing, you couldn’t help but notice that half of him was turned down and flat and out.  Well, in order to make friends with the people, he would mention them.  And one time he said, “You know, my feet.  I was on a Pullman, and I said to the porter, while I sleep tonight, shine my shoes.”  And he said, “The next morning when I got up and looked, the porter had shined one shoe and my suitcase!”  All of us are that way.  Paul said anything in life, we seek to do that.  If you have a house, the plumbing, and the joints, and the rafters, and the foundation stones, they’re all covered out of sight.  And you make your house pretty and beautiful with draperies, and rugs, and polished floors, and wall-to-wall carpeting, everything to make it pretty.

Same with an automobile.  And an old automobile has in it grease and grime and machinery.  All of it is covered over with chrome, and grill, and painted bodies, and everything to make them acceptable.  That’s a part in human life.

Now, may I apply it to the soul and to the spirit?  That same thing you will find in the human heart about the wounds and the rough places in our lives.  I know a man, I knew a man—he’s with glory now, he is in heaven now—I knew a man who was a great philanthropist, and one day I heard him say to a group of us that he was naturally miserly and grasping, and he loved money.  But he said he prayed to God to overcome his miserliness, and his grasping, and his sense of wanting to horde, and to keep for himself, and he said to overcome it, he made himself give his money away: hiding the rough place.

I know a man who has a volatile temper.  You’d never know it.  He gives you the impression of being the sweetest, kindest, civilest man you ever saw, but when you talk to him, he would say, “I am so volatile in my temper that I pray God, to hide it away and keep it out of sight, and I try to be gentle and kind consciously because I have that volatile temper.”

Paul said, “And I besought the Lord, thrice for the thorn that God, like a stake, placed in my flesh.” He said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”  “Therefore,” said Paul, “I take gladness in reproaches and necessities, for these bring me to a holy communion with God, otherwise I would never know” [2 Corinthians 12:7-10].

Covering it over with pure gold, the rough place in your life; and now, how could I apply that in the church?  Rough places, rough places: you don’t ever have people, people who meet together, but that you have joints and crevices, and you have differences.  Now, some people choose up and go to war.  He said so-and-so, and I said so-and-so, and they battle over it in God’s house even.  They don’t like each other, and they say things about each other, and they point out each other’s faults and failures.

How much better to cover it over with pure gold.  “He was reviled, but He reviled not again” [1 Peter 2:23].  And if they speak evil of you, speak good of them.  And if they are harsh to you, be wonderfully sweet and kind to them, cover it over with pure gold.  Ah, when those things are hid out of sight and when those joists are made to shine for God, you have the most precious and beautiful fellowship in the world; cover it over with pure gold [1 Kings 6:20-22].

We all have weaknesses, let’s don’t magnify them.  We all have shortcomings.  We’re just naturally human, born that way.  Instead of pointing them out and instead of magnifying them and instead of expatiating upon them, “O God, for me and for us, cover them over Lord with pure gold,” a gracious word, a sweet and wonderful characterization, a marvelous spirit and a glorious attitude; covered over with pure gold [1 Kings 6:20-22].

And then last, may I apply it for what God has done for us?  All of us, God says, are like sheep; we have gone astray [Isaiah 53:6].  And all of us, God says, have sinned and fallen short of what He Has expected of us [Romans 3:23].  All of us feel the consciousness and the weight of our mistake and our iniquity and our shortcoming in our souls.  Children early learn to feel it; we aren’t right and we know it.  There are torn places in our lives, and there are wounds in our souls, and there are things that are wrong and we know it, we are sinners in God’s sight [Romans 3:23].

What does God do?  Train magnifying glasses on our iniquities and holds out our sins and our wickednesses?  No, it’s a funny thing, but the Hebrew word for “atonement” almost sounds like the English word “cover,” and it means exactly that.  The Hebrew word for atonement is kaphar.  And kaphar is the ordinary Hebrew word for “to cover,” and the idea is that God covers our sins out of His sight.  And He doesn’t look upon us in our iniquity, and our shortcoming, and our sins, and our wickedness, and all of the things that are torn about us.  But God covers it over, He atones for it and He puts it out of sight, and He accepts us in the Beloved [Ephesians 1:6].

May I take a story out of the Old Testament to illustrate that covering over?  Do you remember when the sons of Israel went down into Egypt for the second time to buy corn from the prime minister, who was Joseph, and they didn’t know it, do you remember [Genesis 42-43]?  The first time they went, that man who ruled Egypt said, “Is this all the family?”   [Genesis 42:10-14].

“No.  We have a boy, a lad, at home with the father, and the father would not let him come.”  And that man on the throne said, “Don’t come back here for anymore corn unless you bring that lad with you” [Genesis 42:15].  And the famine was sore and heavy on the land, and their rations went out, and they were in need [Genesis 43:1].  And so Jacob said to his sons, “Go back and buy us food in Egypt” [Genesis 43:2].  And the boys said, “But the man told us not to come back unless we brought with us our youngest brother” [Genesis 43:3].  Jacob said, “No, his brother is dead, wild beasts have torn him.  And when Rachel gave him birth, she died, and he is the son of my old age and the love of my heart, he cannot go” [Genesis 42:38]. But the famine was sore, and they were hungry.  Jacob finally said, “Take the boy and buy us corn down in the land of Egypt” [Genesis 43:13].

The pharaoh, his prime minister saw them coming, and there with them was the lad.  And when that man on that throne, when he had given them corn, he said to his steward, “In the sack of the youngest, in the sack of Benjamin, put my silver cup” [Genesis 44:1-2].  So after they had gone just a few hours, he said to the steward, “Take an armed band and overtake them and search their sacks, and the one in whose sack you find the silver cup, bring him back.” The steward took his armed band and overtook the boys, and he said to them roughly, “What do you mean?  Here my master gives you corn to eat, and you steal from his table, even his own cup by which he divines the will of God.”  And the men ripped their garments and said, “Thy servants have taken neither silver nor gold.  Search us, and if one of us is guilty, let him die or let him be a bondman forever” [Genesis 44:3-9].

And they started at the eldest, with Reuben, and then to the next, Simeon, and then to the next, Levi, and then to the next, Judah, and when they came to the boy, to little Benjamin, they found the silver cup in his sack, and the boys fell before God and lamented, rushed back into the presence of the man that sat on the throne [Genesis 44:10-14].  And he said, “What do you mean?” And they replied, “We cannot understand.  We do not know.  We will all be thy bondmen” [Genesis 44:15-16].

“No,” said that man on the throne.  “The rest of you go home.  I just want this boy that stole my cup.  Let him stay and the rest of you go” [Genesis 44:17].  And it was then that Judah approached the throne of the man that reigned over Egypt, and he said he had a brother, and his brother is no more.  And when his mother bore him, she died.   “And this lad is the son of our father’s old age, and we do not understand how the cup was found in his sack, but if he returns not, our old father with go to the grave in sorrow.”  And Judah drew near and said, “Take my life or let me stay as a bondman, for how shall I go up to my father and the lad be not with me?”  Take me.  Make a slave out of me or slay me, but let the lad go [Genesis 44:18-34].  And the next verse says, “And Joseph,” that man on the throne, “and Joseph could refrain no longer, but as he heard Judah offer himself, ‘Take my life.  Make a bondman out of me, but let the lad go,’” the book says in the next verse, “Joseph could refrain no longer, and he openly wept.”  And they in Pharoah’s palace said, “Look.  He weeps!” [Genesis 45:1-2].  And Reuben in astonishment said, “He weeps.”  And Simeon said and Levi said, “He weeps!” And Joseph said to the household of Pharoah, “Let me be just with them” [Genesis 45:1].  And when the doors were closed, he came off of his throne, and said, “I am Joseph, your brother” [Genesis 45:3-4].  And he took Benjamin in his arms and kissed him and wept on his shoulder [Genesis 45:14].

That was in the Bible that we might understand what God’s Son of the tribe of Judah, has done for us.  See the cup is found, we, we are guilty before God.  And the Son of Judah says, “Take Me.  Take Me.”  And the judgment and the wrath and the penalty that ought to fall upon us, “let it fall upon Me,” and on that cross the choir sang about, that fountain of blood, and on that cross that we sing about:

Alas and did my Savior bleed?

And did my Sovereign die?

Would He devote that sacred head

For a sinner such as I!

[“At the Cross;” Isaac Watts, 1707]

There did the Son of Judah say, “Take My life and let them go.  Let the penalty of the judgment fall upon Me, let these be saved.”  And God in heaven, looking upon His Son, God says, “For My Son’s sake, all of your sins are forgiven” [Ephesians 4:32]. Covered over in the love and mercy of Jesus our Lord, atonement, covering over [Romans 5:11; Hebrews 2:17], His blood shed for the remission of sins [Matthew 26:28]; covered over, hidden out of sight in His love and goodness extended even unto us.

What a message!  What a gospel!  What an invitation!  How could a man say “Nay” to the invitation of Jesus?  While we sing this song of appeal tonight, somebody you, coming to the Lord; somebody you, coming to us in the church, while we sing the song, and while we make this appeal, if you’re in the balcony, down one of these stairways; if you’re on this lower floor, into the aisle and to the preacher, “Here I am, and here I come.  I give you my hand; I give my heart to God.” Or, “Pastor, this is my family.  All of us are coming into the fellowship of this sweet and precious congregation, we’re coming tonight.”  Make it now.  As we begin to sing the first note of that first stanza, immediately, make it now.  “Here I come, here I am.”  While we stand and while we sing.

OVERLAID WITH PURE GOLD

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Kings 6:18, 21, 22

9/61

  And there was cedar on the house within . . . all was cedar; there was no stone seen . . . and he overlaid it with pure gold.” Building the most beautiful of all sanctuaries, Solomon covered the stones with their joints out of sight.  Cedar was used first. Not a stone was to be seen in the whole interior.  And over the cedar he placed pure gold.  There were joints and pieces and parts in the actual wall, but these hidden, covered and so overlaid that it became one smooth, beautiful room of shining gold.  Imagine its gorgeous splendor, its smooth beauty! What Solomon did in covering up the rough, jagged places in the wall with the most beautiful of all coverings is typical of all nature and of humanity–to cover up the rough places out of sight, and to do it with materials as beautiful as we can command.   I.          In Nature   –A hill is scarred.  Erosion lays bare an ugly ravine.  Something in the heart of nature knows her wound, her hurt, and she responds with all the hastening ingenuity at her disposal.  She plants a flower, a bush, a shrub, a tree, a herb, a vine, grass.  In the spring she paints the whole with a verdant emerald; in the autumn she splashes the parts with red and gold.  The scarred place is covered up with beauty.  So the great bluffs, the hills, the mountains, the rough places of the earth become places of our most beautiful panoramic scenery. (a)        Like the town in whose center was a great, ugly, unsightly rock.  Bids to take it away.  While others reckoned into the hundreds of dollars, one bidder a few cents.  Remove so huge a boulder for so little?  The bidder called–a woman.  Her way, to plant vines, fern, moss, flowers.  It became the show place of a nation.  Nature has the God-given tendency to cover over her parts with beauty. (b)        An oyster is wounded, bruised.  When the little sea animal covers over her wound, she seeks to hide the torn place completely out of sight with the most beautiful material she can use.  The oyster makes a pearl where her flesh is bruised or torn. II.          In humanity   A deep-seated desire to cover over rough places and to make them beautiful.   –So Paul in I Cor. 12:22-24a discusses our care for the body.  Our hands, face, arms, ears, eyes remain unclothed.  We bestow the more abundant honor on the more uncomely parts of our body.  Ear, eye, hand as eager to help, protect, minister to these parts of our body as to themselves.  Clothing is not for comfort–for beauty.   cf.  a man’s collar–an ugly neck     –You find the same desire expressed in all to which a man lays his hands.  An automobile is funny looking when it is stripped down, where one can see its vital parts working.  On the grill, the hood, the front, the fenders, the engine, we strive to out do one another in producing a work of beauty–all to cover up the grease-laden motor.   –A building is ugly in its rafters and girders and joints and supports.  But the man covers it over with beautiful walls and doors and ceilings.   –You find it expressed in all that a man is.  To cover the rough places of his life with something good, beautiful.  The charity of the gang–the code of loyalty.   The so-called realists violate a God-given human reaction when they seek to cultivate in their readers and hearers a liking for the rotten and the filthy and the uncouth.  There is a gutter that is real. Yes.   And a sewer.  And a cesspool.  And a garbage can.  The maggots, the worm, working in offal and corruption are genuine.  They exist.  But that does not warrant poetry and novels and literature that to be true to life must be likewise corrupt and obscene and filthy and bestial.  A flower is real, too.  A road in the twilight, a silver thread over a mountain, is real, too.  Purity and chastity are real.  Love and goodness and kindness are real.  In fact, these are the more real, for love and goodness shall abide forever.  The rest shall perish eternally.   Yes, indeed, one of the great fundamental impulses of human nature is to cover up the brutal, hide the fault.  One of the great loves of mankind is for the good, the true, the beautiful.   This sense of shame, sin, fault, and the craving to appear beautiful may take a most pernicious turn when we seek to play the hypocrite, when we wear a mask to deceive.  When we refuse to confess our faults to god, and refuse to be honest with the Lord who made us, and seek to perpetuate false impressions upon our fellow men, then our desire to cover the faults of our lives with gold works to our infinite hurt and finally our own undoing.   But when that deep-seated impulse to cover the rough places of our lives, and to be beautiful in character and life–when that impulse turns the heart to be more like Jesus, and gives the soul an insatiable longing to please the God of heaven, then it becomes the most potent factor for goodness and kindness that we possess.   I.          Covering Over the Faults in Our Own Lives with Pure Gold   1.         I have seen afflicted people do it when providence or circumstance had dealt them a harsh blow.   –the great Christian woman who sells a cream that covers the hideous birthmark on her face.   –the invalid in her chair–kind, patient, sweet   –the blind girl singing at Muskogee.  Covering a fault with a smile   –the deaf mutes at Knoxville, rededicating their lives to Christ.  Their smiles, expressions   Forget the fault in the goodness, sweetness of their lives.  The rough places in the wall, the joints and parts, have been covered with pure gold.   2.         I have seen redeemed people do it when they by nature had inborn dispositions that were ugly and brutal.   –a man with a mean temper–kind, gentle   –a youth over-sexed–chaste, pure   –a personality proud, domineering–humble, meek, self-effacing   a.         The story of the man with the mask. Ugly in personality, ugly in character, ugly in face. Fell in love with a beautiful girl.  A mask, beautiful, handsome.  His ways to win her, his ways to keep her–beautiful, kind, loving.  Married, years passed.  One day: “A confession.  I am a mask.  I am not like what you think me to be.  My real self so different–ugly, brutal.”   Torn away the mask.  His beautiful wife laughed.  He ran to the mirror in amazement–his old self, beautiful in deed, had become beautiful in face, like the beauty of the mask.     II.          Covering Over the Faults of Others With Pure Gold   1.         I have seen wives, mothers do it.   –A torn place, a rough place in the domestic wall.  She bears it, covers it over with pure gold.  Some outside, “Why, I’d do this, and that.  Divorce, kill, anything.”  No, many a wife kept her honor by covering over the parts of a wall in pieces with gold.   –A mother for her children.  Never hateful, revengeful, spiteful, overbearing, condemning–but prayerful, trustful, forgiving.  Gold in their lives.   –Some men, husbands, fathers–a smile, a kiss, a prayer.  A broken place covered over with gold.     2.         I have seen church people do it.   –A rough place, a stone in the building of God with a jagged edge.  I have seen it covered up with gold.  A smile in return. A kind answer.  A gentle reply.  Sometimes weep, but get over it.  A prayer for grace and strength.   –Some seem to take unto themselves the prerogative to be unkind, cutting, hurtful.  Why they should have the privilege I do not know.   You women–Where in all the Book of God, the right to be unkind?   You men–. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . ..?   You young people, boys, girls– . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .?   Our church employees–pastor, secretaries, janitors– . . . . . . . . . .?   Jesus–if someone evil, malicious, will not heed, let him be to you as a publican and a sinner.  Turn him out.  But to hate, despise, walk upon?  No.  Love, pray for, the publicans and sinners.  If anybody turned out, with love and tears.  One debt we owe to everybody, to love him.  “Owe no man anything, save to love one another.”   Cover over the rough places in our church with gold.   III.         The Lord Jesus Hath Done Exactly This For Us.   The Hebrew word translated “atonement” means literally “cover.”   The blood made atonement for the soul–covered the sins of the soul.  The broken, disjointed wall of our lives, God hath covered it over with purest gold.   He hath buried our sins out of sight, deep as the ocean.  God in the judgment doth not look upon us as we really are–but He sees us through Christ–Christ hath hid us in Himself, covered us up with the gold of His own purity and righteousness.   1.         The girl in heaven given her record in the Book of Life.  Faults–sins–mistakes.  Have her?  The scene.  A Christ dying, bleeding.  The drops of blood falling on the pages–covered them, made them clean.   A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, A wonderful Savior to me,   He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, Where rivers of pleasure I see.     When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise, To meet Him in clouds in the sky.   His perfect salvation, His wonderful love, I’ll shout with the millions on high.     He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, That shadows a dry, thirsty land;   He hideth my life in the depths of his love, And covers me there with his hand.   And covers me there with his hand.