Three Magi

Matthew 2: 11

Then they opened their treasures and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

In western culture, the gifts of frankincense and myrrh hardly seem on par with the gift of gold. Is this, then, a dialogue on valuable gifts? Or, perhaps, invaluable gifts? It turns out that historically, frankincense and myrrh were at least as valuable as gold and many historians believe them to have been more valuable than gold.

I got this from Dr. Axe regarding these ancient oils. Visit his website at

Myrrh is a resin, or sap-like substance, that is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world. Historically, myrrh was used to treat hay fever, clean and heal wounds and stop bleeding. Studies conclude that myrrh strengthens the immune system with its antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

A 2012 study validated myrrh’s enhanced antimicrobial efficacy when used in combination with frankincense oil against a selection of pathogens. Researchers expressed that myrrh oil has anti-infective properties and can help to boost your immune system.

What’s more, new research indicates that these two essential oils are even more effective in combination. Two things of interest I noted as I researched frankincense in myrrh are that they are useful in treating blood disorders. In fact, I was surprised how often blood came up in the articles I read. Secondly, myrrh was used as an embalming fluid. Both of these facts seemed to foreshadow Jesus’ future. How poignant is it that the baby Jesus would be given a gift commonly used in embalming? The two were also ingredients of the incense Jews burned in the temple.
Frankincense and myrrh were very expensive and highly sought after. The trees which produce these resins could not be grown in Israel. Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt greatly sought the two, one article claiming that conquest of foreign lands was sometimes motivated by the desire for the plants which yield the sought after resins. Since the trees would not grow in all climates, the Egyptians would seize territories where they would grow so that they could have their own supply of frankincense and myrrh rather than having to pay exorbitant prices for it.

Today, many medicinal uses have been identified for these two oils. Some believe the potential benefits number in the hundreds. They can be applied directly to the skin but are often burned. Inhaling the essential oils is another healing methodology which has to be a point of interest when considering that the ancient Jews used these two resins in the temple incense. So, going to church really could be good for your health!

I hope as you read the Christmas story this year you will have a better appreciation of how valuable the gifts of frankincense and myrrh really were. It turns out that the offer of gold was likely the lesser of the three gifts. Frankincense and myrrh were very expensive, extremely hard to get and medicinally beneficial. wealth alone, did not secure the valuable oils. Three “Gentile” magi travelled from afar and gave Jesus invaluable gifts. Perhaps the fact that three non-Jewish people travelled a long distance to take the Messianic baby such valuable gifts was a prophetic message in itself.

Gold Digger

Isaiah 45: 3

I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

I am reading When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson. In Chapter 3 the author writes about gold being hidden in rock. That phrase excited my imagination. The precept this idea left with me is that things of value must be dug out.

Think about it for a moment. Do we value gold, silver and precious stones because they are hidden and thus, hard to acquire? Or are they hidden because they are precious? It seems true that those things which we work for are more valuable to us than those which come to us easily.

Look at this interesting passage from the Proverbs, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter,” (Proverb 25: 2). God has hidden His precious jewels. It is not that He doesn’t want us to have them. In fact, it is quite the opposite. He has put them away, in a safe place, for us. Do we not do the same thing? If you have something precious that you wish your child or grandchild to have, what do you do with it? You put it in safe keeping. You don’t leave it lying around where it can become lost, damaged or misplaced. You certainly do not put it where any random person could walk away with it. In the same way, our father has stored up His wisdom for us. Paul wrote “We speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory,” (1 Corinthians 2: 7). God predestined all His wisdom and knowledge for us.

Bill Johnson wrote, “Some things are only discovered by the desperate, (Chapter 3, p. 39). There is truth to that, isn’t there? I think sometimes our largest liability is our comfort. While some people who read this Word of the Day live in desperate circumstances, many of us are comfortable, perhaps too comfortable. We are not desperate for change enough that we labor to dig out the golden nuggets God has stored up for us.

“There’s gold in them there hills,” is a well-known declaration. So where are the mountains where we mine gold? I am continually amazed at the gems in the Bible. For those of us who do not read the Old Testament often, we are really missing some of the greatest of all jewels. However, there is even richer territory than the Word. What? Did I really write that? Well, lest your heart fail you, the Word is the map to this richest of all gold veins. I am referring to the inspired Word of God.

God speaks directly to our hearts and minds. He has not gone mute in the last two centuries. He is still speaking today. Really, learning to hear His voice speaking directly to each of us is one of the most precious finds of all. If my experience is any judge, this blessing does not come easily to all people. I had to desperately seek God in order to have my ears opened. It was completely worth everything I did to find His voice. Now, I read the Word with Him. He, and His Spirit, lead me and instruct me as I read. It is just as though they tell me where to dig. “There is gold in them there Scriptures, Ivey. Dig here.” Some days I find it difficult to get through a chapter because the Holy Spirit reveals so much from a single sentence, or indeed, from a single word.

I wish to encourage you to seek God desperately. Seek Him with all your heart and with all your might. Seek Him as if your life depends on it. Get into the Word and begin to dig out the golden nuggets that are hidden there for you. The jewels are for those who purpose to find them. For once, it is good to be called a Gold Digger.