God and silver in the Bible represent riches. This is what Jesus recommended to his followers in regards to accumulating earthly riches: Mat_6:19-20, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
James specifically mentions gold and silver – saying that they have rusted. We know that gold and silver do not physically rust, which makes us infer that he is referring to their usability – they will have no value in the day of testing.
Jas 5:1-3 Come, you rich men, weep aloud and howl for your sorrows which will soon be upon you. Your treasures have rotted, and your piles of clothing are moth-eaten; your gold and your silver have become covered with rust, and the rust on them will give evidence against you, and will eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded up wealth in these last days.
Paul recommends to the younger Timothy to walk after the fruits of the spirit and to not love riches: 1Ti 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain,…But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
Notice he does not say that money is the root of all kinds of evil, but the love of money. We need to examine ourselves to see where our heart and trust is. If we have many riches we will tend to put our trust and dependence on them. If we share our wealth with the poor we show that we truly care for the poor and we trust that the Lord will take care of us.
When Zephaniah describes the day of the Lord, the day of wrath that is to come upon mankind, he says that all their silver and gold will not be able to deliver their owners from judgment: Zep 1:14-18, “The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation,…I will bring distress on mankind,…because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD.”
But immediately after, Zephaniah tells us the way of escape – humility and seeking the Lord and His righteousness: Zep 2:3, “Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.”
And I will add a few more words of wisdom from the wise men of the Old Testament, which speak for themselves: Pro 11:4, “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” Proverbs 8:10, “Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”