There are many stories about people searching for hidden treasures. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson has been made into movies again and again. How many variations have there been of Aladdin? Often in these stories, the characters come into a room filled with mountains of gold coins and jewels and statues and treasure boxes. And their jaws drop open. Like this scene in National Treasure:
Usually in these movies people risk their lives and go through all kinds of danger to find treasure, like Indiana Jones in this scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark:
What if I told you that somewhere in a park near your town there is a cave filled with gold coins and diamonds and precious jewels and gold statues, and if you find it you can keep everything in it? Do you think you would look for it?
There probably is no treasure buried in a park near you, but there is a REAL TREASURE we can all find. And it is filled with riches which we can’t possibly imagine.
First of all, God himself is our treasure. He fills us with every kind of joy and blessing. If we know Jesus Christ we are the richest people on the face of the earth.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. Psalm 16.5-6
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup…the Lord is my beautiful inheritance – this means the Lord is my treasure. The Lord is the most important and wonderful and valuable thing in my life! Paul said:
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
Christ was Paul’s treasure. He said he gave up everything else in this life to have Jesus. God is our treasure. If we have all the riches on earth, but do not know the Lord, we have nothing.
But God also gives us another treasure: and that treasure is his WORD.
GOD’S WORD IS A TREASURE
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. Psalm 119.162
Great spoil is another way of saying “treasure” – I rejoice at your word like one who finds a great treasure.
In the way of your testimonies (God’s word) I delight as much as in all riches. Psalm 119.14
David says “In the way of your testimonies – your word – I delight as much as if I had ALL RICHES – all the riches in the world.
The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. Psalm 119.72
If I said to David, “Hey David, which is better, God’s word, or thousands and thousands of gold and silver pieces?” He would say, “Are you kidding, God’s word is better than a whole cave of gold and silver.” If David were alive today and someone said to him, “David, I will give you 50 billion dollars if you will never read the Bible again” you know what he would say? “Get out of here. You can’t even put a price on God’s word. It’s more valuable than all the riches in the world. It gives me more joy and happiness and wisdom than all the riches in the world could ever give.”
Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. Psalm 119.127
God’s word is a treasure. It is filled with all kinds of riches and delights. And each and every one of us can open this treasure and dig in to it. And this treasure will bring joy to our lives.
Before Jesus saved me I didn’t know this. I would have thought of the Bible like, maybe a storybook. Oh it’s this book of all these old stories, like about Noah and the ark and the story about Israel marching around the city of Jericho and blowing trumpets and the walls falling down. And yeah, the story of Jesus. But I wouldn’t have thought about it like it is a treasure.
Or I might have thought of the Bible like an instruction manual. A book of detailed instructions about how we are supposed to live. I hate instruction manuals. They always seem to be really complicated and hard to understand. Take part A and connect it to part C and then take the tiny little screw (part E-16) and insert it into the opening and then twist counter clockwise.
I wouldn’t want to look at instruction manuals every day. But God’s word isn’t an indecipherable instruction manual. Yes does have clear instructions and commands, but God gives us those so that we can know him and experience great joy and peace and have the best life we can have.
HOW IS GOD’S WORD A TREASURE?
GOD’S WORD IS A TREASURE BECAUSE GOD HIMSELF SPEAKS TO US THROUGH HIS WORD
The Bible isn’t just a book about God. It is God talking to us. God himself, the creator of the universe, talking to us. It is God saying, “I love you. Here is what I did for you to save you. Here is how you can know me and enjoy me and please me.”
In this treasure, God tells us what he is like – Holy, loving, good, merciful, kind. We can look at the universe and tell some things about God. He is powerful – to create all the stars, etc. He is creative – cicadas – 17 yrs in the ground…He must be vast in some way since the universe is so vast.
But there are so many things we can’t know just by looking at the creation. Is God good? Is God loving? Does God even care about us? Does God love me? I mean, the universe is so big, and we are just a speck of dust? Less than a speck of dust. Does God really care about what is going on here? Does God really care about me? How do I know?
We couldn’t know these things just by our own thoughts. BUT GOD TELLS US WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE IS LIKE IN HIS WORD.
GOD’S WORD IS A TREASURE BECAUSE GOD’S WORD TELLS US HOW TO BE SAVED AND HAVE ETERNAL LIFE
No other book in the world tells us God’s good news about all he did for us to save us and what we need to do to have our sins forgiven and go to heaven. Yes there are all kinds of other religious books and philosophies. But God’s word is the only one that tells us God’s way of receiving the salvation he purchased for us. Most religions are works based. Live a good life and you will go to heaven.
No one could possibly fathom the good news of God’s word – that Jesus, God the Son, became a human being, lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to his Father, then took our sins upon himself on the cross, bore the wrath that we deserved and paid for our sins, then rose physically from the dead, and ascended into heaven. And when we turn to Jesus and believe in him and call upon him to be our Lord, God forgives our sins, and counts Jesus’ life of obedience to us as if we had lived it and gives us salvation and eternal life as a free gift.
No other religion has such a treasury of good news!
GOD’S WORD IS A TREASURE BECAUSE GOD TELLS US HOW TO PLEASE HIM
In his Word God reveals to us how to have joy and peace, how to know and enjoy God now
God’s ways are not the world’s ways. Apart from God’s word we could never know:
How to be truly great
How to fight the lies of the enemy
How we can be thankful in every situation
How to have true and lasting joy
How to have hope
How to overcome our sins
How to understand sin and temptation
How to love and forgive and bless those who sin against us
How to know God’s will for our lives
How to endure to the end
HOW DO WE OPEN THIS TREASURE? HOW DO WE ENJOY IT?
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15.16
First, it says, Your words were found, and I ate them
Your words were found – the Bible is God’s word. The very words of the Creator of the universe. The Bible isn’t man’s words, it is “YOUR WORDS.” So that is where we want to start the Bible is “YOUR WORDS” the Bible is the very words of God. There is no other book ever written that is the very word of God. That is the starting place: to believe the Bible is the very words of God.
Some people don’t believe the Bible is God’s words – they think it’s just stories or men’s ideas. But the Bible is God’s word – YOUR WORDS were found.
When I was a young Christian, someone said, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.”
Your words were found
WERE FOUND – LIKE A TREASURE.
Before Jesus saved me I heard someone say, Get a Bible, and start by reading it a few minutes every day. Start with one of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And just read it every day for a few minutes. Read it and do what it says and it will change your life. So I bought a paperback bible and started to read it every morning for a few minutes – I FOUND God’s word. I DISCOVERED IT! I didn’t know it before. I didn’t have it. Now I had a treasure.
WE NEED TO TAKE GOD’S WORD IN:
Your words were found, AND I ATE THEM
God could sit us down at a table and spread out a feast of incredible food in front of us. But it wouldn’t do us any good if we didn’t eat it. If we didn’t take it in. We need to take God’s word into us. Your words were found and I ate them. God describes his word like food. He describes us taking it in like EATING IT.
When we eat food, we TAKE IT IN. WE CHEW IT. We often savor it. We say “MMMMM! Oh this is so good!” Sometimes we experience new flavors we never tasted before. Sometimes we have to chew on food longer. Sometimes we have to develop a taste for certain foods.
That’s like God’s word. Sometimes it’s easy for us to understand – we like the “taste” of it right away. It’s easy to chew. Maybe like scrambled eggs or mashed potatoes. Sometimes we have to chew it longer – like steak.
GOD’S WORD WILL BECOME A JOY TO US
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words BECAME to me a joy and the delight of my heart,
Sometimes God’s word is immediately a joy and delight to us. Like:
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:26
Sometimes it takes time. We need to trust God’s word. God will prove it to us eventually
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
In due season we will reap! Over the years, God’s word has changed my life! God’s word has brought BLESSING into my life. When I was a young Christian, I heard someone teach that we should try to spend some time in God’s word on a regular basis. They suggested that the first thing to do every day was to take about 10 or 15 minutes to read God’s word. So I started trying to do that. When I first got up, I’d get some coffee to help me wake up, then I’d spend a few minutes in God’s word. And God has helped me do that for years. I don’t always do it every day – but I try to do it most days. Now some people are just too sleepy in the morning to read God’s word. For some people they do better if they read God’s word later in the day. But the main thing is, if you can start a HABIT of spending a little time in God’s word regularly and then trying to OBEY God’s word – God will change your life!
Job said he treasured God’s word more than his daily food:
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food. Job 23.12
Let me encourage you in this: God’s word is a TREASURE! Try to open it up and take it in on a regular basis. Try to find a time that works for you every day, or at least most days. Start small. Just read it for 5 or 10 minutes. It would be better to read the Bible for 5 minutes every day than to read it for 1 hour once a month. Just a little bit at a time, and ask the Lord to speak to you and help you love his word.
Jesus, thank you that you are our treasure and you have given us the treasure of your word. Help us to love your word and to love you.