How would your devotional life be different if you read the Bible expecting to find real treasure? The psalmist seems to have that attitude in mind when he says that God’s law is “better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” (Psalm 119:72)
What do you think? Is that just poetry? Or is it possible to cultivate a love for God’s Word that exceeds our desire for material wealth? And if it’s possible, what qualities must we have to routinely find treasure in the Bible?
If only the Bible came with a treasure detector
A few years ago my wife gave me a metal detector for my birthday. One of the first things I discovered is that treasure hunting is hard work. I’ve spent hours crawling around on my knees looking for lost coins and jewelry. I’ve blistered my hands digging holes in the property surrounding our home. While I’ve had a lot of fun, I’ve never found anything of great value.
My sister-in-law, Janet, is a better treasure hunter than I am. She routinely finds coins and rings and other interesting artifacts. I imagine that’s because she’s more consistent and spends a lot more time at it than I do. (And she probably read the instructions that came with her metal detector.)
But consistency, tenacity, and the best functioning equipment in the world won’t render treasure where there’s none to be found. A big part of the problem is knowing where to dig.
Thankfully, that’s not a problem with the Bible. If it were possible to wave a treasure detector across the pages of Scripture, it would continuously scream, “DIG HERE!”
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul says that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable… that [we] may be competent, equipped for every good work.” To paraphrase, there’s not a dry hole in the Bible… anywhere!
So grab a shovel and let’s listen to Solomon as he describes 4 Qualities of a Bible Treasure Hunter.
Quality #1: A Bible treasure hunter “receives” God’s Word
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments…” (Proverbs 2:1)
It’s not enough to simply hold a high opinion of the Bible. We must read it. And we must read it with an open and expectant heart. And we must read it with a sense of the treasure we hold in our hands. And we should value it to such an extent that we long to make it a part of who we are. I don’t think this is a natural desire. So I find it helpful to ask God to give me this kind of love for His Word.
Quality #2: A Bible treasure hunter seeks to understand and apply God’s Word
“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding…” (Proverbs 2:2)
Even a cursory reading of the Bible can produce benefits in the life of a believer. But it would be wrong to assume that little else is required. As we read, are we leaving each page behind like the mile markers on a West Texas highway? Or are we enjoying the journey, picking up nuggets of truth and making them our own?
Diligence plays a huge role in what we ultimately get out of the Scriptures. If we are to live God’s Word, we must first understand it. Good doctrine enhances our worship of God. And applying what we have learned leads to greater wisdom.
Quality #3: A Bible treasure hunter asks God for help
“Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding…” (Proverbs 2:3)
Have you ever begged God for insight on a passage of Scripture? Too often we let excellent teachers take the place of searching the Scriptures for ourselves. Both are important. But remember that God is the author of Scripture. Develop the habit of asking for His help first. In 7 Prayer Requests That Will Instantly Improve Your Daily Quiet Time, I share several practical ways to do this. Here, Solomon commends the person who is desperate to understand God’s Word.
Important: Even as we ask God for insight, we must still apply good principles of interpretation to the Scriptures. One of Satan’s tactics is to misuse God’s Word in an attempt to lead people astray. We see this in the Garden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3) and again in the wilderness with Christ (Luke 4:1-13). And he still uses this method of deception today. This further underscores the importance of properly understanding God’s Word.
Quality #4: A Bible treasure hunter believes there really is treasure to be discovered
“If you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures… “(Proverbs 2:4)
How would you restructure your day if a friend told you that diamonds and silver and gold were buried just beneath the ground’s surface all around you?
Would you add “treasure hunting” to your list of future goals? Would you ask others to pray that you would have a desire to dig? Would you be serious about it for a few days and then gradually forget about it? Or would you bolt out of bed every morning expecting to be blown away by the day’s discoveries?
If given the option, all of us would choose pure gold over worthless scrap metal. But when it comes to the riches of God’s Word, we often find ourselves conflicted. What we lack in those moments is the belief that there are riches to be found.
Whether we treasure Scripture or not is ultimately determined by the distractions we allow to keep us from it.
Thankfully, as we heed Solomon’s words in Proverbs 2, we will develop a deeper love for the Bible. Our goal should be to say, like the psalmist, “I rejoice at your word, like one who finds great spoil.” (Psalm 119:162)
A magnificent promise for the Bible treasure hunter
“Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. “(Proverbs 2:5)
God is so amazing that we only have to open our eyes to see elements of His glory. But to get a glimpse of how wonderfully awesome He truly is, we must receive and understand and treasure His Word.
The wonderful promise of God is that He reveals Himself to those who diligently seek Him. Since the Bible is filled with treasures from beginning to end, we will be enriched as we read it and apply it to our lives. But even greater still is the promise that in doing so we will truly know and revere our God.
How would you rate yourself in each of the 4 Qualities of a Bible Treasure Hunter? If you’re not where you want to be, don’t be discouraged. Think of Proverbs 2:1-5 as a treasure map for moving forward. Remember that doing our part results in a sure reward. Here are some suggestions:
- No matter what’s going on in your life, spend some time in God’s Word today.
- Pray through Proverbs 2:1-5, asking God to help you possess the qualities listed.
- Praise God for your desire to know His Word.
What are your thoughts on finding treasure in the Bible. Let us know in the comments below.