Preface: Sometimes it seems that the more we focus on not sinning, the more powerless against temptation we feel, and the more hopeless our condition appears. We wonder if indeed we are saved at all. Fortunately, we can have victory over the temptations that so easily ensnare us. None of us, no matter how enveloped in sin, is hopeless, for our “Father of lights” (James 1:17) is greater than our tendency to sin, and only in Him and through His Word can we have victory.
During my childhood, my brothers and their friends loved to sit at our grandparents’ feet and listen to fascinating stories that never failed to excite our imagination. One night Grandma told a story about hidden treasures. As we listened, it occurred to us that our neighbors could be hiding valuables in their back yards, the whereabouts of which might just have been forgotten with passing time. The key to discovering them, according to folk wisdom, consisted in spotting at night a mysterious light exactly above the place where the treasure was supposedly buried.
Two days later the neighbors were alarmed to find numerous strange diggings in their yards. There were rumors about huge gophers invading the area. Unfortunately for my brothers and their friends, everyone soon discovered the truth about those holes. It took three days of work under a hot tropical sun to repair all the damage they had caused by their excited shoveling.
People are still searching for “treasures” in all the wrong places. Many are hoping to find the riches of happiness in large bank accounts, flashy jewelry, expensive furniture, hot entertainment, mind-zapping substances, and other popularized pleasures of the current century. Then the truth becomes known; no genuine satisfaction is found. In this foolish search they hurt themselves and others.
“Today men are eagerly seeking for earthly treasure. Their minds are filled with selfish, ambitious thoughts. For the sake of gaining worldly riches, honor, or power, they place the maxims, traditions, and requirements of men above the requirements of God. From them the treasures of His Word are hidden.”1
In God’s sight true riches could never be visualized as simple, earthly goods. The greatest treasure is the God-sent wisdom found in the Holy Scriptures. When we study the Word of God with dedication, led by the Holy Spirit, we can claim many longed-for treasures. “The riches in glory in Christ Jesus” shine fabulously bright: perfect love, purest joy, consoling pardon, and above all else, the most precious jewel—salvation in Jesus Christ.
“The study of the Bible demands our most diligent effort and persevering thought. As the miner digs for the golden treasure in the earth, so earnestly, persistently, must we seek for the treasure of God’s word.”2
1. Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 106.
2. White, Education, p. 189.