To those who know where to look, our world is full of rare and valuable things. There are treasures to be found, riches to uncover, and valuables to be acquired. Countless wars have been waged and kingdoms laid waste in the pursuit of worldly wealth:
They have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst.
But such efforts are pointless. The great King Solomon amassed gold and silver beyond count, “the treasure of kings and provinces.” Anything he desired was immediately given into his possession, and no man on earth could claim more riches than he. But in the end, his riches failed him by amounting to nothing:
And behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
And for those who do not know Christ, the situation is even worse. They who are rich in this world but not rich toward God have been assured of fierce, fiery judgement in the last days:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.
Even our most valuable worldly possessions will become a source of torment to us if we trust in them rather than in God:
Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire.
With every passing day, all of us are amassing a kind of moral wealth within ourselves. We are either stockpiling deeds of love and mercy, or else storing up wrath for ourselves on the day when God’s judgment will be revealed. Our hearts are a treasure trove that ultimately proves what kind of people we are:
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
On that day, none of us will have anything material that we can claim as our own. No amount of money or goods will serve to divert the righteous judgement of Him who owns all things. There will be no barter to be had, and no bribe will stick to His almighty hands.
But those who are in Christ have laid hold of riches that are everlasting, unspoiled, and untouchable by the wrath of God:
The fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure.
These spiritual riches, though housed in unworthy “jars of clay” like us, are immutable because they are bestowed by God Himself. They are a gift of grace that cannot be returned once they are given:
Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you.
And we may lay hold of this treasure by simply reading and believing the Word of God. We are told to diligently “treasure up” its contents, and in doing so to become increasingly rich:
Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.
Those who are wise know that in this life, moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. Everything we touch will one day melt away before our eyes. But that which we cannot touch is eternal, and worth more than all of our worldly goods put together:
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
So if you are poor in the things of this world, do not desire to increase in your possessions, lest you fall into a snare or pierce yourself with many pangs. Rather, seek the things of God, and you will discover an even greater wealth than you thought possible.
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.
Seek the Kingdom and His righteousness, and even if worldly riches are not added to you in this life, you will have lasting treasure that will be yours throughout eternity.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.