If I told someone that there was £1,000,000 hidden in a field near our house, I imagine they would gather together some gardening tools and get started straightaway into digging and searching for this money. I would think they would hardly even stop for a break. I don't think they would just shrug and say "I'm not interested", and walk on. I think they would do everything in their power to get this treasure. For some reason that is the effect money has on some people. They would move mountains to get it.
But here, God is saying that His Word and His commandments are of much more importance than any wealth and He promises that anyone who makes the effort to seek out His truth will find it and will be blessed with a knowledge superior to anything the world might teach us. But it's not just a case of opening God's Word at any portion you feel like and hoping to find something encouraging or a lesson to learn. It's so much more than that. When it comes to knowing God, through His Word and through prayer, here's how the Lord describes it:
- "incline thine ear unto wisdom" - lean closer to hear what He has to say by closing out all the distractions around us and focusing fully on His Word.
- "apply thine heart to understanding" - I have a friend who, like myself, has no clue about Maths. We both struggle terribly with it, and in fact, if someone even mentions numbers we almost have a breakdown, such is our dislike of them and inability to understand them! However, this friend of mine decided that (in her late forties) she wanted to get her GCSE in Maths and she has been doing the course since September of last year. She has made significant progress and is getting there bit by bit. She goes to class every week and even does her homework! She has made this decision to undertake this task and in doing so has applied herself to it. She really wanted to get to grips with the subject and she has achieved so much with all of her hard work. Nothing worth gaining is easy. It needs effort and hard work. God is also telling us that we are to apply our hearts to understanding. Sometimes what we read in the Scriptures isn't always easy to understand - but that's OK; we can pray and ask the Lord to make it clear to us. We can also get a good commentary and see what that teaches about the verses, or we can ask a godly person like an elder or minister who can show us what it means. Put the effort into reading the Scriptures and you will reap the benefits.
- "if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding" - pray and plead with God for understanding, knowledge and wisdom. For many of us, as I said before, it doesn't come naturally, so we have to ask.
- "If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures..." - just like the person who is searching for all the hidden money in the field, we have to make the effort to find the treasures hidden in God's word. Sometimes they are not immediately obvious but if we keeping reading, researching and praying, the Lord will bless our hearts with some nuggets of wisdom and understanding.
The result of all this searching is that we will grow to understand how we should be living as a Christian and how to live for and how to serve our living God; we will joyfully discover what He wants us to know. It's so sad that there are blessings abundant for the Christian to enjoy but so many just leave them lying undiscovered and hidden through lack of effort.
- Pray that the Lord will help you to be patient and thorough when you are reading His Word
- Ask Him to open your heart to understand what He would have you to learn
- ask Him to help you to really make the effort to get to know Him more through His Word
Hugs, Karen x