A true story is told of the spouses Ron and Betty Goldstein of Staten Island, New York, U.S.A. One day, Betty got seriously ill so she was brought to a hospital. Her husband wrapped in a napkin for safekeeping her 3.5 – carat diamond ring, a treasure she always wore 24 hours everyday. The 63-year-old husband, in a moment of forgetfulness perhaps due to his advance age, happened to throw the napkin in the waste can. It was only after the garbage truck had left that he suddenly remembered the treasured ring of his wife, but by that time the garbage truck collector had already thrown the garbage. He hired several workers to search for the diamond ring. Fortunately, after several hours of search but at a tremendous expense, the workers found the treasure.
In Proverbs Chapter 2, King David told his son, Solomon, “My child (son) listen to me and treasure my instructions. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure” (vss. 1-4 NLT). Proverbs continues, “Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding. For the profit of wisdom is better than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left, she will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly” (Prov. 3:13-18 NLT).
Thus, very clearly, we are urged to search diligently for something far more precious than any precious jewel – WISDOM. Significantly, there is nothing said in the Bible telling us to search for money. Instead, the Bible tells us, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, o my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many” (Prov. 4:7-10 KJV). How many? At least the Scriptural age of 70 and beyond.
Our FGBMFI VP for Southern Mindanao Jerry Guiang, testified during our Saturday fellowship telling us that his younger sister died at the age of 26, his father died at 58, his mother died at 77 and a very rich cousin died at 58 so the latter did not enjoy his riches. He has just celebrated his 60th birthday last January 19, 2012, and he appears to be in good shape, aside from retaining his handsome looks. That is why he has been christened “Mr. Suave.” Now a senior citizen, he has become more prosperous spiritually and materially! Like Abraham of old “who was very rich in cattle (cars, houses) in silver, and in gold” (Gen. 13:2 KJV), Jerry, to my personal assessment, is enjoying such manifold blessings. He has found what is elusive to many: WISDOM. Though not a prophet, God willing, he will reach the scriptural age of 70 and even beyond. The notable difference between him and his relatives is that he has found WISDOM!
Again, Proverbs says: “Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge over pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can be compared with it” (Prov. 8:10 KJV). “I love all who love me. Those who search for me will surely find me. Unending riches, honor, wealth, and justice are mine to distribute. My gifts are better than the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver! I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice. Those who love me inherit wealth, for I fill their treasuries” (Prov. 8:17-21 NLT).
Apostle Paul tells us “Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful WISDOM of God (1 Cor. 1:24). Therefore, this strenuous search for WISDOM is actually a search for God Himself, or in person, JESUS CHRIST, our SAVIOR and LORD (Prov. 2:3-5). In fact, inner happiness comes when man finds this WISDOM [the LORD Jesus Christ] (Prov. 3:13).
King David encouraged Solomon to search diligently for this rare and precious jewel who is GOD (in person Jesus Christ) because wisdom is not usually discovered by the casual observer or listener to, or reader of, the Word of God. Understandably, during the time of David, our Lord Jesus Christ was not yet born, though He already existed, because the Apostle John tells us, “In the beginning was the WORD, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). “And the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us, [Jesus Christ] (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 KJV). Wisdom (Jesus Christ, the ultimate and rarest precious spiritual jewel without equal) is discovered and enjoyed only by those who are diligent, devoted, and determined to seek Him with all their heart and soul (Deut. 4:29; Jer. 29:13; Matt. 7:7).
Once we find Jesus, or rather more appropriately spiritually speaking, if Jesus finds us (as he said you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you [John 15:16], then we have gained eternal life in heaven, which is more valuable than rare diamonds or the purest gold. Then, like Jesus Christ, we shall be filled with truth and love - - Love for God with all our heart, soul, spirit and strength, and love for our neighbor as we love ourselves. Then, our spirit will be bestowed with a large and understanding heart, like King Solomon. What then can we say to the one who has no heart to forgive his neighbor? If we are born again, we know the answer.
One who finds true WISDOM, or JESUS CHRIST, will have everything in life, and like Jesus Christ, particularly eternal life and heaven as his future home, and he shall be with the LORD forever and for eternity - - without end. Money will not be a problem to him. It will just flow into his hands like water in the spring whenever the need arises. Like the Lord Jesus Christ when Peter told him that he has to pay tribute money to the Roman government, he did not have money in his pocket, but he told Peter to “go thou, to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou has opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee” (Matt. 17:27 KJV). Peter obeyed and the tax was paid including that of Peter. God provides in mysterious ways!
While still on earth, having the innate sterling character, qualities and virtues of Jesus Christ, this one who finds true WISDOM, assuming he is a normal human being, like Jesus Christ, will customarily go to the synagogue on the Sabbath, which is the church in our modern times. He will be found fellowshiping with the other brethren, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day (or second coming) approaching” (Heb. 10:25 KJV). He will be serving willingly and enthusiastically God’s kingdom thru his God-given talent or talents, as at least he has one gift or talent (1 Peter 4:10) even without material remuneration. To him that is merely secondary, for he knows the spiritual or heavenly remuneration is in heaven in time deposit - - waiting for his arrival. He will not lack anything, as King David said, “The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (Ps. 34:10), and that the LORD shall not suffer (or allow) the soul of the righteous to famish but he casteth away the substance of the wicked” (Prov. 10:3 KJV). Houses, lands, loved ones and relatives, everlasting life, and anything needed for his living comfort or “ministry” shall be provided (Matt. 19:29). Where God directs, he provides. In fact, through honest means and hardwork, he will have an abundance of these earthly things (Prov. 10:4; John 10:10). These are the solemn promises of the Lord Jesus Christ to the faithful believer. Undoubtedly, many of our “older” members are enjoying the fulfillment of these premises of God.
Remember, however, that the converse is not necessarily true, because if one is a drug Lord or gambling Lord, or big time robber before he is caught, or grafter and corrupt if a politician, or corrupt military officer, or a corrupt government official, or deceitful businessman, before he is charged in court, convicted and imprisoned, he will have plenty of them for a time, but the end shall be sorrow, embarrassment and suffering (Prov. 10:12; 13:11). On the other hand, Solomon said, “the blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Prov. 10:22 KJV). Blessed is the man who finds true WISDOM or is found by God [in person, Jesus Christ] the true and ultimate treasure of man (Deut. 4:29). (FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Bulletin Jan 28)