Digging Deeper into Proverbs 20(d)


riches

There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.” (Proverbs 20:15, ESV)

When I was in my 20’s and still living with my parents, our house was robbed in the middle of the night as we slept. By God’s grace, no one was harmed. We woke to find the kitchen ransacked, my Mother’s purse missing, frozen food from the refrigerator gone, and my overcoat. What other rooms they may have visited as we remained unaware in slumber only the thieves and the Lord know. Fingerprints revealed two intruders. In fact, those same two would rob us again and take far more – including much of my clothing. The way this impacts you emotionally is quite difficult to explain in full.

One thing in my own response to it surprised me quite a bit. In realizing my coat was gone – a nice coat at that, I really began to pine when I realized that what was in my coat pocket was missing with it – and that was a small, beautifully bound pocket Bible which our Church had given me upon my High School graduation.

I will freely admit that much of my sadness was sentimental. I was so grateful to have received this fine gift several years earlier. As a bit of a bibliophile, I was also sad that I had lost a very finely crafted Bible. The leather was supple, the paper fine and the entire construction elegant. And there was finally the fact that this was my daily Bible. I carried it almost everywhere and certainly every day to work. I had read it through a number of times. It was my friend. I used it more than my study Bible for it was my everyday reading Bible. It was more than a friend, it was an intimate companion. And it was gone.

The surprise to me was how much more emotional I was over having lost the Bible than my coat, the fact we had been so criminally violated or even what danger we might have been in. That Bible was what I wanted to recover if at all possible. And by God’s good grace, it was recovered along with my Mother’s emptied purse in a dumpster across town. The Bible had suffered tragically in the ordeal and was not fit to be used anymore, but I remember the relief I experienced when it was returned.

I learned a great lesson through that experience about how to value things which has been with me ever since. I do not know that I would have listed that Bible as so valuable without experiencing the way in which it was removed from me. And the issue of what I value and why has been one which visits my thoughts often to this very day.

And so I might ask you reader – what are the things you value, and why? And more importantly, have you set store by the wonder of the incalculable riches of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? There is enough silver. There is enough gold, but there can never be enough knowledge of the One “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3, ESV)

This is wealth. This is riches of the rarest and most inestimable worth. Do not let the business of life, the distractions of the Word and the misdirections of the Enemy rob you of weighing them rightly. Of marveling at them regularly. Of musing over them, delighting in them and satisfying your soul that you are wealthier than if all the richest men of all the ages with their collective treasures laid them at your feet. For they will all perish. And only Christ in all of His glory will remain.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33, ESV)

The lips of knowledge brought you the Gospel by which you received the forgiveness of sins eternal life, and the promise of ruling and reigning with Christ for ever and ever. You are obscenely rich in Him. Glory in it.

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