Someone shared a story with me, some time ago. I will probably get the details wrong, but remember one part of the story. I’m sure someone out there could relate the actual story better than I.
To summarise – it went something like this: Someone bought a piece of land and spent a number of years drilling for oil. All to no avail. So they gave up and sold the land.
A new owner, not long after the purchase, drilled once more and struck black gold, immediately.
Preacher’s could use the story to teach us to ‘never give up’. Others could tell us ‘anything worthwhile takes time and effort’. Yet another could bring out the truth ‘that we need to get below the surface and the obvious – to find the true riches of truth buried in the bible’.
I like that one best.
Proverbs 23/23: Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
The amplified version of the bible gives us this helpful footnote:
The ancient rabbis routinely assumed “truth” to refer to the Torah (Law), and they interpreted the first part of this command to mean that a student should pay a teacher to teach him the Torah if he can find no one to teach him for free. As for the second part, they said that if the student had to pay to learn, he should not view this as grounds to charge for teaching others, but should teach the Torah for free.
But it is possible to be taught the truth and ‘entertain’ it in our lives on a superficial level, rather than giving ourselves – to it – in prayerful meditation, so that we do not fit the category of those described by The Lord Jesus:
John 5:38-40 King James Version (KJV)
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Such students find all kinds of truth on some level, but fail to realise that all scripture points to Jesus Christ as the Son of God – to be believed and received as the personification and embodiment of all of God’s truth, and indeed the Saviour of The World.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
All scripture points to the author who revealed it to the hearts of chosen men, who in turn penned it under God’s special visitation and influence.
But also it has the redemptive thread throughout it’s pages from Genesis to Revelation. And to search these books and fail to discover by a living encounter, that Christ is The Living Word, and the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – is to search and miss eternal life.
Again Jesus said: You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;…’
The point being that this is not enough. But the true searching of the scriptures as God intended – is to encounter Christ:
‘and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
We must come to Him and not just the pages of the book to find eternal life – in/through the pages of the book.