What is Treasure
Treasure is something of great worth or value such as money, jewels, and precious metals. It can be wealth of any kind or any form; in a word—riches. But It can also be something non-material or not of a physical nature: conceptual or spiritual. So…what do you treasure?
What is your Purpose
What in your life makes you feel like it’s worth getting up in the morning? What keeps you going day after day? What do you really live for or what is your reason for living?
A Time of Despair
This pandemic we are experiencing has been a time of despair for many and the statistics are startling: income is cut off and unemployment is at a record high, businesses have been shut and some or many may not reopen, schools and places of worship are closed, in many places we are shut-in with no socializing, no sports, no concerts, no clubs, and no shopping (except for food).
Crimes are increasing. There an increase in drug abuse, strained relationships resulting in domestic violence, anxiety and alcoholism. Worst of all, there is an increase in suicides. This is indeed a time of despair with no real end in sight.
The Cause of Despair
The cause of the despair is what we depend on, what we trust in and our reason to exist has been slammed. Many are on the verge of losing everything they’ve hoped for. This is the cause of great despair.
But there is an answer. If you are a regular reader of this website, you know where I’m going…the Scriptures
The Bible is packed with wisdom and we are going to look at the wisdom of one individual in particular; King Solomon, Son of David.
When Solomon first became king, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked him what he desired. Solomon asked for wisdom and it was granted, and God added riches and honor that no other king possessed. [1 Kings 3:5-15]
Solomon became the wisest of all men. [1 Kings 4:29-34] He is the major author of the book of Proverbs and is the author of the book of Ecclesiastes. Both books are packed with astounding wisdom. Ecclesiastes is basically an essay on life.
In the first chapter, Solomon addresses the vanity (emptiness) of life. The reason for this emptiness will be covered later. As a result of this discovery there is evidence of despondency as he wrote in Eccl 1:17-18
17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Solomon realized that the more humanistic wisdom gained, the more sorrowful he became in his spirit. So he decided to pursue another route.
Next Solomon reveals what happened when he tested the true meaning of his great accomplishments in Eccl 2:1-17
1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.
2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?
3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.
4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:
5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:
6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:
7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
12 And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
15 Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
16 For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
17 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit. KJV
Solomon started out by seeking laughter and found it to be meaningless (vs. 2). He then turned to alcohol thinking that he could continue to pursue wisdom while indulging in wine (vs. 3).
Next, he went on to acquire material things (vss. 4-10).
In verse 11, he did an evaluation and looked at all he had accomplished only to discover that it was meaningless, with no profit; it was like chasing the wind and he was left with a feeling of emptiness.
In verse 12 we see that even though he was a king and on top of the world, he had a vexed spirit.
In verses 13 and 14 he discovered that wisdom is better than folly (foolishness) yet the wise and the foolish share the same outcome; “that one event” is death.
Since both will die, in verse 15 Solomon asks: since he will end up the same as the fool, what was the value of all his wisdom? He concluded that it was all so meaningless.
In verse 16 he also concluded that both the wise man and the fool would be forgotten and the wise man wouldn’t be remembered any longer than the fool.
In verse 17 King Solomon reached the drastic conclusion that he “hated life” because everything is meaningless. Imagine: the man that literally had it all—hated life!
Now this is a sad commentary on life isn’t it? Is it any wonder why there are so many miserable rich people in the world?
Now I mentioned earlier that the more humanistic wisdom Solomon gained, the more sorrowful he became in his spirit. There are two kinds of wisdom: Godly wisdom and the wisdom of the world. Humanistic wisdom is wisdom without God and it is the commonplace in the world today.
The world is very materialistic with the focus being on things and stuff; financial gain and the accumulation thereof. So much so that when this accumulation and this focus is halted, there’s nothing left but despair. We begin to hate life and some of us decide to end it.
So the reason for this despair, this desperation, this hopelessness; is life without God. Solomon came to the realization of this through his experience. Later he wrote in Eccl 3:11
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. NKJV
Solomon acknowledged that God has placed eternity in the hearts of man. Even though man lives in a world of time, we have Intimations or hints of eternity. Instinctively and unconsciously we think in terms of eternity or forever. But we just can’t figure it all out and when we limit our focus and place it entirely on the finite—the natural-material things we leave a void that cannot be filled. No amount of alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, movies, television, videos, travel, or work can fill this void. When we focus on these things, it’s like chasing the wind. It’s “vanity and vexation of spirit.”
The Answer to Despair
Is there an answer? Of course there is! Scripture gives us sound advice how to avoid this empty state.
Solomon reached the conclusive answer. But before we get to that lets look at some more Scriptural wisdom.
2 Cor 4:18
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
So the things, the stuff that I listed above are temporal-temporary and have limited value. When we die, we can’t take them with us. Even while we are living their value is temporary. Material things don’t last and we often lose interest in them before they cease to exist. Temporal things also include hardships, trials and sufferings which are also not to be our main focus making them our demise. We are to deal with them and keep it moving.
But the things that are unseen-the eternal things, such as Christ and our eternal destination; those are the things we are to focus on. With this mindset, we will not despair when the temporal things are threatened. Therefore, this void that God has placed in our hearts need to be filled with Christ—our Savior
Let’s look at some advice from the wisest man that ever walked the earth—Jesus!
First, we have a warning. Luke 12:14
Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
I could write an entire article on this one verse alone! Anyway, contained in this Scripture is a stern warning against covetousness which is an intense craving and desire for more and includes both material things and fleshly indulgence. Jesus wants us to realize that life isn’t measured by how much we own; our possessions—a beautiful home, the latest clothes, a new car, property, money and wealth. While these things are nice to have, they are not the whole of life. There are happy poor folks who are probably happier than the rich—as we saw with King Solomon.
This Spirit of covetousness has infiltrated the world and is a principal instrument in Spiritual Warfare. But just as we reboot our computers for a fresh start, we must reboot our minds and flush out this spirit. For more on Spiritual Warfare, read the article: All About Spiritual Warfare.
Next we have some advice.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Jesus is addressing the fact that there is no security in material things. Material things can be destroyed by elements of nature (moth or rust), weather, corona virus, etc. and are poor investments. The best investments are treasures in heaven because they are the only ones that are not subject to loss. The treasure we put our trust in is where our hearts are.
We must keep in mind that we cannot do both completely for Jesus said in Matt 6:24: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mammon represents money and the natural things it buys. We cannot put our sole focus on both—period.
So after all was said and done, Solomon reached a conclusion and ended his essay on life.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
Bottom line: our duty is to fear God and keep His commandments. Our duty is to keep our focus on that.
And to conclude with a Word from our sponsor—Jesus Christ: Matt 6:31-33
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
So brothers and sisters let us not despair but pray; let us not devalue our lives to the point that we deem them worthless because of our earthly circumstances. We must be wise and not be fools as the worldly. But let us keep our focus on the things above: the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and not on things of the earth and He will take care of us. Amen.
Questions comments or concerns are welcomed below.
26 thoughts on “What do you Treasure”
The current state of the world, in regards to the pandemic and all the troubles it’s caused has made people taken some time to sit down and think. Personally, I’ve been able to put things in retrospect and decide what actually matters to me the most. This post has also been very enlightening as I’ve been able to come to the realization of what exactly my real treasures are.
That is great EliteCarol. It’s good that you took this time to reflect and put things in proper prospective. All the best and thanks for commenting.
As a Muslim, I enjoy reading through your post and seeing just so much similarities Christianity and Islam has. We are also encouraged in looking at life beyond what we have now because it is temporary, and the future is something nobody knows but God—also seeing that there is mercy or blessing ina trial. We are stuck because of the pandemic, but we can still see the blessings we have within; we get to enjoy spending time with our families, working on our goals, time to reflect.
Yes Tuma – This just proves the fact that we’re all in this together! Thanks for commenting!
I’m reading your post and agree totally that we all have our “treasures”. As you state, King Soloman is special because he asked God for wisdom because that is what he treasured and he was granted wisdom in great measure by God as a result, along with lots of other treasures like gold and silver and other riches. For myself, a relationship with God’s son, Jesus is one of my treasures. Another, more wordly treasure is my daughter and grandchildren who are the “delight of my heart”. Thank you for this blog post -Shirley
You’re welcome Shirley – If you have Jesus as your treasure you have it all! Thanks for commenting!
Hello there, thanks for sharing this very inspiring post, this is indeed a post in due season, times like this bring to our mind that we are not really in control of anything, the the reason we need revaluate ourself on the things thatbreally matters to us, because a lot of the thing we chase are just shadows thereby leaving the real object behind. We relly ought to chase after things that really last forever which is eternity.
Absolutely Jomata – otherwise we are only as the Scripture says: “chasing the wind.” Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Hey nice article you have there. Wow, so amazing. This is actually the best article I have come across today. The topic is indeed a big question to many. Finding the right purpose is not by power or by man’s will, because your purpose may seems right to you whereas God is not in support of it. That’s why the Bible says that there is a way (purpose) that seemeth right to a man but the end thereof is distruction. So it is important to note that when defining our purpose we should enquiry about God’s will concerning that purpose
Absolutely, we must seek God’s will in everything we do. Especially in these last days. I’m glad you enjoyed the article and thanks for reading.
Truly what defines our life is when what we hope for and what we really want in life corresponds to the will of God. If not we, in one way or the other, enter into crisis. But one must discover what the will of God is, if not the treasure will be hidden forerver. To discover the will of God, one needs the wisdom of God, as you rightly pointed out in the example of Solomon. The wisdom to know the will of God and to do it is the treasure and the only source to virtuous and holy life on eat.
This is an interesting exegesis on the wisdom of Solomon!
Thanks for sharing
Yes Sir – What you have described is what true success is all about. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Heloo over there, a big thanks to you for sharing this insightful and interesting post on the topic titled what s you Treasure?The Bible is indeed packed with wisdom, it’s major tool for all. Whenever I feel this emptt state the scripture is where I run to because like you said it gives us sound advice how to avoid this empty state.
Yes Sheddy, the Bible is our owners manual for us and we must run to it whenever we need answers. Many thanks for reading and commenting.
Hello there, This is a very wonderful article that you have got here. It is very important yhatbwe get things right with God. Indeed a life without God is a life full of regret. I enjoyed going through this article and I learnt that it is better that we lay up treasure in heaven and that’s were safety dwells.
Thamks for sharing this with me.
You are welcome sir – having treasure on earth is just “chasing the wind.” Thanks for commenting!
I know that finding a good article does not come by so easily so i must commend your effort in creating such a beautiful website and writing an article to help others with useful information like this.The Holy book said ”where a man’s heart is there lies his treasure’. whilst reading imcame accross this statement that wasnt so clear to me ”the world is very materialistic with the focus being on things and stuff; financial gain and the accumulation thereof. So much so that when this accumulation and this focus is halted, there’s nothing left but despair. We begin to hate life and some of us decide to end it’,please can you throw more lights on it sir?.
Sure Wilson – I was addressing what happens when the focus is on the material things of the world and not God. The problem is when the material things are threatened or gone there is no hope; only despair. Looking at the passage in the article, Solomon discovered this and he stated that he hated life. If you look at the behaviors during this pandemic, you’ll witness the same. People (in the US) are in despair and have no hope because the material things in life are threatened and they are willing to risk life to themselves and others to preserve it. However, those of who know God and Christ have hope because we know He’s in control and will see us through.
I hope this answers your question. If not let me know and I’ll go further.
Thanks for commenting!
Your post asks the simple question: what do you treasure? the answer to someone should be simple. You need to think about where do you spend the most time? What do you spend most of your money on? What do you think about most/ The answers to these questions answers the question posed in the post. I think the most difficult thing for people to do in this life is to truly put Jesus at the center. We want control but if we learn to give God control we will have the life God intended for us which is greater than anything we could imagine. Putting God at the center of your life must be a daily routine. It requires letting him have the first fruits of your time, talent, and money.
Amen Lee. Jesus is the true treasure. If we keep Him first we will always have a reason to carry on regardless of the circumstances. Thanks so much for commenting.
Hello there! Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece of information with us. I found it very informative and educative… I enjoy reading through your post and seeing just so much similarities Christianity and Islam has. Though the Pandemic has locked us all up at home, it is actually a blessing because we get to spend time with our families. Thank you…
That’s correct Philebur. When life throws us a lemon, it’s best to make lemonade and keep our focus on the prize. Thanks for commenting.
Thank you for this enlightening post. As I have got older and especially in these strange times, I have really started to change my outlook on life and what I Treasure the most. It used to be material things, such as flash cars etc, but now it is all about spending quality time with my friends, and making sure I am putting my time and effort in to the important things.
That’s great Tom because material things have a limited value and soon disappear and if that is our main focus, when they are gone we have nothing. This is what we’re witnessing during this pandemic: people are putting the material things first at the risk of life. Thanks for commenting!
The current time is extremely stressful for everyone, because of the global pandemic. Such trying situations tend to bring out the worst in people. And God’s word is exactly what we need to keep ourselves in the right path and straying away from Him. This post fills a person with so much positivity and hope. It is a brilliantly written post and can be of help to all those whose hearts are in despair right now. Some of the verses highlighted here from the gospel are so illuminating. God’s word will get us through this difficult time. Thank for sharing
Hi Samantha – I appreciate your warm and kind response. It was exactly my intention to inspire hope during this difficult time with God’s help. Because as you say: God’s Word will get us through.
God bless you!