Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Title: Treasure Up The Word of God!
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳
Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”
Once upon a time, there was a wealthy man named Ali Hafed who lived on a very huge farm. One day his friend visited him and told him about diamonds and how valuable they were. Ali sold his farm, left his family and travelled to distant lands looking for diamonds. He failed to find them. His health and his wealth eventually failed him. Utterly depressed, he cast himself into the sea.
Meanwhile the man who bought Ali’s farm found a bewildering sparkling stone in a stream that cut through his land. Lo and behold, it was a diamond! Upon digging deeper, he found even more diamonds – acres of diamonds in fact! According to legend, this was how the Golconda diamond mine in India (one of the most important diamond mines in all of Asia) was discovered!
You and I have an even more valuable treasure right under our own roofs, sitting on our book shelves, in full view of those who pass by it daily! This treasure is infinitely more sparkling and brilliant than the most expensive diamond in the world, the priceless Koh-i-Noor diamond which is the main diamond of the British Crown Jewels. I am talking about the Holy Bible, the Word of God. The Psalmist in Psalm 19:10 declares that God’s Word is “more to be desired than gold, even much fine gold”, even though in his day gold was the most valuable treasure a person could ever possess. Often, like Ali Hafed, we fail to recognise the value of the priceless treasure existing within our easy reach, right under our noses!
This priceless treasure is exceedingly unique beyond human imagination on two counts. Firstly, let’s examine how it was painstakingly authored for our benefit. The Bible comprises 66 books written by some 40 authors from many walks of life – among whom were kings, priests, prophets, traders, shepherds, fishermen, scholars, a tax collector, a tentmaker and a doctor. The 39 Old Testament books were written from approximately 1445 to 400 BC, while the 27 New Testament books were written in the first century AD. The writers wrote in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
The cultural and historical backgrounds of the authors were tremendously diverse and yet they presented only one spiritual message – that of God’s plan to redeem mankind after mankind sinned and was consequently separated from God, through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. This perfect unity of thought can only be explained by there being only one divine author, the Lord God Almighty, who inspired all these human writers. Producing the Bible was, to say the least, a gargantuan effort, a long time in the making, over the course of about 1,500 years! Only our mighty God could manage such a massive project successfully to provide us with a flawless Bible that contains such a matchless message – God’s boundless and unending love for His entire creation!
Secondly, consider how the Lord Himself has safeguarded His precious Word from destruction so that today we have easy access to both physical copies of the Bible as well as digital copies in our electronic devices. The Bible has always been hated because it condemns sin. Because it denounces the pride of man, proud man has set himself the task to destroy it. Because it proclaims that salvation is by grace alone, all false religions have sought to extinguish it.
And so more than any other book in history, the Bible has suffered endless vicious attacks to destroy it. For more than 2,000 years, every instrument of destruction that could be utilised against it (including physical destruction, intellectual and literary attacks, political edicts and royal decrees) has been brought to bear against it to remove it from the face of the earth. That it still survives after twenty centuries of being so ruthlessly attacked testifies to its supernatural origin and the work of a divine unseen hand in protecting it from slipping into obscurity.
Our God knew that we, His children would need help in this sinful world and will not be able to walk through it alone. Hence He has given us the precious gift of His Word so that we will forever have a lamp for our feet and a light for our path in this increasingly darkening world. He has given us the best treasure not only for this earthly existence but a treasure that will last for eternity!
More than ever before, the Bible today has a powerful grip on the world, fulfilling wonderfully Christ’s words, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” ( Mark 13:31)
May you and I seek to TREASURE UP THE WORD OF GOD and prize it more than gold or diamonds! Gold or diamonds cannot comfort us in death , but God’s Word can!
Our Heavenly Father, what a priceless treasure You have bestowed on Your children. One that took 1,500 years to shape into existence, and one that You have safeguarded from destruction for more than 2,000 years! Help us to treasure the Bible not as a decorative item in our living room, but as Your loving instructions on how we should live before leaving earth, so that our lives will bring glory to Your Name! We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen
与此同时，买下阿里农场的人在穿过他的土地的小溪里发现了一块发出絢烂光芒的石头。看哪，那竟是一颗钻石！当他挖掘得更深，他发现了更多的钻石 – 实际上是数英亩的钻石！根据传说，印度的戈尔康达（Golconda）钻石矿(全亚洲最重要的钻石矿场之一)就是这样被发现的！
您和我有着比这更贵重的宝藏在我们的屋檐底下，在我们的书架上，每天走过的人都能一览无遗！这宝藏比世界上最昂贵的钻石 – 英国皇冠珠宝的主钻，无价的可依奴（KOH-i-Noor）钻石 – 更加璀璨辉煌。我说的是圣经，上帝的话。诗人在诗篇19:10宣称上帝的话是 “比金子可羡慕，且比极多的精金可羡慕”，虽然在他那个时代，黄金是一个人所能拥有的最宝贵的财富。往往，像阿里·哈菲德一样，我们无法识别到存在于我们触手可及的无价之宝的价值，就在我们的眼皮底下！
这一无价之宝在两个方面都超出了人类的想象。第一方面，让我们来查看它是如何为我们的好处而精心编写的。圣经包含66卷书，由来自各行各业的约40位作者撰写 – 其中包括国王、祭司、先知、商人、牧人、渔夫、学者、一位税吏、一位织帐棚的和一位医生。旧约的39卷书大约写于公元前1445年至公元前400年，而新约的27卷书则写于公元第一世纪。作者是以希伯来文、亚兰文和希腊文编写的。
作者的文化和历史背景都截然不同，但他们表达的只有一个属灵的信息 – 那就是上帝在人类犯罪继而与祂隔离后，通过祂的儿子耶稣基督的死和复活拯救人类的计划。这完美的思想一致性唯可通过只有一位神圣的作者来解释，那就是全能的主宰上帝，祂启示了所有这些人类作家。至少可以说，圣经的写成是一项巨大的努力，是一个漫长的过程，历时大约1500年。只有我们大能的上帝才能成功地完成如此浩大的工程，赐给我们一本完美无瑕的圣经，其中包含了无与伦比的信息 – 上帝对祂整个创造的无限和无穷尽的爱！
我们的上帝知道我们 – 祂的儿女，在这个罪恶的世界需要帮助，不能独自走过。因此，祂给了我们宝贵的礼物 – 祂的话语，让我们在这个日益黑暗的世界里，脚前永远有明灯照亮，道途永远有明光照射。祂给了我们最好的宝藏，不但只是为了今世在地上存活，而且是一个存到永恒的宝藏！