Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Treasure for Treasure

Comfort for Comfort

2 Samuel 12:3 uses our word for “special possession” of a pet, a little lamb, bought and nourished. We can relate, can’t we, nuts about pets as we are. There’s just something about the way a pet conforms to the shape of your lap, adjusting itself to you. And that’s how we are to be with God, adjusting our shape to Him.

But some of your pets are not quite that way. They are demanding, and they master you. You quickly find that you are the one adjusting to them, rather than the other way around. And that’s what we often do with God, in our minds at least, adjusting Him for our comfort.

For instance, some aspects of the being of God are uncomfortable for us. We struggle with His sovereignty, since it rubs hard against ours. We can fix that, right? Just adjust (g)od to what your sense of (g)od should be, and the pet is happy, even though the house is in ruins.

Good for Good

Malachi 3:17 refers to the son who is joined to the father’s inheritance by virtue of relationship. The son is his pride and possession. And the son seeks the good of the father. Sure, the son realizes that, since everything that the father has will one day be his, when he serves the father, he is serving his own interests as well. But the interests of the father come first.

So the son does not ask, “what is good for me?” Rather, he asks, “what is good for the father?” He is not focusing on feathering his nest, but on serving the interests of the father.

We sometimes leave a church service and ask, “was it good for me?” “Do I feel better?” “Was I entertained?” We ask these questions in dozens of life situations. But shouldn’t the question be, “was it good for God?” Isn’t He the Father to be served, even as we realize that the path to an experience of indescribable goodness leads first through “seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt 6:33).

And the father, says Malachi, has compassion on the son who serves him. God delights to shower love upon His children as they serve the interests of their Father.

Treasure for Treasure

Matthew 13:44-45 speaks of men, one finding buried treasure, the other finding a pearl of great value. One goes and buys the field in order to have the treasure. The other sells all he has in order to obtain the pearl.

We are God’s treasure. That’s what our verse, 1 Peter 2:9, and our phrase, “a people for His own possession,” indicates. And He has “bought the field” and “sold all he had” for us. And we are to reach out to him like two-year-olds when daddy comes home, and treasure Him.

Our world is full of so many lonely people who do not have the experience of being treasured by God. They may have many comfortable, good treasures. But they are still empty. Why in the world would we trade this blessing of being God’s treasured people for mere bubbles?

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