What could be more desirable than prosperity and pleasures?
Seems like a bold claim.
What if an add on television made such a claim?
Would we immediately dismiss it as a lie?
Would we pay attention in detail to the claims they were making and then test it to see if such claims could possibly be true?
Would we sell everything we had to buy such a thing?
The Bible makes a bold claim:
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. – PSALM 19:10 AMP
And for anyone who prefers KJV or references to the original Hebrew, you can dig in a little deeper to be sure we haven’t stepped of the reservation in this morning’s line of study:
Let’s look at that word gold and what is referring to:
So we can see that it is talking about gold, something shimmery, even metaphorically of the splendor of the sun or the heavens. It is talking about what is pleasing and valuable in the eyes of men.
Now, let’s look at that word for honey:
And now we are talking about soft, sticky, sweet delicacies. I can think of so many things that are soft, sticky, and sweet to my other senses of touch, taste, and even smell — clearly some that are meant as edible fullfillment, but even those that are sensually fulfilling as well. Yes, this is talking about what is pleasurable to be held and “partaken of” by men.
So this is quite a claim! Something more desirable than the desires of our eyes and more desirable than the desires of our fleshly cravings — that seems to truly be a bold claim. And recognizing those terms “desires of the eyes” and “desires of the flesh”, doesn’t that lead us to an interesting cross reference in scripture?
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17 ESV
So the new testament in 1 John chapter 2 makes quite a bold claim indeed. It references both of these things we see from the Psalm 19 verse, and makes clear that these things, these types of desires “are not from the Father”. Bold indeed!
But you wonder if I’ve led you on a wild goose chase. You wonder if I’ve chased a rabbit out of context. The enemy would love for you to step away at this moment and miss out on what part of this truly is for you. And you wonder to yourself, “It couldn’t really be that me wanting that vehicle/ house that I really don’t need is revealing in my heart an opposition to God that needs to be surrendered? It couldn’t really be that my looking at things that aren’t appropriate, or aren’t glorifying God, or are stirring up desires in my heart towards prosperity and pleasures instead of towards God are evidence of a bigger problem could it?”
If you think that I’ve stepped outside of an original meaning or interpretation of the original text, look back to Psalm 19. Verse 10 sits right in the middle of the section it speaks to:
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord , my rock and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:7-14 ESV
I have highlighted in bold above, over and over again, we see this reference to the same thing repeatedly, described from different perspectives to make it clear and undeniable what is being spoken of — it calls it:
- The law of the Lord
- the testimony of the Lord
- the precepts of the Lord
- the commandment of the Lord
- the fear of the Lord
- the rules of the Lord
It does not say “the law of Moses” or “the testimony of Hop” or “the fear of poverty”. No, all of these are “of the Lord”, they are speaking to “the will of God” as opposed to “the will of man”. Yes, you have been opposed to God in many ways, rebellious man, rebellious woman! But the Lord God Almighty cries out to you, “Turn back to the Lord! Acknowledge your sin, confess it, repent, and choose today to serve the Lord! Lay down your life so that you might live, truly live! And it is then that you will know the treasure that is greater than what your eyes can see or your senses can indulge in. Come, meet with the Lord, and see that God is so good!”
And what is this “Law of the Lord”? If you know who the Lord IS, it is not hard to find a reference. Christ is the Lord, and all the law points to Him:
[Jesus Christ spoke:] You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
John 5:39 ESV
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11 NLT
We see, then who the scriptures testify is Lord, it is Jesus Christ!
And what is His law? This law that is more valuable than prosperity or pleasure — what is it?
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 NLT
I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:6 NLT
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40 NLT
Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV
Treasure this truth.
Let go of what is worthless in comparison. Cling to what is truly valuable. May the Lord bless you through His Word that is shared today, and may you call upon Christ as YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR, fully surrendered and trusting in Him to see you through. Amen.