Viewing The Treasure

I recently had the privilege of viewing a few of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC was the site, and the event had been widely announced. This was a special exhibit, and much planning and preparation had been invested. 2,000-year-old documents deserve the most careful attention.
By now you surely understand the significance of these scrolls, found 60 years ago by common shepherd boys. The scrolls, numbering about 100,000 fragments, were carefully removed from 11 caves in the desert region surrounding the Dead Sea. Many of the scrolls contained books of the Old Testament, carefully copied by professional scribes. They revealed that the Old Testament in use at the time of Christ was essentially identical to the Old Testament we hold in our hands today. That kind of assurance is invaluable!
Security was obvious as one walked through the exhibit area. Only ten scrolls were displayed, but each was protected behind thick glass. Lighting in the room was carefully controlled so there would be no further deterioration to the fragile documents. Everything about the event proclaimed one idea: These fragments may look old and obsolete, but they are treasures. They were given no less special treatment than a display of King Tut’s gold.
I couldn’t help thinking, however, that the true treasure is so taken for granted and carelessly handled. The evidentiary value of these ancient documents is immense, to be sure. But the inexpensive Bible I hold in my hands is really what it’s all about.
Where is the real treasure? Hear the testimony of one who had more riches than just about anyone who has ever lived: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15, NKJV). Solomon knew something about treasures, and he correctly appraised the worth of God’s word, the repository of these incalculable riches.
In the town where I live, today is a special day. At a local bookstore, a treasure is being unpacked to be placed on display. No ticket is needed to examine this treasure, and any who desire may hold this document in their hands. It was shipped from a publisher at some location, but it actually originated in heaven. Though its price is within the range of virtually anyone, its value cannot be estimated. The Bible, whether bound in leather or digitized onto a compact disc, is the real treasure. And anyone who wishes may view it.
“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. … Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors” (Psalm 119:18,24).

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Tim Hall

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