A pirate captain was out to retrieve his buried treasure. After months of hard sailing his ship caught site of land, the land to which his treasure map had been leading. He and his first mate disembarked on the island to search out the buried treasure, which was supposed to lie hidden deep with in a swamp at the center of the island.
Sure enough, at the center of the island was a swamp, and the Captain and his first mate bravely entered the swamp. Soon the swamp began to get deeper, and the pirate’s feet, then ankles, and finally entire leg below the knees was covered in swamp.
It was at that time that the Captain banged his shin against something hard. He reached down, searched around, and pulled up a treasure chest. Prying the lock open, the chest revealed gold and jewels beyond imagination.
The Captain turned to his first mate and said, “Arrrr, matey, that just goes to show ye—booty is only shin deep!” *
I am forever indebted to my Chemistry teacher who inspired me when I, as a high school sophomore, told him I “hated” chemistry.
“Dig a little deeper, Dawn,” he told me. I doubt he’d remember that quick statement, but it sure stuck with me!
At this point I can’t help but sing Disney’s catchy tune, “Dig a Little Deeper” from Disney’s “Princess and the Frog.”
But I digress.
Back to chemistry … I DID dig a little into my chemistry book and actually learn to ENJOY class—well, except for that time I almost blew up the chem lab.
I carry my teacher’s wise advice with me to this day.
Whether I’m struggling with trying to understand something about my computer, or trying to figure out how to conquer my gardening “black thumb,” I’ve discovered “digging” into the subject not only gives me answers and new strategies for learning and applying knowledge, it also deepens my appreciation for the topic.
In other words, I’m digging for hidden treasure, and loving what I find.
Case in point. One of the tough things for me has always been trying to figure out what made the Old Testament prophets tick—why God had them write such tough words, and if they had any meaning at all for me. So I plodded through Ezekiel and Micah and the other prophets, wondering why I struggled so much understanding them. In fact, at one point I gave up and started avoiding these prophets and their tough messages.
Big mistake. God wants us to know ALL of His Word.
But remembering my chemistry teacher’s words, I dug a little deeper, looking for the buried treasure in these Old Testament books. What did that look like?
- First, I had to ask myself, “Do you even understand what prophecy means?” That was enlightening.
- Then I started examining related history and geography. (I checked out some archaeology and looked at maps.)
- I considered the different cultures represented.
- I trudged through the boring repetitiveness in some chapters—they don’t all have a smooth “story line”—and eventually realized some texts were poems, conversations, sermons or warnings to God’s people.
- And I also asked if these books were all just “ancient history,” or if God had messages for ME in these books. (Yes, He did, especially concerning sin.)
As I read, studied and “dug in,” I realized I often had the same issues God’s people were judged for: phony religious attitudes, a rebellious heart, idolatry (things I put before the Lord), hard-hearted disobedience, ingratitude, selfishness, etc.
And I found, God doesn’t take any lack of repentance lightly—theirs or mine.
I also discovered God calls His chosen ones to return to Him, be revived and restored, and enter into His rest (Nehemiah 1:9; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 4:1-2; 15:19-20; 24:7; Hosea 6:1, 14:1; Joel 2:13; Zechariah 1:3)
Part of the treasure I uncovered in comparing scriptures:
- The Old Testament prophets and saints saw God as their Redeemer, and looked forward with hope to a future savior/redeemer, even while the prophets were pronouncing imminent judgement (Psalm 78:35; 111:9; Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 59:20).
- Christians in the New Testament and today look back with gratitude that our Savior and Redeemer has come—He took our judgment upon Himself on the cross (Luke 1:68; Romans 3:23-24; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 7:23; Galatians 3:13-14; 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13-14; 1 Peter 1:18-21).
Many of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus (with others to be fulfilled in the future Kingdom).
And that is what amazed me and brought me new JOY! As I was digging deeper in the Old Testament, I kept seeing the Lord—I kept seeing Jesus. He is the Redeemer, the great King, the mediator of a better covenant and more.
I would have missed deep treasures if I’d decided studying prophecy was too hard … if I hadn’t started “digging.”
- Is there something physical you hate to do? — Would digging into benefits of exercise or better nutrition help?
- Is there some emotional struggle or mental confusion? — Would digging into the “why” of your feelings and thoughts—with the Word of God in hand—clear some of these things up?
- Are there any spiritual questions that put you off a bit? — Would digging into some apologetics (in a book or online) give you a better foundation for thinking biblically?
Try to dig a little deeper. Ask the Lord to show you amazing treasures you might not find otherwise.
– *Buried Treasure Humor – Cybersalt
– Graphic: Pirate, DugganArts, Morguefile