Giving Away True Treasure
For those who are wondering, I am currently reading the book of Daniel. The opening verses do not paint a pretty picture. The people of God had turned their back on their Creator and Father, willfully choosing to embrace idolatry. Accordingly, God had allowed their enemies to triumph over them. Yes, it might sound harsh. But those of us who have some experience in this thing called “faith” understand two important principles: 1) discipline is proof of God’s love (Hebrews 12:5-11), and 2) discipline is the only way most of us ever learn. Having said that, for now I’m simply following the progression of the book. It’s how God chose to set the stage; so, who am I to think I know better?
“The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.” ~ Daniel 1:2
God’s treasure sent to the temples of false gods. Priceless instruments of worship now lying amidst the trash of idolatry. The treasures that God had given to His people had been traded away for trash. The heirlooms of their faith had become forfeit. And all because His people had chosen the passing pleasures of sin over Biblical principles and passion for God.
I’m not pointing the finger this morning. I promise you I’m not. I’m just as guilty as anyone else. But I do want to remind us today that there is a trade-off for every decision, a cost for every choice, and a consequence for every action. Far too often we forfeit the blessings of God because we allow our desires to run renegade. Far too often we allow what we “want” to usurp the place of precedence over what we “need.” In the book of Daniel the people had lost much because they had made the wrong choices. Their sin had cost them more than they had originally anticipated.
If you find yourself on that path today, the path of trading true treasure for the world’s trash, I want to encourage you that it’s never too late to stop and turn around. God is slow to anger and His delight is to forgive. Turn back to Him and allow His mercy to renew your hope and restore what has been lost. The book of Daniel starts with defeat and shame. But that opening scene would eventually give way to triumph and glory. That same story of redemption is possible for you today. But it starts with your choice. Stop trading away treasure. And turn back to Him.