Do Not Seek the Treasure
February 27, 2024, 5:00 AM

In the Coen brothers' 2000 movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", Pete Hogwallop warns buddies Everett McGill and Delmar O'Donnell against continuing their planned endeavor, telling them emphatically "Do. not. seek. the treasure."  Did you read that in Pete's voice?  If you've seen the movie, I bet you did.  Anyway, the reason for the warning is that Pete has already come to realize that the treasure they were after did not provide the satisfaction they were hoping for.  This is something Everett and Delmar had yet to discover, and Pete wanted to save them some heartache.

This provides us a silly example of a warning given with the intent to preserve life for the hearer.  But from Jesus, we receive a similar, but all too real warning in Matthew 6:19-24, which says - 

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

Jesus' warning here is essentially this, you have been enabled by God with the ability to spend your life and resources chasing after whatever you deem to be of the greatest value...choose wisely!  Some treasures have merely temporal value while the value of other treasures will be with you eternally.  Don't spend the life given to you on chasing things which, once possessed, can never be owned.

In effect, Jesus calls the hearer/reader to formulate an eternally profitable value system.  He calls us to invest in the long-term rather than the short-term, to recognize that "owning" something is preferable to "renting" it.  Renting affords merely a temporary use of what is owned by another while ownership gives one full possession, oversight, and use of what is rightfully his.  Folks, this is far more than practical wisdom, this is an eternal principle.

The things we can see, taste, touch, hear and smell in a physical sense are gifts given to us by God and do contain value, but only for a time.  God has orchestrated creation, revealed himself to man, and communicated His values to us in such a way as to call all men to trust in Him by valuing what cannot be seen more so that what can be seen (II Corinthians 4:18).  The structuring of one's values in God's prescribed way expresses a longing to please God rather than oneself.  The man who structures his life in such a way reveals his reliance upon what God has said more so than what his eyes can see and his hands can touch.  This man truly desires a better country, that is, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:16).

So, dear reader, do not seek the treasure!  That is, do not seek the treasure that cannot satisfy.  Trust God!  Labor diligently for the treasure that will last!  And one last thing, while you're at it, don't sweat the small stuff - 

"Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:31-33


Pastor Jeremy