Treasures for Those Who Dig
The Bible is as fascinating as the best museum. There is a lot to glean from it at face value. But it is enriching as a mine. Begin to dig, poke around and examine, and it yields wonderful things that you didn’t notice at first.
Take the narrative portions, for instance. Why does the Bible contain so many stories? And why do they contain, and leave out, the details they do?
In the story of Joseph and his brothers and their father, Jacob, in Genesis, why is there so much family conflict in the story? What does God want us to see in their sinful dysfunction?
Why was Moses’ leadership experience so consistently hard and painful for almost his entire tenure?
When Nehemiah and his crew were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, why did God allow that process to be so inefficient and fraught with opposition?
In Luke 8, why did Jesus command the parents of the little girl he raised from the dead not to say anything, and yet made the hemorrhaging woman, who desperately didn’t want to say anything, announce her condition to the whole crowd?
Why in the world did the writer of Hebrews 11 list Samson, in all of his unfaithfulness, among the models of faith?
What is the crucial link between the healing of Naaman, the great Syrian general, by Elisha, the great Hebrew prophet, and a little Hebrew servant girl who had suffered the trauma of being ripped from her family by the Syrian military?
Why, in Judges 4–5, did God remove honor from Barak when all he seemingly wanted was just to have God’s prophetess close by during a crucial battle?
Why, in God’s name, did Jesus allow Judas to carry the ministry moneybag when he knew Judas was a devil?
If we read Bible stories like museum exhibits, always viewing them fairly quickly and then moving to the next display, our grasp tends to remain rather superficial. We might think that we’ve seen pretty much all that there is to see.
But when we really start sifting through them—when we mine them—we find that these stories are laced with treasures. We see that there is more than initially meets the eye. God buries riches in the Bible that a miner will find and a museumgoer will not.