The Neglected Treasure

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
A traveler one day called at a cottage to ask for a drink of water. Entering he found the parents cursing and quarreling, the children trembling, crouched in a corner; and wherever he looked he saw only marks of degradation and poverty. Greeting the inmates, he asked them: "Dear friends, why do you make your home so miserable?”
"Ah, sir," said the poor man, "you don't know the life and trials of a poor man, when, do what you can, everything goes wrong.”
The stranger drank the water, and said softly, as he noticed in a dark and dusty corner a Bible.
"Dear friends, I know what would help you, if you could find it. There is a treasure concealed in your house. Search for it." And so he left them.
At first the cottagers thought it a jest, but after a while they began to reflect. When the woman we're out therefore to gather sticks, the man began to search, and even to dig, that he might find the treasure. When the man was away, the woman did the same. Still they found nothing-increasing poverty brought only more quarrels, discontent and strife.
One day, as the woman was left alone, she was thinking upon the stranger's word, when her eye fell on the old Bible. It had been a gift from her mother, but since her death had long been unheeded and unused. A strange foreboding seized her mind. Could it be this the stranger meant? She took it from the shelf, and opened it, and found the verse inscribed on the title page in her mother's handwriting: "The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver." Psa. 119:7272The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. (Psalm 119:72). It cut her to the heart.
"Ah!" thought she, "this is the treasure, then, we have been seeking." How her tears fell fast upon the leaves!
From that time she read the Bible every day, and prayed, and taught the children to pray, but without the husband's knowledge. One day he came home as usual, quarreling, and in a rage. Instead of meeting his angry words with angry replies, she spoke to him gently and kindly.
"Husband," said she, "we have sinned grievously. We have ourselves to blame for all our misery, and we must now lead a different life." He looked amazed.
"What do you say?" was his exclamation. She brought the old Bible and, sobbing, cried: "There is the treasure. See, I have found it!”
The husband's heart was moved. She read to him of the Lord Jesus, and of His love. Next day she read, and again and again; she sat with her children around, drinking in the blessed Word of God.
A year later the stranger returned that way. Seeing the cottage, he remembered the circumstances of his visit, and thought he would call and see his old friends again. He did so, but he would scarcely have known the place; it was so clean, so neat and orderly. He opened the door, and at first thought he was mistaken, for the inmates came to meet, him so kindly, with the peace of God beaming in their faces.
"How are you, my dear people?" said he. Then they knew the stranger, and for some time they could not speak.
"Thanks, thanks, dear sir, we have found the treasure," they at length cried out. "Now dwells the blessing of the Lord in our home and His peace in our hearts.”
It was indeed to a transformed home the stranger had returned. They had found that precious treasure—the Word of God, and as they searched through it, they found that supremely glorious treasure—the Lord Jesus. They saw their ruined state, that they were guilty before God, and that sin had caused their misery and wretchedness. But they had found, too, that: "God hath made Him to be sin for us, He Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5:2121For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21).
They had received that Savior as their own, and had become children of God (see John 1:1212But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)), and were taken out of darkness, and brought into His glorious light.
What about you, dear reader? Are your sins gone? Do you stand before God as a poor, condemned, guilty one?
"He that believeth not is condemned already." John 3:1818He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18). But blessed be God! His well-beloved Son has taken the guilty sinner's place, and was condemned in our stead; for "Christ died for the ungodly," Rom. 5:66For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6), is His word. Own yourself as ungodly, for that is what every sinner is, and take the Savior who died that you might live.