The fear of the Lord is his treasure. (Isaiah 33:6)
“The fear of the Lord is his treasure.” And, oh, what a treasure is this fear! Treasure in ancient times was generally hidden; it was concealed from the eye of man, hoarded up, and not brought out ostentatiously to view. Wealthy men of old hid the knowledge of their treasures, lest they should be robbed of them by the hand of violence.
So spiritually, the fear of the Lord is hidden in the heart, and lies deep in the soul; it is not spread out ostentatiously to view, but is buried out of sight in a man’s conscience. But though hidden from others, and sometimes even from ourselves, this “fear of the Lord” will act as circumstances draw it forth. There may be times and seasons when we seem almost hardened and conscience-seared; sin appears to have such power over us, and evil thoughts and desires so carry us away, that we cannot trace one atom of godly fear within; and the soul cries, “What will become of me! Where am I going now! What will come next on such a wretch as I feel myself to be!”
But place him in such circumstances, say, as befell Joseph, then he will find that the “fear of the Lord” is in him a fountain of life, a holy principle springing up in his soul. Thus, this fear, which is a part of the heavenly treasure, acts when most needed. And the more the life of God is felt in the soul, the more the fear of God flows forth as a fountain of life to depart from the snares of death. The more lively the grace of God is in the soul, the more lively will godly fear be in the heart; and the more the Spirit of God works with power in the conscience, the deeper will be the fear of God in the soul.
– J.C Philpot
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27)
Look, therefore, always for Christ in the Scripture. He is the treasure hid in the field, both of the Old and New Testament . . . Have Christ, then, always in view, when you are reading the Word of God, and this, like the star in the east, will guide you to the Messiah, will serve as a key to everything that is obscure, and unlock to you the wisdom and riches of all the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
– George Whitefield
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)
In the natural realm, the more we grow up — the more independent we become. When we were infants we depended on our parents to feed us, clothe us and change our soiled diapers. But soon we were able to eat on our own, change our own clothes and clean ourselves without their help. When we are come to full age we are then said to be self-dependent or self-reliant. We work and provide for our own needs as well as for the needs of our children.
Now consider that the opposite is true concerning spiritual maturity. The more we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, the more dependent upon God we become (Proverbs 3:5). The more mature we become, the more we are able to see the vileness of our nature and the deceptive nature of our own heart. We are made to feel and know our proneness to all sorts of sin and uncleanness (Isaiah 51:1; Romans 7:18-25; Philippians 3:8-11; Job 40:4).
Therefore, we are made to cling more tightly to Christ. We are made to labor to enter into the rest of Christ’s one perfect offering for sin. We are made to trust in God’s promises, power, and providence when all of life seems to be contrary to His word. Spiritual maturity is not less dependence on Christ but more dependence upon the Salvation of God. As believers spiritually grow up, our faith in Christ, our hope that is by Christ and our love for Christ also grow. And all the while, our confidence in — and dependence upon — the flesh decreases (Philippians 3:3).
The children of God live by faith. Thus they began and thus they are to end. “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Their whole life is a life of faith. Their daily actions are all of faith. This forms one of the main elements of their character. It marks them out as a peculiar people. None live as they do. Their faith is to them “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
It is a sort of Substitute for sight and possession. It so brings them into contact with the unseen world that they feel as if they were already conversant with, and living among, the things unseen. It makes the future, the distant, the (untouchable), appear as the present, the near, the real.
Such is the power of faith. It throws back into the far distance the things of earth, the things that men call near and real; and it brings forward into vital contact with the soul the things which men call invisible and distant. It discloses to us the heavenly mansions, their passing splendor, their glorious purity, their blessed peace. It shows us the happy courts, the harmonious company, the adoring multitudes. It opens our ears also, so that when beholding these great sights we seem to hear the heavenly melody and to catch the very words of the new song they sing, “Thou art worthy . . . for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).
(Faith), moreover, points our eye forward to what is yet to come: the coming of the Lord, the judgment of the great day, the restitution of all things, the kingdom that cannot be moved, the city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is GOD. While thus it gives to things invisible a body and a form which before they possessed not in our eyes, on the other hand, it divests things visible of that semblance of excellence and reality with which they were formerly clothed. It strips the world of its false but bewildering glow, and enables us to penetrate the thin disguise that hides its poverty and meanness.
It not only sweeps away the cloud which hung above us, obstructing our view of heavenly excellence, but it places that cloud beneath us to counteract the (false) brightness and unreal beauty which the world has thrown over itself to mask its inward deformity. Thus it is that faith enables us to realize our true position of pilgrims and strangers upon earth, looking for the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is GOD.