Numbers – Gold, Real Gold!
I wonder if we, as a culture, have done a grave disservice to the contemporary learner. Have we taught them to love learning and knowledge? Or have we taught to the test? In other words, have we taught them simply how to use education to obtain a degree?
Too often the modern-day student learns what he needs to know in order to pass a test, so he can pass the class. Passing enough classes earns him the right to a degree. Now that he has the degree, he can finally get a job in his field of study. Once he starts his job the real learning will begin. But what of the educational experience? Has the student enjoyed learning? Has he loved the information he has gained? Or was the educational experience simply a means to an end?
The individual has spent the first twenty years or so of their life learning. Unless the job demands it the idea of continuing to study is often met with the perspective that the educational stage of life is in the past. Too often the thought of studying the Bible is met with resistance and fits into the same perspective – I’m done studying. I’ve done my learning! It’s the Pastor’s profession. It’s his job to learn for me, then summarize what I need to know in a Sunday morning sermon!
Sometimes it’s hard enough to get the contemporary Christian to read the Bible regularly, to say nothing of the monumental task to get them to study the Word of God. How unfortunate! Wait, that’s not strong enough. How horribly tragic!
We often build exemptions for ourselves. Sure one should study the Bible, but I’m exempt because of one or more of the following reasons:
- I don’t have time.
- I barely understand the Bible when I read it, I can’t imagine how complicated it would be to try to study it.
- I don’t know how to study the Bible.
- The Bible is boring.
- I have kids, I don’t have the time nor the energy to study the Bible.
- I don’t have money for the resources to study the Bible.
- (My personal favorite) I’m just not smart enough!
I could take the time to refute each one of these reasons (let’s be honest excuses), but let me just expose excuse number one.
I don’t have time. “Look”, you may say, “you don’t know me! I really am too busy!” I would like to assure you, I live in the real world too. I know exactly how busy many of us can become. The single mom juggling raising kids and working three part-time jobs to try and make ends meet barely gets any downtime. The college student overwhelmed with homework and a job often doesn’t get enough sleep at night, when would they find the time to study God’s book? I could go on and on with actual real-life examples of the busy person. “So mister high and mighty”, you may retort, “don’t lay a guilt trip on me!”
I get it, I really do. But what if we were thinking about it all wrong. What if we changed the word from study to mining? Here’s what I mean. What if I owned an actual gold mine and I said to you feel free to come to my gold mine anytime you want as often as you want. You may bring whatever size container you want and fill it up. Feel free to take the container back to your house, dump it and come back and fill it up as many times as you want. You can walk around outside and just pick up the nuggets you find or you can enter the mine and go down as deeply as you want. This is actual, real gold and you can do whatever you want with it. Which one of the above excuses would keep you from going to the gold mine?
Here’s an example of a gold nugget maybe not laying on the ground, maybe just inside the door of the gold mine, that I believe is of immense value if we would simply pick it up and put it in our bucket. Have you noticed in the book of Numbers the repeating phrase, “the Lord spoke to Moses”? Yeah, it occurs 104 times in the Old Testament. Can you imagine if the Lord God of Heaven spoke to us, I mean actually spoke to us, 104 times throughout our lifetime? For Moses it was probably way more than that many times, it just happens to have been recorded in the pages of the Holy Bible that many times.
How different might be my life if God were to speak to me that regularly? Would I be challenged, encouraged, strengthened, equipped? Would my life take on new meaning? Would I grow as a person, in my relationships, in my abilities?
I know that a five-gallon pail full of golden nuggets would certainly enrich my financial life. I also know that whether I walk the grounds of the Spiritual gold mine, or spend hours probing the depths of God’s Holy book, my soul is truly enriched – every time.
I don’t want to make you feel guilty. I want to encourage you, no matter the size of your bucket or how much time you can allocate to the study of God’s Word, set aside some time to mine for gold. A few minutes or a few hours, spend time with God in His Holy Word and you will truly be enriched!
God truly is worthy of all our praise and worship and more!