GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Treasure In Earthen Vessels
The fun and enjoyment of a treasure hunt is exciting to the boys and girls. What will they find? Who will be the one to find it? There are many clues to follow and any move in the wrong direction will make you the last one home, minus the treasure. It's important to follow the directions carefully to assure success.
Life's like that, also. We need to follow the direction given us in the scripture. Paul, the apostle, on the road to Damascus had been overwhelmed with the message he had received from Christ. It was to burn in his innermost being as if he had been branded with a hot iron. Paul recognized that he, being human, had received a treasure from God. This treasure was to be shared with others. God could have entrusted the gospel to be proclaimed by powerful and mighty Angels but instead he decided that weak and mortal man would accomplish his eternal purpose.
That's why Paul writes these words, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the power which surpasses all things may be seen to be of God and not of us."
Think of it! We have this treasure in earthen vessels. And just because we do does not mean we should be filled with pride because after all we are still mortal men: and prone to be the victim of circumstances and subject to all the rigors of human life's frailty and pain.
In Shakespeare's King Lear, Gloucester says: "O let me kiss that hand!" and Lear replies: "Let me wipe it first, it smells of mortality."
This treasure can be compared with a man carrying many precious gems in a cardboard box which has no value. Mankind likes to brag about the great strides he has taken and the vast forces which he now controls. But we know that the real characteristic of man is not his strength but his weakness. Jesus said, "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to your stature?" Man is but one heartbeat away from death and eternity. But God in His infinite wisdom has offered to all of us this treasure in our earthen vessel. The infirmity of the earthen vessels are ours but the treasure is of God and to His glory.
Browning writes of a martyr's words during the Roman persecution.
"I was born sickly, poor and mean,With us also, this world's suffering will be forgotten in the glory of the heavenly "treasure."
Reference: 1 Cor. 4:7 Holy Bible.