Here are today’s OT18 Bible readings: Numbers 8, Song of Songs 6, Psalm 119:49-72.
This devotional is about Psalm 119:72: “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”
Would you rather be wealthy or smart?
On one hand...
- You might be tempted to choose “smart” if you think that superior intellect can be used in multiple ways, including to earn you wealth.
- You might be tempted to choose “wealthy” if you think that money can buy you brains.
On the other hand...
- If you’re wealthy but lack intelligence, someone smarter than you might swindle you out of all your money.
- There is no guarantee that being smart will make you wealthy. I read somewhere once that really smart people are risk-averse because they can think of ways in which things might go wrong. Earning wealth often requires risk so people with very high I.Q.’s tend to take jobs instead of starting businesses because a job feels safer.
So, money or smarts? A good case can be made for either. Here in Psalm 119:72, the Psalmist knew the answer to a similar question. That question was, “Would you rather be wealthy or have God’s word?” His answer was, “God’s Word.” He put more value on God’s revelation than on a vast amount of wealth. Why?
One reason was that he had been “afflicted” (v. 67, 71a). This describes the discipline of the Lord in his life which corrected his disobedience and put him back on a righteous path. In that incident of discipline, the author of this song learned how valuable truth and obedience are. Wealth can make problems go away but only God’s word and God’s loving discipline can change your life. This is one reason why God’s word is more valuable than wealth.
Another reason is that money is temporary. Even if you inherit a large fortune and use skill to make it grow, you will die someday. After you die, your money will be useless to you and your eternity will be set. God’s word has saving power to create faith in your heart so that you can be redeemed from God’s wrath by his grace. That’s an eternal value that makes scripture more valuable than any human wealth.
What’s most valuable in your life? What would need to be true for you to value scripture above anything else?