Bible Studies in Colossians
Col 2:1-4 The Divine Treasure Hunt!
by I Gordon
 ↩ Although we certainly do know though that Laodicea was increasing in wealth and by the time the book of Revelation was written, about 30 years later, we can plainly read the thoughts of Jesus concerning the Laodicean church... and it's not the best report card! He didn't have one good thing to say about that church!
 ↩ As some examples, God hid the knowledge of the Church in the Old Testament times. Christ himself is also called 'a mystery' (something previously hidden but now revealed) in Colossians 2:2. God has hidden the day of the return of Jesus Christ (despite many previous unsuccessful claims to the contrary!) Paul himself was once caught up into Heaven and heard things 'that man is not permitted to speak about'. So there are the things revealed, which are ours and the things kept secret, which we cannot know - yet! But one day it will all be revealed!
 ↩ My sisters little dog is called Lockie. When he comes over to my house he plays 'Find it'. Not the most original name but the game it great; for him anyway. While he sits in the kitchen (having been told to 'stay') we hide little treats around the house. Then we yell 'find it' and he uses that God given sniffer of his to search for them and find them. He loves this game. He knows he is going to play it every time he comes and wags his little tail at mighty speeds in anticipation! Now, we could just give him a treat when he comes straight away and not make him look for it. We could... but it isn't nearly as much fun for Lockie. It is so much more rewarding when he has to search it all out and finally find one! You know where I am going with this I'm sure. God could just lay out all his spiritual gems for us on a plate... but the reward is so much greater when we have to put in some effort and then find a gem!
 ↩ I had a recent example of God keeping things hidden from an unbeliever. I was replying to an Atheist to who written into the website. He obviously didn't believe that God exists - and didn't even believe that Jesus existed! I gave some reasons why I believe and he wrote why he doesn't. All in all, an exercise in futility! He wrote:
'The Christian god of the bible is a horrible entity; if it existed, and I guarantee I would not worship that god...All who believe in God generally agree that their god is: All powerful, all loving, and all knowing. But yet if you read the Bible God is none of these things. He is none of what believers believe him to be based upon an honest reading of their own 'holy book'. For example: All Powerful - Can God create a stone too heavy for Himself to move? If you answer yes - God is incapable of moving the stone. If you answer no, God is incapable of creating the stone. It is impossible to be 'all powerful'. '
Now I must admit I was very tempted to write back saying: 'Wow - you are right! You know, I've been thinking about it and I don't think God can draw a round square either! I mean, there is what you've seen, and now the round square thing... that's two things He can't do... what else is He not telling us about?' But I refrained - Sarcasm doesn't normally win many over! He also made reference to other things like the Bible's reference to 'the four corners of the earth' and how this proves that the Bible teaches 'a flat earth'. Oh the wisdom of man that can reduce God to nothing! What does Romans 1 say? 'Professing to wise they became fools'. No wonder Jesus spoke in a way that kept some things hidden from those who hate Him.
 ↩ Major Ian Thomas (as quoted in Bob George's book 'Classic Christianity') said 'If an unbeliever were to walk into a Christian bookstore, he would see the shelves just blanketed with 'how to' books... everything from how to run a Christian business, to how to lead a Christian exercise class, to how to cook a Christian dinner. The unbeliever's response would probably be 'Don't you Christians know how to do anything?'
 ↩ As a way of illustration, a friend from church recently went to a Christian camp at a Bible College and found herself in a conversation with a Bible College staff member. I'll put her comments in italics. He asked:
So what church do you go to? Living waters, we are a small fellowship but the word of God is preached.
Ok. I go to a small fellowship as well. How many would you have at your church? Um, Just under 30 and about 10 kids for Sunday school if everyone turns up.
Wow! That is small. We have about 300. So do you have a pastor? No just a group of leaders and a few of the guys have turns at preaching. We have worship and use an overhead.
Really? So you don't use power point? No. Oh well what about a music team and a sound system? No sound system, just Athol on the guitar and Sarah plays the keyboard, they have turns and if they don't come we just sing without them.
Really? Well, do you have your own building? No. But we support some missionaries and missions.
Well, do you own any land? No we just rent a couple of classrooms at a School.
Wow! Really? So... so... so where do you see your church going? Um, Heaven!
To which he laughed and said 'Good answer!' Priceless simplicity I thought! People love to focus on numbers, programs, buildings, power point presentations, and how-to manuals! It's about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
 ↩ Now I was thinking about this in the context of finding hidden treasure and the techniques that are used. But alas, though I would like to, I've never gone gold mining or the like. But I did have a misspent youth searching for something almost as precious - Golf ball hunting. My brother and I grew up just up the road from a golf course and spent a lot of time there. I still remember finding my first golf ball - I was about 6 years old searching on a bank when suddenly I saw it! It was in the distance so I ran and grabbed it! A brand spanking new, pearly white golf ball - no cuts, no scuffs. I couldn't believe how easy it was find them. I was so happy. My first day looking for golf balls and I'd got one! Then I heard someone yell out - 'Oi!' 'You put that back!' Unfortunately you see, the ball that I found was 'found' in the middle of the fairway!
Now there is a point to this story. Well, not that story just gone. That didn't have a point. Other than don't take 5 and 6 year olds golf ball hunting. But there is a point to bringing up regarding golf ball hunting. As you get good at this you start to train your eye to see the treasure... you're not just idly walking along hoping a ball turns up. You actually keep the thought and image of the ball in your mind as you look - and you actively look for that. You know what you are looking for. Sometimes you would see only the smallest fraction of a golf ball - it could be nearly totally buried, but because you are actively looking for it even the small glimpse is enough. And then you uncover it. It is similar when you read the word of God. Look for Jesus, the true treasure, in its pages. Look for that which points to Christ - who He is and what He would do! It may just start as the smallest glimpse. But keep meditating on it for it is the treasure that God has for us. And it's not just in His word, but in creation, in His providence and His dealings with us - God is always trying to teach us more. Look for what He is trying to teach you through these different experiences.