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Desire of Nations Parish, Stellenbosch
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John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

This Week

Stumbling on the Treasure
Matthew 13:44

Pastor Dr Funlola Olojede
16 Apr 2017
by Pastor Dr Funlola Olojede

Matthew 13:44! How rich a Bible passage this one is! Seven times, we have explored the parable contained in it, each time in a different way.

The fellow in this story, a normal, hard-working man, stumbles on a treasure while labouring a field belonging to another. He hides the treasure and sells all his possession to purchase the said field. Likewise, the Word of God is full of hidden treasures that wait to be discovered.

Some treasures can be found after a long search: just like, in the secular, someone would dig way below the surface to find crude oil. Treasures can also be found by revelation. But, other times, one can just stumble on a treasure, just like by accident.

 

Beyond the treasure-finder himself, let us also consider the treasure and the factors - they are four - that led to its seemingly fortuitous discovery:

 

  • The "work-of-labour" factor: The treasure-finder in this parable is a hard-working fellow; this passage tells that he kept working hard and steadfastly, without quitting. How sad that most Christians these days prefer a life of leisure, not wanting to work at all.

Beloved, the Apostle Paul puts it in unequivocal terms - "any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The popular say - "There is dignity in labour!" has not lost its veracity. Work, and always work!

 

  • The time factor: this treasure-finder had been labouring the field day and night, without discovering anything, until his season came (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

 

Beloved, there are some things that cannot come to someone unless they are ready for them. You might be praying for something, fasting about it and asking God repeatedly, but Heaven might know that you're not ready for it. Therefore, always ask yourself the question - Is it the right time for me? Time is the key! God does things in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

The man in this passage is seen working day and night, building wisdom, developing his capacity to accommodate fame and riches when they come.

 

  • The chance factor: time is one thing, but opportunity is another thing altogether; that is the case of the fellow in this passage of ours, who stumbles on his treasure, just by chance...

 

Beloved, success is in part labour, in part timing and in part chance; so, it is not all by labour alone - "... the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

 

The case of Obededom, in 2 Samuel 6:1-11, is an eloquent example of a man who was favoured by chance. As David purposed to bring the Ark of God back to Jerusalem, the incident of Uzzah's sudden death, sowed fear in the heart of all that witness and discouraged the king from taking the Ark anymore. Chance then came to a nonentity, Obededom, in whose house the Ark was abandoned. The Bible relates how much blessed he got for merely hosting the Ark in his house... Just by chance, blessings came his way!

Beloved, in this month of April, opportunities will come knocking at your door, open the door! When they do come, do not just embrace them, grab them, hold on tight to them and do not let go!

 

  • The God factor: The most powerful of all!

The time factor and the chance factor are all dependent on the God factor.

One might labour harder than ever at a time that appears right, when all opportunities seem to present themselves, when the stars seem aligned for a breakthrough; but ultimately, it is God, and only God That gives increase (1 Corinthians 3:5-6).

 

Beloved, the God factor is the most important; some do not receive what’s due to them because the God factor is simply missing in the equation. It is God Who gives power to get wealth and success, and to find treasures (Deuteronomy 8:18).

 

It is God Who, often in an unsuspected manner, often working behind the scenes, makes all things work together in one's favour. For the fellow in our passage, the first three factors interact to lead him to finding his treasure, but God, although not mentioned explicitly, was also there: He orchestrated it all.