Are you one of those people who simply can’t pass up a good deal? Can you spot a value when you see it? My wife is such a person. She’s a lot like her father that way. I used to jokingly say that he could step out on the front porch and smell a bargain within 50 miles. If you are not gifted in this way, I’m sure you know someone who is. The Bible even has something to say on this topic. Well, it reports that there is an item that is of such great value that no one should pass it up. In the wise counsel of Proverbs 23:23 we read: “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”
The most cost effective venture we can undertake is to buy the truth! Notice the implication? In order to possess the truth of which Solomon writes, we must be willing to give something in exchange for it. There are many examples that make this clear. Consider the following:
— Jesus said that we must abide in or continue in His word in order to know the truth, which makes us free. (See: John 8:31-32)
— As recorded in 2 Timothy 2:15, the Apostle Paul once wrote the following to Timothy: “Do your best (give diligence, NASB) to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
What do we conclude? Well, it seems clear to me that a means by which we buy the truth is through giving of our time and putting forth diligent effort in study, meditation and memorization of the Word of God.
Not only are we to buy the truth, we are also admonished: “Do not sell it!” There are priceless possessions, things that no amount of money can buy. The truth of God’s Word written on our hearts is a priceless possession which we are to treasure. We are not to sell out cheaply by following the world’s counsel rather than God’s. This idea is brought to light in Psalm 1:1-2, “1Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Moreover, we must not exchange the purity of God’s truth for the mendacious messages of the evil one. (See: John 8:44-45 and Romans 1:25.)
We must be mindful of the fact that the things of this world will perish, but the truth of God’s Word will abide forever (cf. 1 Peter 1:25). Adding nuggets of the truth of God’s Word to the storehouse of our hearts, then, is to grow one of the greatest treasure troves known to humanity. Nothing of this world is of sufficient worth that it might be given in exchange for it, either.
By following this inspired counsel—putting forth the time and effort to inscribe God’s truth in our hearts and diligently hanging on to it—there is great reward! In it we find the keys to wisdom, discipline and understanding. Increasing in these will enable us to experience first hand the value of truth. God’s wisdom will guide us in the paths of righteousness. God’s discipline will correct our course should be stray. Indeed, an understanding of God’s ways will keep us on track throughout all of life.
So, buy the truth, by all appropriate means! But, do not sell it, no matter what!
© Bill Williams
September 5, 2006