Here’s a riddle for you—complete with my own best guesses…
- What revives the soul (strong coffee?)
- Makes simple people wise (Spark Notes?)
- Makes your heart rejoice (a whopping tax return?)
- Enlightens you (People magazine?)
- Endures forever (a bad haircut?)
- Is more desirable than gold (a cleaning service?)
- Is sweeter than honey (boardwalk fudge?)
- Offers great reward (the ad for the gym?)
I was reading Psalms the other day and came across this exact riddle in Psalm 19 (admittedly in a slightly different form.) As I read it, my eyes opened wider and my grogginess wore off. I thought, “Hey, I need all this stuff!” My soul needs to be revived, I need wisdom desperately, my heart needs to rejoice, I need to be enlightened, and I definitely want great reward. This is quite a sales pitch. And since I found it in the Bible and not in a magazine, it’s got to be true!
So are you ready? The answer is God’s Word. But now that you know the answer, do you feel a hint of disappointment? Are you thinking, “Oh, it’s a spiritual answer—there really isn’t anything real and practical that accomplishes all of that. Bummer.”
Those are your idols talking. They’re jealous because they want you to look to them for relief and refreshment. They like to make the bold promises. “You want refreshment?” they ask. “Watch me.” “Buy me.” “Seek me.” “Lust after me.” “Trust in me.”
They’re all liars though.
What they offer isn’t always wrong: shopping is fun, working out is healthy, steaming coffee is a gift from God. But the bold font on their billboards promising true satisfaction will slowly rip and fade like all the other marketing ploys.
Psalm 19 offers us the opportunity to learn the truth now and not have to figure it out by crashing and burning over and over. God’s Word brings life. Now we just need to believe it.
So let’s remind ourselves of these eternal truths:
What will truly revive the soul? The perfect law of the Lord.
What will make the simple mind wise? The sure testimony of the Lord.
What will make the heart rejoice? The right precepts of the Lord.
What will enlighten the eyes? The pure commandment of the Lord.
In other words, God speaks truth, through scripture, into our lied-to hearts. He’s given us pages full of perfection, straight from his own holy mind. And those words and their results bring all that we desire: refreshment, wisdom, rejoicing, enlightenment, righteousness, sweetness, and reward. What a promise! What a deal! And no member fees!
Let’s pray that our eyes may be opened to see God’s Word as the treasure it is: “More to be desired…than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.”