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Thieves Robbing Treasure


The Greek name of the burglar was “wall-digger.” The thieves could easily break into the walls of the ancient houses made of sun-burned bricks or loose stones (Job 24:16; Ezek 12:5). Thus, the thieves could easily steal the treasure kept inside the house or hidden beneath the floor. So, everything one earned and kept for the future with selfish motives one could lose suddenly, resulting in despair.

Countries fought one another for the hidden treasures in temples, palaces, and mansions. “In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak, king of Egypt, attacked Jerusalem. He took everything, including the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the house of the king, even the gold shields Solomon had made” (I Kgs 14:25-26). Thus, the Jews lost unexpectedly what they had gained and preserved as precious for years.

Ecclesiastes presents the anguish of one who relied on worldly treasure: “And I detested all the fruits of my toil under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who is to come after me. And who knows whether that one will be wise or a fool? Yet that one will take control of all the fruits of my toil and wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. So my heart turned to despair over all the fruits of my toil under the sun. For here is one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and that one’s legacy must be left to another who has not toiled for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. For what profit comes to mortals from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which they toil under the sun?” (Eccl 2:18-22). Jesus gives a solution to this by asking us to make use of our toil to gain treasure in heaven. That will bring us the joy of supporting others and reward from God.

Based on Jesus’ teachings, James warns the rich, “You have stored up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance” (Jas 5:3b-6).


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