Searching for Treasure in the Copies and Shadows

Last month, I wrote about the weather–that it comes from the treasuries of God. I suggested that even literal and figurative bad weather can be looked upon as treasure if it sends us back to God and His promises.

I’d like to continue examining this idea. There’s a section of Scripture that has me absolutely convinced that when the Bible talks about the treasuries of God, it’s describing a literal heavenly place. Surprisingly, the passage in question doesn’t specifically mention the treasuries of God at all.

Copies of the Original

Hebrews 8-10 discusses the old covenant and the new covenant, the symbol of the tabernacle, the inadequacy of the Law as a means of salvation… It’s a meaty text, but allow me to highlight the verses that set me on a treasure hunt. (All NASB, emphasis mine…)

Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and a shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” –Hebrews 8:4-5

Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. –Hebrews 9:23-25

For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. –Hebrews 10:1

This has long fascinated me. Heaven seems so far away, and spiritual things so difficult to understand. Seeing is not believing, but it is so much easier than believing, and that makes sight such a comfortable substitute for belief.

God knows that about us.

That’s why the idea that God would place concrete earthly things before us as representations of literal heavenly things just thrills me. Symbols, metaphors. Copies and shadows of spiritual things.

So, if we’re on a treasure hunt, then let’s talk about gold.

We understand gold. It’s shiny. Rare. Valuable. Useful. The love of money is the root of all evil, but gold itself? Gold is mined from the earth. It’s part of creation. Gold is good.

Keeping that in mind… well, we like to joke that this verse comes out when the church needs money, but consider Malachi 3:10 for a moment…

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” –Malachi 3:10

This verse plainly illustrates a connection between physical storehouses and God’s heavenly treasuries. What if we learned to seek these connections? After all, it’s only once in a while that we happen to find things that are rare and valuable if we’re not looking for them.

Proverbs 8:17-21 speaks to us as wisdom personified and says,

“I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.
Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring wealth and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold,
And my yield better than choicest silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
To endow those who love me with wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.” –Proverbs 8:17-21

Gold is concrete; the fruit of wisdom is not. Yet because we understand gold, the pursuit of wisdom and its fruit becomes more understandable too, and earthly treasure becomes for us a copy and shadow of the real thing.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7

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If you are interested in this topic and would like me to speak about Spiritual Treasures at your event, send me a note via my contact page and I will follow up with you.

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