I have been thinking about why the Psalmist says in Psalm 119:72 “Your words are greater than gold”.
Mark 10: 46-52 tells the story of a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus (whose name, by the way means “son of the unclean’).
I believe if we take a look into his life we will see that the treasure he discovered in his relationship with God was far greater than the gold and silver he had spent his life begging for.
… as you think of him…how his life may have turned out at the end…. how your life may turn out at the end if you consider that truly God’s Word is greater than gold.
Here at the roadside was Bartimaeus, blind, of poor reputation and heritage and his life was about to be changed forever! He had come to this spot for a long time and the only things familiar to him were the sounds of the people as they passed by and the feel of the dusty road beneath his hands.
Today though, he could sense the excitement crackling in the air, the swell of the people, well he was not sure, but by the sounds, it seemed to have grown larger. He was jostled and nudged by the throng but was unable to travel alongside them.
He hugged his old cloak to his body, for a short, quick moment relishing the comforting feel and smell of it. How he had appreciated this garment over the years as it had protected him from cold and the heat of the sun and it was a dear familiar thing he had worn for years. Because he was blind he could not see how shabby it looked now, but he could feel. Sometimes, no matter how tightly he hugged it to himself the wind whistled through the holes and chilled his body. Other times he really was hot and feeling flushed although the hood hid his face and his need of cleansing.
The familiarity of it was as comforting as the feel of the dirt between his fingers, this place on the road where he had sat and begged for years.
Today it was different; he could tell by the smells and sounds all around him. This Man, Jesus, this Son of David who was rumoured to be full of love and compassion and mercy was passing by and he sensed the excitement all around him touching and stirring his soul. This was no ordinary day and he was eager to be part of it. He had heard people talking about miracles and healings; and so he began to shout to Jesus not knowing where He was and the more people tried to quiet him the more insistently he shouted.
He could hardly believe his ears when he heard Jesus call him to come and swallowing hard he cast off his trepidation. He rose and throwing off his cloak, throwing life’s comfort to the wind, he ran blindly, exposed and vulnerable.
Kneeling at the feet of Jesus, he asked for sight to come into his beggar’s eyes. The gift of mercy was freely given and Bartimaeus was rewarded with the gift of sight… he could see!
His mind raced with the realization that this indeed was no ordinary day, what he had just received was so much greater than gold, and he knew his days of begging were over.
In the years that followed he had many experiences and opportunities to talk with people and it seemed to him that the Lord had given him a ministry gift of exhortation for he found that he was always encouraging folks to cast aside being enveloped in familiar comforts, to dare to dream, to step out and trust God.
Some, like Peter and John healed the sick, others preached the Word, pastored, and prayed and each of them were living their lives and serving the Son in the area where the Lord had directed and called them. In addition, every single one of them who had been serving the Lord over the years had to be learning to cast off their familiar, comforting cloaks.
He himself had taught many lessons using his old cloak as an example. Why, he had even reached into one of its old pockets and taught how the Lord wanted all the hidden contents of our hearts surrendered to Him. He had learned not to rely on the old things of his life and the old cloak had been a perfect example of how in our new life as Christians we are to put off the old self and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us the fullness of the Image of the Son.
Yes, he had enjoyed serving his Lord these past years and with a grin he knew his years as a blind beggar had stood him in good stead, somehow prepared him for this new way of life.
His new robes, although he still could not see them were robes of righteousness and garments of praise and the wondrous things that Jesus revealed from the pockets of these robes amazed him still.
God had been teaching him to trust Him as his source for all things and he had learned over the years that the One who he still could not see with his now seeing eyes had been faithful to meet every one of his needs and more!
He had grown to become a man of wisdom with keen insights into the ways and purposes of God. Freely he had received and freely he gave to people. His reputation as a man who had a word for the weary, a word in season and out was well known and people were always asking him to come and teach them about Jesus because they knew he had developed an intimate relationship with God.
Indeed, he had a vast and limitless source and the Lord had enabled him to encourage many in their walk of faith. In his old age, peace filled his heart knowing he had been obedient to the calling of his Lord.
Truly, seeking Jesus and finding Him had been his greatest reward in life, his greatest discovery to learn that His words were far greater than gold. His life was lived now as a son of God, an heir of the King, pure, holy and altogether righteous. A beggar no longer.
Seeking the King with you on this journey of love and joy,