Digging for Gold

1023 words | 4 minutes

Apr 27, 2024

There’s treasure in the digging.

“It is in Him that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.” (Colossians 2:3 CJB)

During the Gold Rush years of 1897-1899, thousands of hopeful prospectors, facing near-impossible odds, fought their way up north to the Klondike region of Alaska and Yukon Territory. For most of them, their hopes were sky high, but their chances were razor slim of ever striking it rich and finding the elusive golden treasure of their dreams.

One of those stampeders was Edward B. Lung, a preacher’s son, whose story of his quest for gold in the Klondike is told in the book “Black Sand and Gold” and also in the sequel, “Trail to North Star Gold.” In the story, Ed gave his young wife her first lesson in gold mining. He explained that in the dim and distant past, gold was once carried by ancient waterways and deposited in the riverbeds that now lay up to forty feet below the topsoil. To find those buried deposits of gold, miners had to dig a shaft through centuries of gravel and sand … all the way down to bedrock. In 1897, the tools available to do this were primitive, and the backbreaking work in freezing weather was unimaginably difficult. The Klondike was also full of conmen and thieves, trying to make their fortune “the easy way.” But, the ones who actually found GOLD were the ones who persevered, driving a shaft all the way to BEDROCK … because THAT’s where the gold WAS.

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33 KJV)

Digging for gold is not unlike searching for nuggets of TRUTH in God’s inerrant Word. There’s GOLD to be found there—if you persevere. Though you may hear of baseless claims of so-called “discrepancies, human errors and contradictions” in Scripture—those who dig down to bedrock in the WORD of GOD find that it is absolutely, infallibly TRUE. It is PURE GOLD. “Every word of God is PURE.” (Proverbs 30:5 KJV)

The promises, claims, commands, doctrines, and prophecies contained in Scripture are “forever settled in heaven,” having been carefully protected and preserved through the centuries by GOD Himself, and deposited into our hands. “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold.” (Psalms 19:10 KJV)

“LIGHT is SOWN for the righteous …” (Psalm 97:11 KJV) Dazzling LIGHT! And it’s found by those who take the TIME to dig for it. God’s eternal WISDOM is placed—PLANTED—deeply and intentionally in the soil of the WORD by the Holy Spirit, the ultimate Author of Scripture. It is hidden in hopes that each one of us will DESIRE it—to take the TIME to seek, find, and grasp more than just a handful of the TRUTHS in God’s WORD.

The Gold “RUSH” was so called because that’s what men did to get to the goldfields—often risking life and limb in their fevered haste to get their hands on the GOLD! But once they began to dig for it, there was no point in hurrying—patience and dogged persistence were what paid off. It was that longing for GOLD that kept them digging down through the gravelly muck all through the day and night.

Similarly, we do ourselves a great disservice when we tread the soil of Scripture lightly—reading quickly over the text—without carefully taking the time to explore the deeper meaning, context, intent, and revelation buried there. Even if you’ve heard the familiar stories and Bible verses for decades, there is always something MORE to learn! DIG! There IS treasure in EVERY shovelful … and the deeper we dig, the more treasure we find! The riches of God’s Word are inexhaustible!

There WILL come a time when you desperately NEED a WORD from the LORD. Don’t expect that Word to just be laying on the ground in front of you—requiring no effort on your part. It may be that you will have to get on your knees and DIG for it … and keep digging until the golden glint of God’s WISDOM is unearthed in prayer and study. Alas, many a prospector prematurely gave up on his claim before hitting pay-dirt, as he believed that there was nothing more to be found … when, in truth, true treasure was THERE. IT was DEEPER. Maybe just a shovelful away.

But just like those gold seekers needed simple, proper tools—a pan, a shovel, a pick—so the diligent Bible student finds that tools make the “digging” so much more worthwhile. Simple tools that enable you to consider the context, or “big idea” of the passage: a concordance, commentaries, Bible handbook, cross-referencing Bible, apps like the Blue Letter Bible and Bible Hub, and a journal to record your findings. All of these tools help you to dig out of Scripture what is hidden there—what the Holy Ghost inspired the various authors to write, and why. (Dear Reader, what Bible study tools have YOU found to be helpful?)

“The revelation of your words brings LIGHT and gives understanding to the inexperienced.” (Psalm 119:130 CSB)

Gold is unique. For however long it lies buried, it resists oxidation and, unlike other metals, keeps its bright glow forever. Likewise, no text of Scripture is ever tarnished by age, nor is its brilliance dulled by the passage of time. “ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE (valuable!) …” (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV) … for any people, any class, any culture, any century.

When Ed Lung’s wife had her very first glimpse of raw gold, she cried, “It’s incredible how beautiful and bright it is! Why, the nuggets seem to dance for joy to be freed from the earth!’” That same JOY is ours when we diligently search the Scriptures and free the LIGHT that God has planted there—just for us!

Dear LORD, “I REJOICE in your WORD like one who discovers a great treasure.” (Psalm 119:162 NLT)