One of the books I remember reading as a young adult was titled, “The Search for the Atocha.” It was written by Dr. Eugene Lyon. This thrilling account told of the hunt by Mel Fisher and his crew for a ship called the Atocha that was laden with treasure and that sank off the coast of Florida in 1622. This decades-long adventure included horrific tragedies as well as the discovery of unfathomable riches.
What caught my interest most as I read this was how Dr. Lyon’s research in ancient archives housed in Spain helped uncover treasure that had been sitting untouched at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean for almost four hundred years. The information he discovered in those dust-covered, ageless manuscripts was there for centuries, and was seemingly of little interest to others. And yet, when the right person came along, knowledge leading to the discovery of treasure valued at hundreds of millions of dollars was uncovered.
A friend of mine recently told me of a conversation he had with his sister. He was sharing of how reading the Bible had changed his life. In response, she said something along the lines of, “The Bible, isn’t that just a very old book.”
The truth is, the Bible contains knowledge, wisdom, and insight so valuable that there’s simply no way to calculate it. If a million treasure ships like the Atocha were discovered, the value of their contents would not even begin to hint at what the Bible holds. This is due to the fact that all earthly treasure is temporary. The treasure held within the Bible, by contrast, is eternal.
Far more than simply information, the Bible leads to the riches that can be found in an intimate relationship with God Almighty. He is the Creator of all that was, all that is, and everything that will ever be. He is all that’s good, and stands against all that’s evil. Knowing that every person who ever lived is separated from him by sin, God opened a way for us to draw near to Him through the death of Jesus on our behalf.
By receiving Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we can be reconciled to God and be granted eternal life in His presence. Moreover, for the time we remain on earth, God guides us by His word, the Bible, and invites us to bring our needs to him in prayer. He also allows his Spirit to live within us. By the Holy Spirit we are empowered to know peace and joy that is available in no other way, and are led along the paths of life as we listen, discern, and allow the truth held within Scripture to serve as our guide to that which pleases God.
Yes, the Bible is a very old book. And like those ancient archives in Spain that led one man to help discover treasure on the ocean floor, the Bible will guide all who choose to open it and immerse themselves in it to far greater things than we can even imagine. The question is, “Why do so few ever discover the eternal riches that are so accessible to us?”
The invitation to discover eternal treasure hidden in plain sight is open to all. This can be seen in Jeremiah 33:2-3 (ESV) that reads:
Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it – the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Will you be among the relatively few who make the most important discovery of all? If so, we encourage you to begin by reading the New Testament book of John. Prayerfully reading or listening to this book will open doors through which few ever choose to walk. Will you be among them?
Click HERE to read the ESV version of The Gospel of John.
Click HERE to hear the NIV version of The Gospel of John.