BY JORDAN MAYER
“I rejoice at your word
like one who finds great spoil.”
The title of this devotional, Spoils of His Word, comes out of Psalm 119:162. The idea of spoils hearkens back to the times of the Old
Testament. The Old Testament is filled with accounts of Israel’s battles against the surrounding nations. One of the hallmarks of these battle accounts is actually what occurs after the battle has taken place. Joshua 8 recounts one such battle that the Israelites fought against the people of Ai. After thoroughly defeating them, “only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as their plunder, according to the word of the Lord that he commanded Joshua” (Joshua 8:27). I’m sure we are all familiar with the
phrase, “To the victor goes the spoils”. Spoils are the reward of victory. After a hard-fought battle, the soldiers had the pleasure of discovering what riches lay inside the conquered city and then dividing the spoil among themselves. This imagery is used to describe the experience of opening the pages of Scripture. It conveys the sense of value, delight, and truth found in the very words of Creator God.
BETTER THAN GOLD
Spoil is spoil because it holds great value. No one ever sat around after a great battle dividing the rubble among themselves. The greatest spoils were the vast storehouses of riches that a city possessed like gold, silver, and jewels. Imagine being one of the ones to enter a conquered city and find a dazzling display of treasures. It’s fitting then that reading Scripture is likened to the soldier who finds this great treasure. Yet, do we not read that the Word of God is even better than thousands of pieces of gold and silver? (Psalm 119:72) For while gold and silver may be valuable for a time, we know that it ultimately cannot last. They may be taken from us, lost, or simply wasted away by the processes of nature. And when we die, they lose any value that they were to us. But, when we read the very words of
God, we discover a treasure beyond all comparison: eternal life. For, as we read in Matthew 13, these words of eternal life are like a man that finds treasure hidden in a field. So great is the value of this treasure that he sells all that he has in order that he may obtain it.
SWEETER THAN HONEY
Elsewhere in Scripture, we are told that the Word is sweeter than honey (Psalm 119:103). It is a delight to our heart, mind, and soul. But why honey you might ask? While bread is considered a staple, representing how the Word is the very food for our soul; honey is a delicacy. It is not just sustenance, it’s a dessert! It’s sweet and pleasurable to the taste buds. Put simply, it tastes good! In the same way, God’s Word, while being food for our soul, is also a delight and a joy to read. It feeds our soul, but it also satisfies our soul. The earth is filled with endless hollow delights that bring pleasure for a time, but soon fade as the novelty wears off. Not so with the Word of God. How many times have we returned to the same passage, only to discover a fresh truth to apply. So then, I will allow the words of Scripture to speak for itself. “My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 24:13-14).
LIVING AND ACTIVE
Unlike gold and silver which are inanimate objects, the Word is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). How incredible! What other book in all of history could claim such a description? While many a good book can engage our mind and delight our heart, it is Scripture, and Scripture alone, that pierces to the very soul! Our own experience testifies to this great truth. How many times have you been cut to the heart by a particular verse or passage? That despite all the time, history, and culture that separates you from when it was written, it still speaks directly into your life and circumstances like a fresh word spoken from a trusted friend. This great treasure of the Word is alive and active because the incarnate Word of God is alive and active. Getting to know Scripture is inexplicably tied to getting to know Jesus. The Word is alive because He is alive! “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory
as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14)
My eager hope and prayer in beginning this devotional is that we may be reminded of the priceless treasure that has been given to us. Not only did God decide to make Himself known to us, He decided to give us His written Word. Compiled over hundreds of years, written by many different authors yet divinely inspired, and shepherded throughout history in order that we might know it and might know Him. May God forgive all the times that we neglect His Word and lose sight of its indescribable worth. Let this devotional be a showroom of sorts. A place where we discover and admire the golden nuggets and precious jewels of His Word. So now, I invite you to come alongside as we open the pages of Scripture and divide the spoils of His Word.
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