attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in who are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col 2:2-3
What are treasures for? What are riches for? What need do they fulfill? You really don't need treasure or riches. Don't get me wrong, you need the basic necessities of life, but having things like food, water, clothing, shelter, etc don't require riches, you just need enough to get by. 'Riches' and 'treasures' imply an overabundance beyond need. Those that have food can survive, but those that have riches can eat the best of foods. Those that have shelter can survive, but those that have treasure have mansions.
Riches take you beyond the realm of 'need' into the realm of 'want.' Riches also carry the idea of extreme happiness. Worries are gone, and life is good.
Now I am certainly not against riches and treasure in regards to money (because most americans are extremely rich by most standards of living). But earthly riches and treasures are nothing to be compared with the 'riches of full understanding' and 'all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.'
When the apostle Paul is writing this letter to the Colossians he is not just talking to them about what they need to know, but explaining to them that there is great treasure beyond what they need. Having the basics will get you by enough to survive, but there is a whole treasure chest full of wonderful things that God wants us to know. Earthly treasure won't bring us true joy and happiness, but the these treasures will fulfill us beyond our wildest dreams!
In this passage (Col 3:2), Paul tells us that it is a rich thing to fully understand the mysteries of God. I can personally attest to this fact. It is true.
I remember when I was first saved and gave my heart fully to the Lord. After I would finish with school and work I would go up into my bedroom every day and read the bible. I would read and read and read. But even though I read a lot, I was very confused. I didn't understand. I was like the guy in Acts chapter 8:
How can I [understand], unless someone guides me? Acts 8:30
I remember crying out to God in tears, because I was so confused. I just wanted to understand.
One day while reading the book of proverbs, I came across this passage:
My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of The Lord, and find the knowledge of God. – Proverbs 2:1-5
This passage show us a couple of things. Number one, its shows that it IS possible to understanding the knowledge of God, and number two, it is available to those who seek it.
When I got ahold of that passage, I began to cry out to God, just like it had said. I endeavored to seek God with all my heart, and search for His treasure of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. God began to answer my prayers in many ways. He first hooked me up with a great bible study, He then sent me to bible college, but most importantly, He began to teach me things Himself, by His Holy Spirit.
The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. – 1 John 2:26
God's word is such a beautiful treasure, but only if you understand it. When you begin to understand it, it burns in your heart like a fire shut up in your bones. The joy and happiness that comes from such knowledge is hard to describe. Its something you have to experience for yourself.
Paul experienced this knowledge. He wrote about it often. In fact, he said that he would willing give up every earthly thing that he ever possessed and every earthly position he ever had to attain this knowledge. Indeed he gave up both of these things.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ – Philippians 3:7-8
Too many people get by with just what they need from God's word. They barely get by in their christian life (if they are christians at all) and come to God's word like a beggar trying to get just enough food to keep from dying. They don't see God's word like a treasure. They don't know that they can be rich in knowledge and wealthy in understanding. And sadly, many people will live and die never experiencing the treasures of the knowledge of God.
God's treasure is here for our taking, but just like earthly treasure, it takes work and dedication to dig it out. Set your heart to seek after God's treasures of knowledge and wisdom. Spend time digging in to His word. Ponder what it is saying. Ask God for help. Soon you will understand why Paul would give up everything he ever had for such knowledge. You will experience the fire in your bones. You will experience joy unspeakable and full of glory. And not only that, but you will be equipped to deliver others out of the bondage of slavery and make a great difference for the kingdom of God.
Knowledge is joy, knowledge is power. Seek after God's knowledge with all your heart. Amen.