October 28, 2019
When in 1922 British archaeologist
Howard Carter, aided by candlelight,
first peered into the dark, hidden,
long-sealed tomb of King Tutankhamun,
his associate asked him what he saw?
"Wonderful things, wonderful things!"
was his reply.
Indeed, Tut's tomb was a treasure
chamber filled with unimaginable wealth
- ancient, hidden, shrouded in darkness.
Can we not compare it to the Bible?
It, too, is
ancient, inscribed thousands of years
ago; and its meaning hidden, though in
plain sight and under incessant
scholarly scrutiny; and shrouded in
darkness, specifically, doubts, fears,
and heresies inspired by the rulers of
darkness to prevent its treasures of
truth from being known; and of
unimaginable wealth, the unspeakable
eternal riches of the knowledge of God
that far surpasses the temporal worth of
earthly gold and silver.
Just a simple, single candle lit
Carter's way into Tut's treasure
chamber. Once inside, his candle
illuminated one wonder after another and
another, leaving the rest for the moment
in darkness, until eventually all Tut's
treasures were, at least visually, his.
appointed another Candle, the Holy
Spirit, to lead Bible archaeologists
into the wonder-filled examination of
His treasure chambers of truth. He is
our Illuminator. "He shall teach you all
things," Jesus said, and "guide you into
all truth," and "take of mine, and shall
show it unto you" (John 14:26; 16:13,
the Spirit's life-changing work of
illumination, R. C. Sproul wrote:
"Though the Scriptures themselves are
light for us, there is need for
additional illumination so that we may
clearly perceive the light. The same
Holy Spirit who inspires the Scripture,
works to illumine the Scriptures for our
benefit. He sheds more light on the
original light." (Reformation Study
Bible, 2113). And Paul informs us the
Illuminator can, if we will, show us
even God's deepest wonders: "The Spirit
searches all things, yes, the deep
things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10).
If we first
receive Him, and then learn to humbly
ask His help every time we read or study
Scripture, the Illuminator will
spotlight the correct interpretation,
key idea or principle, and life
application of every text or passage in
the Bible. He does so not only by
personally enlightening our minds but
also through others specially gifted and
called to interpret the Bible. So we
need the Spirit's personal inner
tutelage and also the aid of the
wonderful Bible translations, study
tools, and commentaries Spirit-filled,
devoted Christian scholars have made
available to us. This opens before us a
life of endless spiritual discovery.
archaeologists walking through a
sixty-six room treasure chamber, we will
not see all the Bible's truths clearly
at once but we will see them clearly one
at a time. One text here, one topic
there will become our treasured
possession as we patiently and
thoughtfully ponder them. Provided, of
course, we continue walking with God and
studying His Word day by day. Eventually
we will see and understand all its
treasures. If we obey the Illuminator.
And if our motive is correct.
Why do we study the Bible? To be known
as wise? Wrong reason! To know more than
another believer or minister whose
biblical knowledge we envy? Wrong
reason! To quote scripture impressively?
Wrong! To compose and deliver sermons or
write and edit books? Wrong! To be
honored as a Bible expert? Wrong again!
Jesus said the Illuminator hides the
Scripture's inner meaning from those who
are "wise and prudent" in their own view
(Luke 10:21). Such motivations snuff out
our Candle's light.
Or do we study Scripture to find
something to believe? Right reason! To
more fully know its Author, our Savior?
Right reason! To get closer to Him?
Right! To more clearly understand His
will? To find something to obey? To
understand our times? To discover gems
of truth and invaluable insights with
which to enrich and deliver others?
Right, all right! These right motives
also need the right methods.
In our very well educated generation
many take a head-first approach. They
imagine the intellectual comprehension
of the Bible as human literature is the
sole key to unlocking its wonders. If we
understand the word meanings, idioms,
cultural features, and historical
contexts of the Bible, we have
discovered all it has to offer. Yet
while intellectual or academic study is
a part of the process, it's not the most
A heart-first method is most effective.
Devotion to Christ leads to knowledge of
Christ. Full consecration, utter
abandonment to Christ, these lead the
way into the treasure chambers where
priceless spiritual insights await our
discovery. The Illuminator teaches most
those who love most. Is my Bible study
devotionally driven or spurred only by
academic curiosity, or worse, rank
religious pride? If the latter, the true
wonders of the Word are sealed off from
us. If the former, we're on the right
track, and among the "babes" (simple,
childlike believers) Jesus said His
Father has chosen to receive an
illumination of the "deep things of
That is, if we continue obeying. If we
continue believing. If we continue
having the right motives. If we continue
refusing to let hard tests end our
wonder-filled exploration of God's
biblical treasure chamber. And if we
continue asking the Illuminator's help.
Then, "wonderful things, wonderful
things" await us in God's wonder-filled
Word! And, unlike those Carter
discovered, ours will never be
exhausted. Are you continuing today?