As our girls were growing up, we occasionally sent them on treasure hunts, which they loved. At Easter, I put together a small basket, filled with treats like hair bows, underwear stuffed inside plastic eggs, and a little chocolate bunny. But instead of just giving them the baskets, Ricky would hide them, and we’d make out clues, written as poems, for searching for the hidden “treasure.” The first clue would take them to another room in the house, where they’d find the second behind the headboard of the bed. Struggling to figure out the hint, they would suddenly run to look inside the washing machine for the folded paper with the next poem, etc. until they finally found the pink baskets, stashed underneath a towel in the treehouse outside. With all the squeals of excitement, you’d think we’d given them some expensive prize.

Without realizing it at first, I went on a treasure hunt this morning. It began when I pulled out a verse, Deuteronomy 28:12a: “The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure.” Intrigued by this special promise, I wanted to know more. How do I get in on this? There was more to learn as I read the rest of the chapter. Moses was writing these thoughts to the children of Israel, as God had instructed him. There were multiple promises to them if they obeyed and worshiped only Him. But there were also some horrible consequences for doing the opposite and going their own way. I cheated and checked out several commentaries on this verse, and there is no indication that this promise is for anyone other than the children of Israel. So I asked myself, “What can I learn from this? Why did God include this in the Bible?”

The answer is obvious. He was giving me an example to follow. There’s a principle here. Worshiping only God would have brought treasures to the children of Israel. But what exactly does that wordtreasuresmean? Were they being promised material blessings for doing right?

Webster’s 1828 dictionary gives me some good definitions: “wealth, silver and gold; great quantity; barley, oil honey; something much valued.” In another passage, God tells His people that they are valuable to Him: “Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me” (Exodus 19:5). We read in the New Testament about “treasures of wisdom and knowledge…” (Colossians 2:3). In the verse in Deuteronomy, I found that the treasure was rain. I don’t usually think of it that way;but for a farmer, it is like gold. I can recall the worried look on my granddaddy’s face as he studied the sky, looking for a cloud of rain to water the crops. His income was greatly affected by the weather.

My hunt could have gone on for hours, since there are many passages in the Bible on this subject. But I settled on Proverbs 21:20, where the most important meaning of this word was given. “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” The next verse gives further explanation. “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” The treasure here is not the physical kind that we usually think of, though that may be the case as well. The lesson is that there are spiritual opportunities that a committed Christian will jump on. As women, we see these daily…a friend that needs encouragement, a new Christian in search of answers, or a chance to serve others by ministering in the church or community. A foolish woman will pass on that occasion to help and use the time for selfish indulgences. She’ll totally miss the special blessings. But a life of service to God and to His people will be rewarded many times over. I’m sure we’ll not see all the benefits until we get to heaven.

What rewards are you piling up right now? Where is your hidden treasure?