What You Should Covet

Psalm 19:10, culminating the chapter’s description of God’s word, says, “More to be desired are they than gold, yes than much fine gold.” The Hebrew word for “desired” is “hamad”, which means “desire, take pleasure in; covet” — in fact, lexicographers note that it is most often used in the negative sense of coveting. The details of this verse remind us of a great truth:

There are two Hebrew words for “gold” in the passage:
— the first is “zahab”: “gold in general; gold ore; in an unrefined state”.
— the second is “mipaz”: “pure gold/refined gold.”
Thus we see a progression in the parallelism. Not only is scripture more valuable than “gold ore”; it also more to be treasured than “much” “pure refined gold.” Gold is what most men covet. They spend their lives trying to attain riches. But Psalm 19 tells us that there is something much more valuable which we should covet: the word of God.

The key lesson here is: when you have the scriptures, you are rich. You should not covet something less than what you already have (which is, by the way, one of mankind’s most widespread, ongoing problems!). Rather than investing your life attempting to accumulate an inferior treasure, spend yourself treasuring and appreciating the incomparable word of God.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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