Did you read the story about the surprising discovery made by Cathy McAllister, an Arizona book sale volunteer? While helping out with a big fundraiser, she opened a copy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to find that someone had hollowed out the book and hidden $4000 in it. She first thought it was Monopoly money, according to the television report. To her credit, she tracked down the gentleman who donated the book and gave him his money back. How’s that for good character?
Ms. McAllister’s story reminded me of a sermon I came across from Charles Spurgeon. Reverend Spurgeon went into inspiring detail to describe a book he’d discovered years before. God had given him eyes to recognize that the book was a priceless treasure. It was, of course, that book of all books, the Bible.
Here are a few sentences I pulled from the transcript of that sermon from 1855. Maybe it will stir you to prize the Bible even more than you already do.
“This volume is the writing of the living God; each letter was penned with an Almighty finger; each word in it dropped from the everlasting lips; each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit.
[It] is God’s voice, not man’s; the words are God’s words, the words of the Eternal, the Invisible, the Almighty, the Jehovah of this earth.
This Bible is God’s Bible, and when I see it, I seem to hear a voice springing up from it, saying, ‘I am the book of God; man, read me. I am God’s writing; open my leaf, for I was penned by God; read it, for He is my author, and you will see Him visible and manifest everywhere.’ ‘I have written to him the great things of my law.’ Hosea 8:12 (KJV).
If these words were written by a man, we might reject them; but O let me think the solemn thought, that this book is God’s handwriting—that these words are God’s!
Let me look at its date; it is dated from the hills of heaven.
Let me look at its letters; they flash glory on my eye.
Let me read the chapters; they are big with meaning and mysteries unknown.
Let me turn over the prophecies; they are pregnant with unthought-of wonders.
Oh, book of books!”
“I rejoice at your Word as one who finds great treasure.” Psalm 119:162 (NKJV).