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A Priceless Purchase

by Ron Bartanen

Among the words of wisdom, a father passed on to his son are those of Solomon: “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Proverbs 33:23).  Surely no advice could be more practical than this, especially as we see truth so lightly regarded.  What lessons may we derive from these few words?

     First of all, Solomon reminds us that truth is priceless.  We are told to obtain it at whatever the cost.  Scientists have spent their lives in search for truth.  Governments ideally have fought to establish a peaceful society upon the basis of truth.  Patriots have shed their blood to defend the truth.  Martyrs have spilled their blood rather than renounce the truth.  Truth is among our most valuable assets.  The truth of God’s word must be highly prized by those who truly desire truth.  Jesus said, in prayer to the Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).  As we see God’s word largely disregarded in today’s world, we should be greatly troubled.   Rather, we should emulate the attitude of David who said, concerning the words and works of God, “More to be desired are they then gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Psalms 19:10).

     Because truth is priceless, “sell it not.”  Be not as Esau, who sold his birthright to his brother for a bowl of bean soup due to his indifference toward his heritage.  Some sell truth through willful sin, choosing to disregard God’s moral laws.  Others sell the truth of God’s word by substituting human judgments—even Supreme Court judgments—for the reality of divinely revealed truth.  Church dogmas often displace what God has decreed.  The apostle Paul prophesied of those who would not “endure sound doctrine” but would “turn away their ears from hearing the truth” and would be “turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).  The apostle Peter spoke of the coming of “false prophets”—those who claim to speak for the Lord—by whom “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2).

     Jesus is the embodiment of truth.  He declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).   Truth is not found in any claiming a more superior revelations of truth, such as Mohammed, Joseph Smith, or politically correct clergy.  In the words of Hebrews 1:2, God “hath spoken unto us by His Son.”  To “buy the Truth” is to accept Him into your heart and life, trusting His saving blood in repentance and baptism “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:36-38).  To “sell it not” is to be faithful to Christ, committed to obedience to him who is “the author of eternal salvation to them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).  

-Ron Bartanen is a retired preacher, living in Milton, FL


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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10