The Key To The Treasure

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.  Isaiah 33:6

“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”  Luke 11:52

The fear of the LORD is the key to the treasure, the rich storehouse of salvation and wisdom and knowledge. To fear the LORD means to acknowledge His sovereignty, His holiness, His transcendence. In the process of acknowledging these truths, one must shed great masses of self-glorifying hubris. The one who fears the LORD is the one who is truly sane, for he sees himself or herself in proper relationship to God. To fear God is to be at peace with His reality – a humbling prospect!

The experts in the law in Jesus’ day had “taken away” this key. They insisted that perfect obedience was not only possible, but the normal expectation of the Mosaic Law. A man could thus be blameless before God on his own merits, by his own efforts. He could be proud of his righteousness. In doing so, his fear-of-God reflex is suppressed. He has no perspective of God’s awesome transcendent might. All he knows is that he had 613 things to do on his list, and he did them, faithfully.

“You have hindered those who were entering,” like the Rich Young Man, who claimed to have kept the Law fully, but somehow knew he still lacked something. Should he dare to express his misgivings to his professors at the yeshiva, they would shake their bearded heads at him and say, “Young man, what is this prattling about ‘feeling fulfilled’? Pull yourself together! Your purpose is to obey God.” And so, yet another one who seeks entry into the true Kingdom of God is turned back at the gate by a religious “expert.” This is the history of human religion.

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