Opulence. What a great word! Some people view opulence, possessing great wealth, as negative, worldly, even sinful but the Bible tells a different story. King David began a treasury that was filled with silver, gold, and jewels: opulence. He passed that treasury on to his son Solomon who added more to it. Why would God give His people such extravagant wealth if it was sinful or worldly?
Let’s look at this picture of treasures from the perspective of connecting heaven and earth: the lower story and the upper story. There’s a play on words in Matt. 6:19-21 that helps us:
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT)
The phrase ‘store up’ is actually from the same word for ‘treasure’. The Greek literally reads, “Don’t treasure treasures…treasure your treasures in heaven.” God has an opulent treasury, the upper story, in heaven. David and Solomon’s treasury was just a snapshot, the lower story. I can guarantee you that God’s treasury is not filled with gold or silver; He paves streets with that stuff. Scripture tells us it’s filled with heavenly things like understanding His mysteries, wisdom, and knowledge (Col. 2:2-3); those are heavenly treasures.
Jesus assures us that if we treasure those treasures then we have tapped into connecting heaven and earth. Paul tells us to set our minds on heavenly things not earthly ones (Col. 3:2). What are those heavenly things? Jesus’ words from Matt. 6 should ring in our ears: generosity to the poor, prayer and fasting, forgiveness: all samples of treasures in heaven that reveal our hearts. Our storehouse should be filled with heavenly treasures that last throughout eternity not earthly ones that are temporary (Matt. 19:21).
One last thought. Paul talks about a ‘heavenly account’ in Phil 4:14-20 as he commends believers who were generous to him. He wasn’t concerned about the financial help, those earthly treasures, but with the heavenly treasures they were accruing. What does your financial plan look like from God’s perspective? Has your heavenly ledger accumulated more on the giving or receiving side?
God has a treasury in heaven (Dt. 28:12) waiting for you to draw from, however, the question remains, which holds more value to you, earthly or heavenly riches? Let’s learn to trust God as we practice accruing heavenly treasures and He promises to draw from His heavenly riches, His divine opulence, to meet your needs.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:19-20 ESV)