Better Than Riches

Psalm 119:14 says, “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.” When I first read that I nodded my head in agreement. Then I asked myself, “Do I?” “Do I rejoice in following God’s statutes as one rejoices in great riches?” My honest answer was, “Probably not, but I want to.” I want to love God’s word so much that obedience to it makes me rejoice just as much as I might rejoice if I suddenly came into great riches. How about you?

The person who wrote Psalm 119 was obviously a lover of God’s word. “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.” he writes in verse 24, and as you continue reading this longest chapter of the Bible you’ll find the Psalmist over and over again expressing his joy at knowing and following God’s commands. Indeed, this is a theme of scripture because God’s commands give us wisdom, protect us from error, and guide us toward righteousness.

In Psalm 19:10-11 David writes that the decrees of the Lord “are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

Obedience to God’s commands produces wisdom, which is one of the many important things money can’t buy. “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16) And wisdom calls out, saying “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” (Proverbs 8:10-11).

Interestingly, obedience to God’s word does not restrict us; it frees us to be the people God wants us to be. That’s why it’s better than riches. King Solomon, the richest person who ever lived, after considering all that life has to offer came to this conclusion: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

May we truly rejoice in following God’s statutes as one rejoices in great riches!

Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.

Dan Kinnaman

Pastor, Maple Root Baptist Church