Janet Dorey - Treasure in the Field - Milltown, Washington - 2004

Matthew 13: 44, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." We understand a parable is a picture to the eye, a story to the ear, and a message to the heart. There are three things in this chapter: the field, the treasure, and the man.

The field we are pursuing this afternoon is the field of the Will of God. We have learned these days that there is a treasure in this field, and in the new year, we want to be found gleaning in this field. There is also a treasure found in the field of the Word of God and when we leave here, we will leave much richer than when we came.

The man is this parable is like you and me. He did four things: he found a treasure in the field and then he hid the treasure. This man sold everything he had to buy this field. He searched for the field because it isn't easy to find the field of the Will of God. It's even more challenging to find the treasure in the Will of God.

God gives us a mixed cup. Psalm 75:8, "For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and He poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them." Treasure comes to us in the form of death or losses or storms. There is treasure found in the fruit of the spirit and it's not found in the likely place we would look for it. This treasure of love is found in the atmosphere of hate, scorning, and cruel mocking. There is treasure in peace, but it's found in the battlefield and in unrest. And the price is high.

This man sold all that he had to buy the field. If he hadn't sold it, he couldn't buy it. What did he sell and what do we sell? We sell our own way, our own human reasoning, our own opinions, and our old life. Then we are in a position to buy obedience, submission, and willingness. We won't get to heaven without spending our willingness.

One man we know in our field of labour lost his two children, his mother and father, and his grandmother in a car accident. This was the mixed cup that was poured out to him. At convention time, he gave his testimony and said, "I don't want to ask why but I want to ask how." God set the cost and he bought the field; that couple now have found treasure in the field of the Will of God. He and his wife took four children into their home. One is from India, the other is from West Africa, and they both attend a University. Then they took in two former Hutterite girls and taught them about the love of God. They guided them. This year, one of these Hutterite girls has started out in the work; the other girl will start out in the work a little later. They found treasure in the Will of God and it was paid with many tears and much sorrow.

Job faced many tests in his experience, too.

1) He was a very prosperous man who, in one day, had all his riches taken from him. He also faced the test of poverty;

2) His children were also taken from him, and he faced the test of bereavement;

3) Then Job was smitten with boils, and faced the test of ill health;

4) His wife spoke up and said, "Curse God and die." He faced the test of marriage;

5) His friends called him a fool; he faced the test of being misunderstood; and

6) He felt that God had turned away from him. He faced the test of imagination.

Job proved four things:

1) There is a 'cause' and a 'purpose' for every experience we pass through, even though we might not know it. We might not always understand the 'cause' but faith can help us find the treasure in the experience;

2) He faced unseen loss. Job did not know that God and Satan had had a conversation about him and that God had given Satan permission to test him;

3) When we keep ourselves in the Will of God, the Hand of God will help us buy the field of the Will of God; and

4) Gold will not perish. You can't beat gold and make it one piece. When God looked down on Job, He saw four minds, and He turned up the heat. Those four minds became one mind. There will always be treasure in unity.

Then this man sold his possessions and he bought the field. He was willing to set aside his reasoning and his plans in order to purchase the field. What we value and own as our treasure in the kingdom has potential in merging with others of like treasure in the kingdom. The devil wants to disrupt this unity. He wants to disrupt the unity in the home, to disrupt the unity in our family life, to disrupt unity in our church life and he also wants to destroy the unity in the Ministry.

Joseph found the treasure in the field of the Will of God. God had served him a mixed cup but he had faith in God through his many dark experiences. He was thrown into a pit by his brothers and he humbly forgave them. There was no water in the pit, but while his brothers sat by, eating bread idly, Joseph forgave them. His brothers put a price on Joseph and they sold him into Egypt but Joseph humbly forgave them.

Forgiveness doesn't belong in the proud of heart. Even in Potiphar's house, Joseph hearkened not unto her day after day. He paid a price of keeping pure. He was thrown into prison and was forgotten for two years but God was with Joseph and showed him His mercy and He prospered him. He had bread when everyone else had famine. He bought the field of the Will of God and found the treasure in the field. There will always be treasure in having bread. He was bread to the Egyptians, bread to his brothers, and bread to his father.

Joseph paid the price for bread. He sold an ill will, he sold anger, he sold unforgiveness, and he sold bitterness. Then he purchased the field of the Will of God. That treasure is hidden and we won't just find it in a life of ease and pleasure; it is a matter of taking up our cross and dying; it is a matter of drinking from the mixed cup of the Lord.

** Not verbatim.