Janet Dorey – Treasure in the Field - Milltown, WA - 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've also learned these days that there is a treasure in this field and in the new year this is the field we want to be found gleaning in. There is also a treasure found in the field of the word of God and we are leaving convention a lot richer than when we came.

The "man" in this parable is like you and me. This man did four things. He found a treasure in the field. Then he hid the treasure. This man sold everything he had and he bought this field. This man had to search for the field. It is not easy to find the field of the will of God and it is even more challenging to find the treasure in the will of God.

God gives us a mixed cup, Psalm 75:8. Treasure comes to us in form of death or losses or storms. There is treasure in the fruit of the spirit but it is not in the likely place we would look. The treasure of love is found in the atmosphere of hate, scorning and cruel mocking. There is treasure in peace but it is found in the battlefield and in unrest. The price is high.

This man sold all so he could buy the field. If he didn't sell, he couldn't buy. What did he sell and what do we sell? We sell our own way, our human reasoning, our opinions and our old life. Then we are in a position to buy obedience, buy submission and buy 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 he said, "I don't want to ask 'why' but I want to ask 'how.'" God set the cost and they bought the field and they found treasure in the field of the will of God.

He and his wife took in four children in their home. One is from India, and another is from West Africa and both attending the University. Then they took in two former Hutterite girls. They taught them about the love of God and they guided them. This year one of these Hutterite girls started in the work and the other girl will start in the work a little later. They found treasure in the will of God. They paid for it with many tears and sorrow.

Job faced many tests in his experience. 1) He was a very prosperous man but in one day all of his riches were taken from him. He faced the test of poverty. 2) His children were taken from him and he face the test of bereavement. 3) Then Job was smitten with boils and he face the test of ill health. 4) Then his wife spoke up and said, "Curse God and die." He faced the test of marriage. 5) His friends called him a fool and he face the test of being misunderstood. 6) He felt that God had turned away from him and he face 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. We might not always understand the cause but faith will help us to find the treasure in the experience. 2) The unseen loss. Job did not know that God and Satan had a conversation about him and God gave Satan permission to test him. 3) When we keep ourselves in the will of God, the hand of God will buy the field of the will of God. 4) Gold won't perish. You can't beat gold and make it one piece. When God looked down, he saw four minds and so he turned up the heat and they became one mind. There is treasure in unity.

Then this man sold his possessions and bought the field. He was willing to set aside his reasoning and his plans and purchase the field. What we value and own as treasure in the kingdom has the potential of 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 and the devil wants to disrupt the unity in the family life and in the church life. He wants to destroy the unity in the ministry.

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

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

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