Buying & Selling

To my mind, one of the most profound statements found in the Bible is also one of the simplest. In Proverbs 23:23 the inspired writer simply says, "Buy the truth and sell it not." We have two very simple statements joined together by the conjunction "and." To understand this scripture one needs only to understand the meaning of three very common words: buy, sell, and truth. I doubt that there is anyone who possesses the ability to read very simple material who does not understand these words; therefore, the wisdom of the statement is readily available to all. Consider the following lessons that be gained:

1) Truth is something that we are to obtain or seek after.

2) Truth must be bought. It is not free because we must buy or give something in exchange in order to obtain it.

3) The value of truth cannot be stated. Notice that the writer does not instruct us to pay a certain amount. He says buy! This means at any price. Therefore it is clear that nothing should be so dear that we would not give it in exchange for truth.

4) Truth should be our most valuable possession. Notice that we are to "sell it not" and again no price is named. The obvious conclusion is that no price is great enough to accept in exchange for the truth. Once we have obtained the truth, we are to cherish it and keep it at all costs.

In this country we are very fortunate to be able to study God's word and discuss it openly in order to "buy" the truth. We should be very thankful for this freedom because it allows us to pursue without hindrance this most important transaction. But, do we exercise this freedom as we should? Will we give up leisure or pleasure in exchange for truth? Will we give long and difficult study in exchange for truth? Will we forgo money-making opportunities in exchange for the truth? Will we give up our prejudices, preconceived ideas, or pet theories to acquire truth? Will we hold fast to the truth when we are challenged by other beliefs? These are matters we should consider very seriously. - James Finley