"Make it your practice instead to store up heavenly treasure, which neither moths nor rust corrode nor thieves break in and steal." —Matthew 6:20
Athaliah, the wicked queen of Israel, stored up earthly treasure. She built up her treasury by killing off the whole royal family (2 Kgs 11:1). But wealth gained out of wickedness is like a flash flood: it rises quickly, flourishes for a short time, and then "suddenly, once and for all, comes to an end" (Sir 40:13-14). This proved true for Athaliah, as she suddenly lost not only her wealth, but also her life. The point is that earthly treasure can quickly vanish (Mt 6:19; Lk 12:16ff). Anyone who lived through the Great Depression in the U.S. in 1929 can testify to that.
Jehosheba's courageous act of hiding the baby king, Joash, in the temple (2 Kgs 11:3) prefigures Jesus' admonition to store up heavenly treasure (Mt 6:20). Heavenly treasure, such as acts of charity, almsgiving, and prayer, is also "hidden in the temple of the Lord" (2 Kgs 11:3) and cannot be destroyed (Mt 6:20). Just as a United States savings bond reaches full financial maturity after seven years, so did Jehosheba's treasure mature as the boy-king Joash grew up in the safety of the temple (2 Kgs 11:4).
Our heavenly treasure will always yield a return. It will never be lost or stolen. It is like seed a farmer sowed in a field. Day after day, it slowly matures without our knowing how it happens (Mk 4:26ff). When the time is ready, our heavenly treasure yields a sure, indestructible return.
Prayer: Father, may I use my finances to bring many into Your kingdom.
Promise: "Remember, where your treasure is, there your heart is also." —Mt 6:21
Praise: Julie put aside her plans for a career as a pharmacist in order to raise and home-school her eight children.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our book, The Bible on Money.) (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999