It seems as if a family vacationing off the Florida coast has found part of the fabled lost 1715 Spanish treasure fleet. Altogether, the find included: 51 gold coins, 40 feet of ornate gold chain, and another single royal coin made for the then King of Spain, Phillip V.
Only a few of the latter are known to exist. The coin, commonly called a “Tri-centennial Royal”, is dated to 1715. Experts say that this one extremely rare silver-dollar-sized coin is probably worth close to a half a million dollars by itself.
Like many youngsters, I spent many an hour dreaming of finding some long lost treasure. As a teenager, I longed to go to Florida and find and recover every Spanish Galleon ever lost. Alas, it was not meant to be. But I am happy for others who were able to live some portion of that dream.
Of course, along the way, I have come to accept more than just the fact I will probably never possess any such fabulous treasure. I have also come to realize that no one really possesses anything, whether it is gold, silver, wood, or any other earthly substance.
Consider the fabled 1715 treasure lying somewhere off present day Fort Pierce, Florida. Capitan-General Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla had aboard his flagship, the Capitana, more than 3.5 million pesos in priceless treasure, including the Queen of Spain’s jewels, when he encountered a hurricane on July 30, 1715. Eleven ships in his flotilla sank with the loss of their crews and cargo.
Neither Captain Esteban, nor the Queen of Spain, nor even King Phillip V himself, ever actually possessed any of that lost treasure. In fact, before this, the Native Americans who had mined the gold did not possess it either. Nor ultimately do the current “owners”. For the simple truth is that, as the Bible affirms, “we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
This is why the Apostle Paul charges the young Timothy thusly (1Timothy 6:6-11):
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
Paul, you see, knew that everything in this world is fleeting. Indeed, as the Apostle Peter (in 2 Peter 3:10KJV) tells us that everything in this world will one day disappear: “… the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
Little wonder, then, that Jesus, in His famed Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6: 19-21), told us: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for you treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
In light of this, I pose the following question today: Where is your treasure today? What do you long to possess? Better yet, where and what should it be? In Matthew 13:44, Jesus told this short parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
When one stumbles upon God’s grace, and truly considers the value of the eternal life this entails, it will thereafter become all important and all consuming. So much so that everything in this world will pale by comparison. And that person will be rich indeed!
News source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/07/27/fla-family-finds-1m-sunken-spanish-treasure/30758901/.
Scripture source: http://biblehub.com/niv/.