“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” I Pet. 1:18, 19.
What is the value of a human soul?
We read of Joseph’s brothers, that they estimated the value of Joseph at twenty pieces of silver, about eight ounces.
We also read of Judas and the Sanhedrin that they bargained together about Jesus and settled on the price of thirty pieces of silver.
What is your soul worth?
Jesus says, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Matthew 16:26)
Here is a man, for example, whose worth is estimated as “the whole world”. This man has, so to speak, a monopoly on all the gold and silver mines, all the oil fields, all the stocks and bonds, all the riches of the whole world. He is inconceivably rich, so that he has money to burn.
As if that means nothing, he is exalted in power and fame, so that his name is on every lip, engraved on every monument, blazoned in every hall of fame, to be remembered as long as this world lasts.
He lives in ease and luxury, has all that his heart desires. He can do absolutely anything and everything that appeals to him. He revels in an abundant life. He gloats: This is living!
Yet when all that is laid in a balance over against his soul, does all that outweigh the soul in value?
Would all that amply repay you for your soul?
What price tag do you place on your soul?
We recall that Jesus was once offered all that, even all the kingdoms of the world. He was offered the power and authority of a universal king, the praise and worship of all men, the abundant riches that will one day be claimed by the Man of Sin, the Antichrist.
He turned it down! He flatly refused to accept this proposition!
He turned it down because there was a hitch to it. Satan had promised Him the whole world, on one condition, that He would acknowledge that Satan was the rightful owner of the universe, that Satan was God. Jesus’ love for God and His devotion to Him would never allow Him to make that kind of a concession!
Jesus answered the devil, “Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10)
Jesus estimated the value of His soul to be too great to sacrifice it to the devil!
What comes to mind at this moment is the parable of the rich man. (Luke 12:16-21)
We read that, “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater: and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee, then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
He had been a good farmer. He had worked hard. He had attained for himself all that his heart desired. He had enough and plenty for the future. His future was secure for years to come!
But he had failed to reckon with God. Those were God’s fields, God’s crops, God’s barns. God even had claim to his soul, for God required of him: Love Me above all!
He was a fool, who estimated the worth of his soul in dollars and cents! He was rich in material things, but he was poverty stricken, empty, naked as on this same night he stood before God, the Judge of heaven and earth!
One can so readily place the wrong value on his soul!
We go back in our thoughts to our Lord, who rejected Satan’s offer in love to God.
He chose the way of suffering that would end in the shameful, painful, accursed death of the cross. Even at the moment when He turned against Satan He saw looming up before Him the cross plainer than ever before.
Why did He? Only because from the depths of His soul He maintained: I come to do Thy will, O God!
And that will was? To bear the wrath of God against the sins of His people, to atone for their sins, and to redeem them from the bondage of sin and death and make them heirs of eternal life! He loved His own, even enough to die for them!
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:6-11)
Soon another school year will begin. A number of teen-agers and young people will be going to high school, or to college, or possibly to a university. You are confronted with the choice of subjects for the coming year; confronted with the goal that you set before you!
In our affluent times the opportunity offers itself to strive for some prominent position, which can include prestige, success, even making good money That confronts you with the question of priorities, values! Even with the question: what is your soul worth to you?
Are you planning your future with God? Are you asking yourself how you can best serve God with the gifts and talents He has entrusted to you?
True, for some of you that may involve a tremendous self-surrender! It may mean that you see your classmates, or former classmates, striving for ambitious goals that could bring them prestige, luxuries, and all that one’s heart can desire, as far as earthly gain is concerned.
You may even be offered scholarships or opportunities that are very attractive, even alluring for the flesh.
You find yourself confronted with the question: What price tag do I put on my soul?
Moses once faced that question. (Hebrews 11:24-26)
He had the opportunity to be “called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.’’ That included all the luxuries, the prestige and honor that is associated with royalty. He might possibly have been considered as heir to the throne of Egypt. It certainly included all the “pleasures and treasures” that Egypt could offer.
But he was born a Hebrew and had been instructed in the promises that God had given to Abraham and his seed after him; promises that included not only the land of Canaan, but the heavenly Canaan that flows with milk and honey to the glory of God eternally.
Moses placed them both in the balance, the pleasures and treasures of Egypt on the one side of the balance, the promises of God attained through faith in the coming Savior on the other side. The former could readily be attained: accept the gods of Egypt, put his trust in them, and retain his princely power and pleasure! The latter would mean forsaking Egypt and casting his lot with his family and people, the Hebrew slaves! Which meant most to him?!
We read that he chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”
That was Moses’ faith venture! The reproach that Christ bore, and the reproach that all those bear who take up their cross after Him, meant more to Moses than all the success that Egypt could offer him!
To him it was a matter of values, of priorities! And with that the ultimate gain – eternal life with Christ in glory!
What value do you attach to your soul?
Is your soul so valuable in the sight of God, that He spared not His only begotten Son, but gave Him as the only possible ransom for you? Are you redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish or spot?
There are those also within the scope of the church, who attach very little value to their souls. They pass judgment on themselves, judging themselves unworthy of eternal life. (Acts 13:46)
To the sincere believer Scripture says: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (I Cor. 6:19, 20)
The question is very personal for each of us: How can I best serve God with the gifts and talents He has entrusted to me?