Truth We Believe and Songs We Sing – Matt Boswell, Don Carson, and Keith Getty

Truth We Believe and Songs We Sing from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Pyramid Scheme

I greatly appreciate the artistry of lyricists that can paint a picture without using common vocabulary and cliches. Phanatik in his second verse on Pyramid Scheme (and many of his verses) does exactly that. The song is about being trapped and enslaved by sin and each verse describes a different slave master. Read the lyrics below and try to figure out to what he’s talking about. Give me a commentary on this verse and I’ll give you $5 in cash at my discretion.

First you subscribe on-line, then you buy into/
What they’re playing. Ain’t you tired of them lyin’ to you?/
It’s like false advertisement/
Pics and clips of sick flicks flicker and enter into your eyelids/
It’s all in a name man/
They assault your brain with what they call adult entertainment/
And this is the biggest pyramid scheme/
Cause you know that’s not you up there on that screen/
In a trace you watch/ these tiny dancing dots/
You know whatever this is romance is not/
It’s just an imitation/
Your only participation/ is hand and eye coordination/
Meanwhile billions of dollars are made/ a tiny percentage is paid/
To the men and women who lay down in this playground of sin/
Back at the ranch you end up empty-handed/ Dag, they got you again!//
You was trapped in this pyramid scheme…(into Chorus)

The Hidden Treasure and Pearl of Greatest Price

This morning I was reading the gospel of Matthew, chapters 12 and 13. Christ is teaching his disciples in many parables and I have been meditating on two them today: the parable of the hidden teasure and the parable of the pearl of great value.

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys up that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

Here is what Matthew Henry says about this parable in his concise commentary:

“Many slight the gospel, because they look only upon the surface of the field. But all who search the Scriptures, so as in them to find Christ and eternal life, John 5:39, will discover such treasure in this field as makes it unspeakably valuable; they make it their own upon any terms. Though nothing can be given as a price for this salvation, yet much must be given up for the sake of it.”

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46)

Again, here are Matthew Henry’s comments:

“All the children of men are busy; one would be rich, another would be honourable, another would be learned; but most are deceived, and take up with counterfeits for pearls. Jesus Christ is a Pearl of great price; in having him, we have enough to make us happy here and for ever. A man may buy gold too dear, but not this Pearl of great price. When the convinced sinner sees Christ as the gracious Saviour, all things else become worthless to his thoughts.”

This second parable reminds me of the chorus of “Only Jesus” from Sovereign Grace‘s Valley of Vision:

“Only Jesus! Only Jesus!
Give us Jesus, we cry
Only Jesus! Only Jesus!
The Pearl of greatest price”

A Prayer

LORD, thank You for showing me where the treasure of Christ is in the field of your Scriptures. Apart from your Spirit’s work, I would not have known to dig and much less know where to dig. I would have wondered the fields aimlessly in poverty. Father, I praise you for all the riches and wealth that I have in your precious Son. Although salvation is free, it is not without cost. Christ’s blood paid the debt of all my sins in order to purchase my salvation. Lord, that’s percisely the reason why Christ is so valuable to me! I am poor and naked without Him. Jesus, You are more valuable than anything in this world, yet I am tempted daily to hold on to fool’s gold. Don’t let me settle for counterfeit pearls that may appear beautiful, but have no value in Your kingdom. Help me to sell all the treasures that I have. For your glory and my joy, I pray. Amen.