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Keeping Up With the Indiana Joneses

June 23rd, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 19: 9-11 (NLT)

9 Reverence for the Lord is pure,
      lasting forever.
   The laws of the Lord are true;
      each one is fair.
 10 They are more desirable than gold,
      even the finest gold.
   They are sweeter than honey,
      even honey dripping from the comb.
 11 They are a warning to your servant,
      a great reward for those who obey them.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

To say I was disappointed would be the understatement of the decade.  The day was exquisite, but the movie was utterly disappointing.  You’ve got to understand a few things.  First of all, Laura is not an avid movie-goer; so when she says she wants to see a flick, it must be a good one.  Secondly, the odds are slim that the two of us would simultaneously have the time to go watch anything besides the backs of our eyelids.  But the stars aligned and a Saturday afternoon found me relaxing in a dark theatre cradling a large popcorn.

When it comes to Dr. Henry Jones Jr. (aka, Indiana), I’m definitely a fan.  Of the first three movies, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was definitely my favorite.  How can it get any better than Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, and a storyline steeped in ancient and modern history with religious undertones?  Oh, and I’m also a firm believer that a great villain makes a great story– cue the villains we all love to hate the most: Hitler’s Nazis.  Also, setting is crucial and what could be more intriguing than the late 1930’s and a world on the brink of international war.  The movie was almost euphoric.

So, being an Indy fan and a generally positive person, I ignored the critics (including my brother-in-law) and decided to let Dr. Jones convince me himself.  Hence, the opening credits and action sequence began and almost immediately, I had issues.  First of all, we were out of the 1930’s altogether (which I understand considering Harrison Ford’s age.)  Nevertheless, the story jumped to the 1950’s completely skipping (yet alluding to) Indy’s decorated military career in the 1940’s.  Skip the ’40’s?!  Now that would have made a great flick!  

Next, there was a new enemy: the Russian communists.  The communists?!  What do they think this is, 007?  Still, I battled the internal urge to doubt.  However, the central premise of the new movie sent me reeling over the cliff of criticism: aliens.  That’s right, aliens!  Come on Spielberg and Lucas, you’ve got all the resources of Hollywood at your disposal, including one of the most celebrated actors of the modern age who has established the most hallowed adventure hero of the Twentieth Century, and aliens are what you came up with?  I was dumbfounded.

One thing about the new Indy remained the same, though.  It’s the concept that drives the plot line of any great adventure movie.  It’s the payoff.  The buried chest.  The sunken ship.  That’s right, I’m talking about treasure.  Whether it’s the lost Ark of the Covenant, jewelry from the Titanic, or in this case a mythical crystal skull that possesses weird psychic powers (yawn)– all heroes are after treasure.  Our spiritual journey is no different.

Psalm 19: 9 begins a dialogue about treasure by speaking of “reverence” for God.  Some versions translate this word “reverence” as “fear.”  To be a good treasure-seeker, we must have reverence for that which we are pursuing.  Like Dr. Jones, the ultimate villain seeks to take us out before we can take hold of the ultimate treasure.  God is this treasure and having reverence for Him gives us access to riches that will last forever– this kind of “fear” is pure and eternal.  Every villain in the Indy movies just wants the value or the power of the artifact they are seeking, but Dr. Jones always wins out because he seeks to gain the treasure for pure reasons.  

Furthermore, as it says in verse 9b, the words that God speaks to us are the very pieces of this fortune– each one like gold coins filling our “chests” with value.  When we begin with a loving reverence for God, we become candidates to find the riches of His Word.  If you’ve ever experienced the moment that God has communicated with you personally and directly, then you have already begun to understand that His voice is “more desirable than gold” and “sweeter than honey” (verse 10.)  Much like being married, it’s something you can comprehend only if you personally experience it firsthand.

Finally, Dr. Jones’ is an expert in ancient languages and dialects.  Thus when others walk headlong into deadly booby traps, Indy correctly interprets the ancient warnings and avoids the danger.  Verse 11 tells us that God’s Word warns us of danger and leads us toward the great reward we so desperately long for.

So, here’s the sequence from Psalm 19: 9-11: reverence leads to hearing God, which leads to understanding the warnings, which leads to the greatest treasure of all time.  And you got all of that without paying $15.00 for a large popcorn and two drinks (and I wish I was kidding.)

So grab your brown hats and your bullwhips!  There’s a treasure that will require your complete passion to obtain.  Approach His Word with reverence and use it’s clues to avoid the pitfalls of this world.  I promise that your adventure with Him will not be disappointing, no matter what the critics may say.  





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