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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.  




Kennah Mathews
June 23rd, 2008 at 2:25 am

I looked up the definition of reverence and a synonym that kept popping up was ‘respect’. Not only do i want to fear the Lord and keep my focus on him to recieve the treasures he has in store for me, but to also respect him. When someone fears the Lord, I think of someone having respect and following him. Also, when i think about respect i think about how much you have to work at it. how you really do have to use everything within you to totally respect something. Which lead me to my “personal reflection,” being someone who wants to grow with God, you have to use your everything. It is a hard journey, but when you respect him and just follow him, we do recieve everything we could ever need or want. It is pretty much like when you respect/ have fear with parents or any authority figure….stuff always works to your advantage for you to just have respect for them and follow them. They usually know whats right. AND in this case we already know that God is never wrong and is ALWAYS right…so why wouldn’t we want to follow him and speak of reverence for him. I need to work on this myself!

chelsey crawford
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:26 am

i know this whole blog was not exactly about fear, but thats a word ive struggled to understand. people telling me to fear God and also reading that in the bible still didnt make since. they way you put in here actually helps me have a clearer understanding. thank you.
you put things in a better perspective than i do. it helps me understand better. this blog is great. i have to work on fearing the Lord, listening to Him, and seeking that treasure.

Laura Driver
June 23rd, 2008 at 2:25 pm

MaKennah is right-“respect” is a great way top describe the reverance/fear that we must have for God. It is such a difficult thing sometimes-to have a friend that is closer than anyone else….but to also have complete respect as well. I am thankful for the chance to work on this skill and grow with you all-it makes me very happy 🙂

Evan Thon
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:39 pm

This passage reminds me of giving my tithe.
As it says
-The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.
and for his reward for you obeying him.
– a great reward for those who obey them

Zach Warrick
June 23rd, 2008 at 6:29 pm

The Russian in “The Crystal Skull” wanted the treasure for its power. She selfishly tried to gain the power for herself and this ended in her death. A relationship with God is the ultimate treasure. However, I often approach God like the Russian. I’ll treat Him a little like a geni. “Grant my wishes God!” That isn’t the way it works! If I were talking to a friend, I wouldn’t manipulate or exploit him. I would treat my friend with respect. God is my best friend. I need to leave my selfishness at the door. The best part is that God will show me the way I need to go as I grow in my relationship with Him. That way is “sweeter than honey” and greater than any treasure I can imagine.

Trevor Melton
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:51 pm

man i had no idea where u were going with that because im not very good at stuff like that but um man. very true 😛 thats all i can say. cause im also not very good with words. but ya. so. ya. guess il be hittin the ol’ dusty road now.


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