From The Manifesto (Matthew Chapters 4-7)
Moth, Rust, and Thieves – Chapter 6:19-21
19 “Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and devouring insect destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and devouring insect do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
What is the Lord illustrating with moth, rust, and thieves? The futility of an earth-centered life. At this time wealth was measured in fine fabrics, fine twined linens, and purple; and metal goods; jewels; and coinage. These were treasured and hidden when possible; the less perishable usually underground.
Rust actually refers to devouring insect while moth may refer to rot or decay. What fungus doesn’t rot and insects don’t consume (perishable) thieves steal. Otherwise you are still not able to keep it because death results in their loss. You cannot take it with you. Why are men proud of accumulating wealth that does not last? Why do they prioritize these things versus treasures in heaven? How should we then live? For everlasting relationship.
“What a man loves, that is his God” wrote Martin Luther We cannot serve God and money. It is not wrong in itself to make money. Treasures on earth if scattered for God’s glory become treasures in heaven. Bringing God glory is considering our relationship with God first and foremost. Being righteous is keeping the covenant and. prioritizing relationship.
Even consider our bodies in terms of this metaphor as a treasure. Old age is like a devouring insect and decay which lessens our enjoyment of earthly treasures and death is like a thief that breaks through and steals all that we have that belongs to earth and our relationships here. We aspire to higher things, to treasures in heaven, to immortal possessions of the immortal soul, to everlasting love relationship with God and each other.