Art is all about appreciation. And appreciation of even the most famous museum masterpieces runs the gamut of interest. On my recent visit to a New York museum, I noticed a crowd gathered around the centerpiece of the gallery exhibit—a famous painting by a 19th-century European artist. A guard stood stiffly next to the painting, arms at his side, emotionless and silent, much like the British soldiers who guard Buckingham Palace.
While I was thrilled to finally see the museum’s acclaimed artworks, I had almost as much fun watching the visitors. Young adult viewers chattered about art appreciation classes and their varied interpretations of the artist’s secret intentions that were camouflaged on canvas. Small children took one look, then bounced away to the next gilt-framed magnum opus. Some husbands were clearly humoring their wives. Their glazed expressions, tilted heads, and furrowed brows gave them away. Some visitors were on family vacations, checking off an item on their travel itinerary, with fatigued members of their entourage looking for the nearest marble bench when they shuffled into a new gallery.
One mother had two daughters in tow when she approached the centerpiece painting. While the mom scrutinized brush strokes, the girls began to scuffle. One push led to another, and the youngest fell toward the painting, her head missing it by inches. The guard broke his silence, throwing out his arm between the girls and the priceless work of art, saying, “No, no—step back.” He then directed his attention to the mother and said, “It’s time to move on.”
The guard knew the true value of the glorious masterpiece. The mother probably had an idea about its worth, but the young girls were oblivious—no doubt like many other visitors that day. The range of understanding and appreciation of the art varied from observer to observer, much like the range of understanding and appreciation of those of us who open our Bibles.
I wonder how our lives would be affected if we, like the museum-goers who valued the art because they admired the artist, genuinely valued the Word because we admire its Author. What if we began to look beyond the obvious, beyond a cursory glance at the pages of the Bible? How would our lives change if we examined Scripture as if we were convinced that closer inspection would reveal a priceless treasure?
Dr. Henry Morris’ article “Examining Evidence” challenges us to look closer, to carefully examine Scripture—to know the tenets of our faith. He encourages us to utilize the tools of apologetics in our study and to use logic as we prepare to defend the gospel. And he reminds us that we become relevant to our culture when we value the Word of God and equip ourselves to “declare His glory” to our world.
Moses understood the necessity of looking beyond the surface. Even in the barren wilderness, he knew there was more to God—more than the Red Sea or the dew-drenched display of manna or the gallery of original etchings on tablets of stone. Moses’ desire for a deeper understanding of the Artist, his glorious God, was evidenced in his words, “Show me thy glory!” (Exodus 33:18).
* Jayme Durant is Associate Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Durant, J. 2012. Appreciating God’s Priceless Treasure. Acts & Facts. 41 (9): 3.