Posted in Verse of the MonthJun 30, 2011
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
—2 Corinthians 4:7-9
On a dull day in December 1946, Juma, a young Palestinian shepherd, was herding his goats up the dry, dusty Qumram Wadi, close to the shores of the Dead Sea. He had often dreamed of finding treasure in one of those hidden valleys, maybe stashed away by the bandits who roamed the rough roads, but this day his mind was on more mundane matters because one of his goats was lost and he urgently needed to find it before nightfall. Idly he tossed a stone into a nearby cave and listened for a bleat, but all he heard was a crack and a tinkling sound. Going inside to investigate, he discovered an old cracked pot and, inside it, an ancient leather scroll wrapped in a piece of rotting cloth. His face filled with disgust and disappointment, but little did he know that he had stumbled on a priceless treasure — a 2,000 year old manuscript of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, preserved for all those years in a plain old clay pot.