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God’s Lost and Found Series #2
THE LOST SILVER
Intro: Recently, during the process of moving from our old house to the house in which we now live, I was amazed at the amount of loose change I found lying around here and there. There were pennies, nickels, dime and quarters in the strangest places, all just waiting to be found and put to use. How many times have we seen pennies in the floorboard of the car, in the bottom of the washing machine or just lying on the sidewalk and said, “Well, it’s just a penny. It isn’t worth the effort to pick it up.”?
In truth, we are very wrong in our judgement regarding the worth of that lone cent. If took the time to pick up each penny you found, in a short time, you would have a dollar, then two, then ten, etc. Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” He was absolutely right! When we reach down and save just a single penny from disuse, we have earned ourselves something that has the potential to contribute something of value to our lives.
In this illustration, Jesus tells the story of a woman who lost one coin. Instead of just shrugging her shoulders and walking away, she went about the process of finding that coin and restoring it to its proper place. This illustration, as well as the illustrations of the Lost Sheep and of the Lost Son, are designed to teach us that God sees the value in every single individual! For instance, in the illustration of the Lost Sheep, the shepherd was looking for just 1 out of 100. In the story of the Lost Silver, the woman is looking for 1 out of 10. In the illustration of the Lost Son, the father is looking for 1 out of 2. In the story of the Lost Sibling, the father goes to him 1 on 1.
I would like to take a few minutes this morning to look into these precious verses. I want to see why this woman attached such value to just one coin and why she went to such lengths to insure that it was restored to its proper place. There are some reasons why all of this happened and are revealed to us in the illustration of The Lost Silver.
I. THE SILVER WAS INVALUABLE
A. In that day, married women wore a headband that was made up of coins strung together. These coins were typically given to the bride by her father when she was married. This headband served several functions in the life of the married woman of that time.
1. It declared her status as a married women. It told other men that she was unavailable. It served the same purpose as our wedding ring.
2. Those coins also declared her independence. They were a constant reminder to her husband that if he divorced her, she was able to make a fresh start. She might be his wife, but she could make it without him. This one coin was the equivalent of 1 days wages. Evidently, she and her husband were very poor, because she only possessed 10 coins. Many wealthy women wore headbands comprised of dozens of coins
3. It was used to identify sinful women. When a woman had been guilty of unfaithfulness, a coin was sometimes removed from her headband to tell everyone who saw her that she was an adulteress.
4. In other words, these coins were there to bring glory to the bride! As long as that coin was missing, her beauty was marred and incomplete! With this in mind, it is easy to see why the loss of one coin was enough to cause this woman to fly into action to find it.
B. That coin was precious to this woman. That is why she gets so worked up over it. However, it had absolutely no value at all while it was lost! It was good for nothing! It could not adorn her head. It could not grace her life. It could not be used to provide the essentials of life. It was useless as long as it was lost. That is why it was imperative that it be found! It was just one piece of silver, but it was worth everything to this woman! The silver was out of place and out of service!
C. Of course, the object of this parable is to teach the value of one sinner to the Lord. You see, like that lost silver, people were not created to live lives of sin and disobedience to the Lord! God made man for one purpose: for His Own glory, Isa. 43:7! When God made man, He made him in His image, Gen. 1:26. He made man for fellowship, so that He could walk with man in the cool of the Garden of Eden, Gen. 3:8. When man sinned, he became a lost soul. His sin separated him from the presence of God, Gen. 3:23; Isa. 59:2.
A life lived for the Lord is a beautiful and powerful thing, but a lost life is of no value at all! But, when that life is found and restored to its proper place by the power of God, that life can be all God designed it to be in the first place!
D. For this woman, her life could not be complete until she had found the coin that she had lost. It filled an important place in her life. God is complete with or without you and me, but when we are saved by His grace, filled with His Spirit and used for His glory, we serve the function of adorning the Lord and of bringing glory to His Name!
II. THE SEARCH WAS INTENSE
A. When this woman realizes that a coin has been lost, she springs into action to see that it is restored. To her, it is a valuable thing! She lights a light, begins to move things about and to sweep and search the house until the coin is found. She had a will to find it, she worked to find and in the end, she won because she found it!
B. That coin was lost in the darkness (Houses in that day had no windows), it was lost in the dirt (Houses in that day had dirt floors), it was lost in disuse(A lost coin cannot be used), and it was lost in the dwelling (It was lost in the house). What a picture that coin is of men who do not know the Lord!
1. Lost men are in darkness - They may be brilliant intellectually speaking, but spiritually, they are blind, 2 Cor. 4:4. They are all lost in the black darkness of spiritual ignorance! They do not know their condition and they do not know what they need, until they are sought after by the Lord, Eph. 2:1; John 6:44.
2. Lost men are in the dirt - When a coin was stamped, it was stamped with the image of the ruler. When a coin was lost in the dirt, the image of the ruler on that coin would be hidden and marred. So it is with lost men! They were made in the image of God, but that image has been marred and they need to be cleansed so that the image of the Lord might be restored. (Ill. If you don’t think men are dirty, just look at our world!) Man needs someone to reach into the dirt of his life, lift him out and clean him up! (Ill. Men tend toward dirt, just fail to bathe for several days and see what I mean. That is also true spiritually! Men tend toward dirt! They need the intervention of the Lord to cleanse than and make them whole again.)
3. Lost men are in disuse - Just as a lost coin is unusable, so is a lost life. It must be cleansed and restored before the Lord can use it for His glory.
4. Lost men are everywhere, even in the dwelling - I have found lost coins in the car, in the yard and one the street. I have also found them in the house. The same is true with lost men, they may be found everywhere, even in the house of the Lord!
C. When this coin goes missing, this woman sets about the business of finding it. She makes up her mind to do whatever it takes to find her lost coin. And, that’s just what she does! She lights a light, moves the furniture, sweeps the floor and looks everywhere for her lost coin. And, she does not stop until she has found it!
In this, she is a picture of God! He has done everything that is necessary for the salvation of lost people. He loves them, Rom. 5:8; Jer. 31:3; He provided a perfect salvation, Acts 16:31; He gave His Son to pay the redemption price, 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5; John 3:16; He calls men to come to Him, Matt. 11:28; John 6:44; when they come, He saves them completely and eternally, John 10:28. He has a perfect plan to save lost people!
D. We may wonder why this woman went to all this trouble over one coin. We spend more than a days wage on a room for vacation, or we blow that much on junk from time to time. Her reason was that this one coin was of immeasurable value to her. She was willing to do anything to see it restored! To her, one coin had tremendous value.
When it comes to people, we live in a society that places little value on the individual. Think of child abuse, or the fact that we are reduced to mere numbers (Social Security Number; Inspector #12, etc.). But, from God’s perspective, every person has value! Praise His name that He saw value in your and me! He loves those who are lost and He labors to find them and save them! Regardless of who you are, the Lord loves you and sees value in your life. He will save you, cleanse you, change you and use you, if you will come to Him by faith! (Ill. At the end of the way, every coin will be in its proper place!)
III. THE SUCCESS WAS INDESCRIBABLE
A. When this woman found that coin, she retrieved it and she restored it to is proper place. Just as that coin could not lift itself out of the darkness, the dirt and the disuse it was in, neither can the lost man deliver himself. But, when the Lord comes to the lost sinner, He releases him from his darkness, removes him from his dirt and redeems him from his disuse, Eph. 2:1-22! This was a cause for rejoicing, so she called her friends and neighbors together and said, “Let’s have a party! I found the coin that was lost!” And they began to rejoice! What a happy day it was for this woman.
B. Verse 10 makes the transition to Heaven. We are told that there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents. Heaven gets excited when a lost one is found! Why? Something of value has been restored to its proper place. God is glorified. A soul misses Hell. That which was unusable is available for the Master’s use. That which was dirty and made ugly by sin is clean and beautiful by the grace of God! It is a glorious day when a lost person is saved by the grace of the Lord God! Nothing honors Him like a soul being saved!
Conc: If there is a final word it is this: God is interested in what others think is worthless! He doesn’t care what you may think about your own worth. He does not care what others may think about your worth. He looks at you through the eyes of His love and grace and sees you as being worthy of His Son. If you are like that coin, lost in the darkness, the dirt and the disuse of your sin, I invite you to come to the Lord this morning. You might even be lost “in the dwelling” this morning; a church member but never saved. You need to come to Jesus! He is still “seeking and saving that which is lost.” If there is a need, or if there is just praise in your heart this morning for the day He lifted you out of you darkness, your dirt and the disuse of your sin, this altar is open! You see, to God, there is value in your life!