But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt…
Treasures in heaven. "Here moral excellence is put in contrast with material treasure. Men are to seek nobility of character, riches of feeling, strength of manhood, and not perishable wealth." Character is called "treasure in heaven," because it alone goes with us into the unseen world. It belongs to us; it cannot be parted from us. It is not something that we have; it is that which we are, wherever we are.
I. THE INSECURITY OF ALL TREASURE IN' THINGS. Everything man sets value on is a perishable thing. To him it is perishable, either by decaying as he holds it, or by removal from him. "The fashion of this world passeth away." "Riches take to themselves wings, and flee away." "We've no abiding city here." This hardly seams so evidently true in our modern times, when wealth gains more apparent fixity, as it did in Eastern lands, when wealth largely consisted in garments, and governments failed to ensure stability and security. Moth and rust (corrosion) would destroy most things, and the thieves would carry off the rest. The truth is as true to-day as it ever was - man can never guarantee his hold on anything he may possess. He has it to-day; he is never sure of it to-morrow. This is true not only of purely material things, but even of such things as skill of body and furniture of mind - things that a man may gain, but which still are outside the real man; only things that he has. Whatever a man only has is in peril.
II. THE SECURITY OF ALL TREASURE IN CHARACTER. What a man is, and what a man becomes, are unaffected by any known decaying forces. Character is the investiture of the soul, in which it passes to the eternal realms. Illustrate the forces that affect our things, and show how powerless they are against our character. See the case of Job. Try death as against the sanctified character that a man may have become. Death can strip a soul absolutely bare of all acquired things. "We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out." Death can take the soul from the body. But death cannot touch character, which is the soul's garment. So he is rich for ever who has won "character." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: