Most people live their entire life-time without ever finding one of those rare treasures that unexpectedly catapults them into the elite circles of wealth. There are some who take treasure-seeking extremely seriously. Dan Blankenship was one of them.
Dan Blankenship was a successful business man in Florida back in 1965 when he was gripped by a Readers Digest story about Oak Island. Dan showed it to his wife. Jane said: “So what!” Dan said: “Well, #1, there’s a treasure on Oak Island; and #2, I’m going to be instrumental in getting it.” (1)
Since 1795, when some boys came across what they thought was a secret cavity in the ground, rumours have persisted about the possibility of buried treasure on a very small island in Mahone Bay, on the south shore of Nova Scotia. The 140-acre island may have a buried treasure.
The circular depression at the base of a lop-sided oak tree was discovered by a Canadian teenager in 1795. That spot is called the Money Pit site. Treasure seekers “uncovered a layer of stones below the surface and layers of logs every three metres, as well as layers of charcoal, putty and coconut fibres, to a depth of 27 metres.” (2)
The details of what the treasure could possibly be are sketchy. Some say a rich prize was left there by Pirate Blackbeard or the Knights of Templar. The ‘Captain Kidd’ rumour gained the most traction. Before he was hanged for piracy in 1701, it is said he buried his treasures on Oak Island. One thing is certain – people are eager to find the elusive treasure.
“Nova Scotia farmers, Texas oilmen, Boston financiers, New York dandies, celebrity daredevils, Hollywood legends (John Wayne), even an American President (Franklin D. Roosevelt), have been bewitched by tales of the Money Pit … [In pursuit of the treasure] fortunes have been swallowed, hopes dashed, partnerships fractured, friendships ended, and six lives lost in a hunt for what, nobody knows.” (3)
Dan Blankenship moved from Florida to Oak Island, Nova Scotia over 50 years ago and searched and searched – dug and dug for that treasure. He too put his life at risk to find it. At one point, he was hanging in a cage, 43 metres down a half-a-metre diameter hole, when the steel-casing started to collapse above him. His son David responded to his cry for help and hauled him up just 17 seconds before the entire structure caved-in.
Blankenship’s approach was different than most. He believed the Money Pit was nothing more than a ruse. He believed the treasure was hidden elsewhere on the island. He was driven by the possibility of finding the riches of conquistadors looted from Mexico, Central and South America.
“It has been my hope, over the years, that some of the Spanish captains took a detour on their way back to Spain,” he says. “I am hoping that they wanted to start their own country and they built up a big treasury, because there are certain years when the [treasure] fleets sailed [back to Spain] and had very little goodies on them.” (4)
At age 87, Blankenship was still looking for the treasure. Statistically, his days of searching for the treasure were running out. But Joe O’Connor, a journalist for the National Post, interviewed him at 87, and even at that late stage, he called Blankenship “the hopelessly driven dreamer with gold in his eyes.” (5) For the past five years, he has been one of the main characters on The Curse of Oak Island series, now in its sixth season, on the History Channel.
But sadly – in March 2019 Daniel Blankenship died at age 95, having never found the treasure. Disappointing to say the least – but not a tragedy.
The Bible focuses on a treasure far more significant than anything that could potentially still be found on Oak Island.
The Apostle Paul was once an enemy of Jesus Christ and Christianity. After becoming a Christian, he wrote a letter to a community of Christians in Corinth, Greece. He too was focused on a treasure.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2Corinthians 4:6-7
We don’t read of Paul living in a mansion or even owning a home or living a high-life as a Gospel preacher. He lived a simple life of dependence upon God, but here’s what made the difference: he knew he was rich beyond measure – because of the treasure he possessed inside. He knew how fragile his body was and how temporary life-on-earth is. He referred to his body as a jar of clay.
I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” Philippians 3:8
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. Ephesians 3:8
- NASB the unfathomable riches of Christ
- NIV the boundless riches of Christ
- NLT the endless treasures available to them in Christ
- CSB the incalculable riches of Christ
- Message the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ
For Paul – having Christ inside was a treasure par excellence!
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 NIV
Have you ever found this treasure? Knowing that others have found the treasure, have you personally ever seriously pursued it? Which would you rather have – gold in your eyes or Christ in your heart?
The Oak Island treasure may not even exist. All Blankenship had after fifty years of dreaming, searching and digging were a few pieces of broken chain links and pieces of metal. Nothing of value. What have you found so far? What will you have to show?
In contrast to Oak Island, the Bible gives you all the clues to finding the treasure of infinite value. The Bible tells you exactly where you can find the treasure. It also promises that when you locate the treasure, it’s personally yours forever.
So, why don’t more people pursue this treasure? The fact is – the wow bubbles of life keep people on the chase – but its an empty and unfulfilling chase. The distractions and debris of life keep people from finding the incomparable treasure.
Sadly, like Dan Blankenship, you may be pursuing a tinsel-treasure you will never find. What a tragedy if your life should end having never found the treasure that a Christian has – Christ!
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 1John 5:12-13
Start your search for the priceless and eternal treasure immediately. The good news is: honest and urgent seekers find Christ incredibly quickly. He could be yours today! Tomorrow may be too late.
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