Friday, February 27, 2015


“But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?”  (Job 28:12)

There are things about the story of Job that we know—about which Job was clueless.  Even so, we still find ourselves struggling to fit all the pieces of this painful and perplexing puzzle together.  Job’s friends said much that was truthful, but they took some truths and reasoned to the wrong conclusion.  A little error makes a large difference. Set sail from New York harbor, bound for England, and deviate by just one degree and you will end up on the African coast rather than the British shore!  Only one knows it all—God—and that is why Job cries out to Him for wisdom in this twenty-eighth chapter.

Consider THE VANITY OF WORLDLY ACHIEVEMENT (Job 28:1-11).  Job rehearses that which we well know—the heart of man will dig up a mountain to discover a precious gem or piece of gold.  All about us are those who give themselves to the relentless pursuit of the material.  The richest man who ever lived—King Solomon—declared the vanity of such worldly achievement.  Your bank vault can be full and your heart can be empty.  Jesus posed the question, For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  (Mark 8:36)  Job knew the fleeting nature of wealth.  He possessed great abundance, yet it was yanked away in a moment.  Such is the nature of worldly achievement.

In contrast, recognize THE VALUE OF WISDOM’S ADORNMENT (Job 28:12-19).  We can adorn our body with jewels set in silver or chains of gold, and when our form is in a coffin, then what good is it?  It may be that grave robbers will even come to our skeletal remains and steal the treasure away.  It is certain we can’t take it with us!  Wisdom on the other hand is the enduring and priceless treasure that enhances all there is in life.  You can hire a tutor, if you have money.  For a big investment, you can obtain a college education.  Wisdom, however, is not for sale.  Its value exceeds any dollar amount.

There is then THE VIRTUE OF WISDOM’S ATTAINMENT (Job 28:20-28).  Job’s quest for wisdom ends in an omniscient God!  He not only has all wisdom, He is willing to share that wealth—but only with those who qualify.  It is not the scope of the facts in our head, but the strength of the fear in our heart that establishes the credentials we need to attain true wisdom.  Job echoes what other Scripture (e.g. Prov.1:7; 9:10) says, And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”  (Job 28:28)   Job will question what he has once thought true and weep over his present confusion (see chapters 29-31).  He seeks clarity in his catastrophe.  Job was accused of sin, but steadfastly maintained his integrity.  He was a God-fearing man and so lifted up this wail for wisdom.  Buried in the ash heap of his shattered life, he believed God might yet bestow it.  Whatever your circumstance today, and no matter the confusion it has caused, consecrate yourself to God.  All will become clear in time—or eternity!  God grant us the wisdom we need to walk by faith in this troubled world today.

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