Where Does Wisdom Come From.
I seriously love reading through Job. It is one of my favorite books. The story of Job takes place well before the establishment of the covenant of Abraham and before the giving of the ten commandments. It’s pretty amazing that Job has an understanding of God so deep and rich. He also reveals technologies that man was using exposed to, such as mining for precious metals. In fact in chapter 28, after God allowed Satan to take Job’s wealth and health, Job responds to advice from his friends.
He describes the Lord’s understanding greater than our own and the beautiful simile he uses put in perspective just how much we do not understand. Here is the first half of chapter 28 verses 1 - 11:
1. Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine.
2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore.
3 Man puts an end to darkness and searches out to the farthest limit the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
4 He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives; they are forgotten by travelers; they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.
5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread, but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
6 Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold.
7 “That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon's eye has not seen it.
8 The proud beasts have not trodden it; he lion has not passed over it.
9 “Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing.
11 He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle, and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.
Man is talked about cutting channels through rock with “flinty rock”… maybe TNT? Man is mining, making damns, etc. Pretty amazing considering the timeline. Just a side note, it is pretty evident that our Creator made our intelligent quite high from the beginning.
All of this knowledge is amazing, but Job’s next question exposes us. Here says in verses 12-13:
12 “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living.
He describes the many precious elements and points out that only God knows the way to it. God sees everything under the heavens. He knows the weight of wind and measure of the waters. He knows the path of lightning and thunder. While we search and search within minds, God knows exactly where things are and why they are there.
Job surmises then at the end in verse 28:
28 And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”
Sometimes we see things so shallowly. We look at a particular instance or circumstance and question how God could allow something like this to happen. It it like reading one line from a book and assuming we know the entire story.
Would it not be better to defer to the One that knows the whole story? I think the simplest of faith can become great from this understanding. "I do not know the why. I am not the author or the finisher. I do know the One who takes great care in telling this story and my faith will be in the One that is unfolding it." Sometimes that is a hard pill to swallow. It takes humility. It takes repentance. It takes faith.
Soli Deo Gloria