Friday, January 20, 2012

Job 28 - Seeking the Wisdom of God

LINK: Job 28

BACKGROUND

This is Job's soliloquy on God's wisdom that contrasts greatly with the wisdom from Job's three comforters!

I hope you let the poetry just wash over you in this chapter. It is beautiful. The first 11 verses have a definite structure to them:
a. Getting valuable metals from the earth (Job 28:1-2)
    b. Going underground (v. 3) 
          c. Remoteness of the mines (unseen by people, v. 4) 
a. Getting valuable metals and gems from the earth (vv. 5-6) 
          c. Remoteness of the mines (unseen by birds and animals, vv.7-8) 
     b. Going underground (v. 9) 
a. Getting valuable metals from the earth (vv. 10-11). 
(Clark, David J., "In Search for Wisdom: Notes on Job 28," The Bible Translator 33. October 1982:401-405)
Compare these verses with Proverbs 3:13-15; 8:11; 16:16.

Job brings out that even though man can mine metals and gems with certain techniques, he cannot find wisdom (which is of far greater worth than precious metals or gems). Man cannot buy wisdom like he can buy other precious metals and jewels.

Job asserts that the only One who knows wisdom is God. Again, we see another interesting structure in the poetry:
a. Inaccessibility of wisdom (vv. 12-14) 
     b. Wisdom's value beyond [gold, silver] jewels (vv. 15-19) 
a. Inaccessibility of wisdom (vv. 20-22)
     b. Wisdom's value known by God (vv. 23-27)
So, if wisdom is inaccessible and cannot be bought, how can man find it? It is summed up in the final verse of the chapter:


And to man He said, 
"Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding."

REFLECTION

Job's three friends had knowledge, but they lacked wisdom. Charles Spurgeon said:
"Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as the knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”  
(Wiersbe, W. W. [1996, c1991]. Be patient. An Old Testament study. [Job 28:1]. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.)
How can we find that wisdom? 

By fearing the Lord.

How do we learn to fear (reverence) the Lord?


By knowing Him more deeply.

How do we know Him more deeply?


By digging DEEP in the Word of God 
and obeying what it says!

Psalm 119:38 says,


Establish Your word to Your servant,
As that which produces reverence for You.

Warren Wiersbe continues:
If you want real treasure, you must dig deep . . . The Word of God is like a deep mine, filled with precious treasures; but the believer must put forth effort to discover its riches. It takes careful reading and study, prayer, meditation, and obedience to mine the treasures of the Word of God; and the Holy Spirit of God is willing to assist us. Why are we so negligent when this great wealth lies so near at hand?
Wisdom is found in humbling ourselves before God and seeking Him through His Word and obeying His voice as He speaks to us through it. Wisdom and understanding involve evaluating our circumstances in light of God's perspective (found in His Word) and walking down God's path and not our own.

Who would want to toss away so great a treasure?

APPLICATION

Hopefully you are growing in wisdom as you mine God's Word here in the Bible Book Club and apply what you are learning to your everyday situations in life, but we can always grow more! Are there any areas of your life that you are not giving over to God to guide you down the wise path? Humbly come to Him and ask Him for wisdom and a heart to obey.

PRAYER

Lord, make us miners of Your Word so that we might fear You. When we find nuggets of precious truth, help us not to toss them aside but to see them as valuable. We want to be people who look intently at Your perfect law and become not just hearers of the Word but doers too (James 1:22). Guide us by Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
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