Daily Reading and thought for December 21st. “But where shall wisdom be found?


 Job’s three “friends” having ceased, due to their faulty “wisdom”, to responding to his words-  today we see how Job expands on a most important theme in the meaning of life. Our chapter (28) begins with reflections on how humans search for precious things; they dig mines for silver, gold and iron (v.1).  They look for “the place of sapphires” [v.6] and “the thing that is hidden he (man) brings out to light” [v.11].  But then Job asks the key question.

“But where shall wisdom be found?  And where is the place of understanding?” [v.12].   He makes the point that “man does not know its worth” [v.13] instead he values inanimate things like “precious onyx, or sapphire. Gold and glass … coral … crystal” [v.16-18]  He then declares, “the price of wisdom (as distinct from knowledge) is above pearls …  nor can it be valued in pure gold” [v.18,19]  He returns to the key question, “From where does wisdom come?” [v.20] and states, “God understands the way to it” [v.23] and Job then notes the balance God has given to the things he created, the need and value of things like wind, rain and water. 

The climax is in the last 2 verses, God “saw it and declared it, and searched it out. And he said to man. ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”   Now “the fear of the Lord” is a key phrase in Scripture, the utter awe we all should have of what God must be!   Consider this Psalm, “He who planted the ear, does he not hear?  He who formed the eye, does he not see? He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge – the LORD knows the thoughts of man that they are but a breath.” [94 v.9-11]

Man thinks he has all the answers, or is well on the way to getting them!  What foolishness. “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth … let him who has my word speak my word faithfully” [Jeremiah 23 v.23,24,28]  We all have his word in our hands, let us read it faithfully.

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