Daily Readings and Thought for December 21st. “WHERE SHALL WISDOM BE FOUND?”
The three “friends” of Job have given up reasoning with him, their minds were locked into thinking that everything ‘bad’ that happens is always a form of punishment by God – but this is – but only sometimes. We are now reading some very interesting chapters that contain Job’s meditations about God and his way – and we look ahead to note God’s comment in ch. 42 v.7..
One point Job makes is that the success and blessings the rich enjoy are only temporary. “He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more; he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.” [27 v.19] This is a lesson our world is in the process of learning, a lesson that is not yet complete.
Chapter 28 today caused us to reflect on the massive efforts in recent years, such as in this country, to dig out metals of great value. These are essential for the ongoing prosperity of modern man and his lifestyle. The chapter begins, “surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine. Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore.”
Now more than ever “man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots” [v.9] in his efforts to increase his prosperity.
Then Job poses a significant question! “But where shall wisdom be found? Where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its worth …” [v.12,13] Man is busy, very busy doing – but is he wise in all he is doing? Is this his sole aim in life? To make the point that it is not – is Job’s purpose in asking this question.
Job gives his answer at the end of the chapter, “Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.” When we read about the “fear of the Lord” we see this as meaning we are to be in awe of all that the Creator must be.
This is a healthy attitude of mind which we can build on, under God’s guidance, to develop a real relationship with our Creator and His Son.
The letters to the 7 churches (ecclesia) which we are now reading in Revelation illustrate the different degrees to which believers there had succeeded or failed in having a real knowing of the Eternal. Often it helps to see the word ‘knowledge’ as having the sense of knowing – of establishing a relationship, we will see this as Job’s book reaches its climax.