What is wisdom? That is, wisdom as God sees wisdom? Last week we read in James that the only wisdom worth possessing is “the wisdom from above (which) is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” [3 v.17] James next tells us that “a harvest of righteousness” is the reward for finding and practicing this kind of wisdom.
“But where shall wisdom be found?” is the question Job puts to the 3 “friends” as we read today in Job. 28 v.12. He receives no answer. It is one we can and should ask today! Our world is overflowing with degrees of knowledge never dreamed of by previous generations.
But how appropriate for today are the questions Job puts to the “friends.” He asks, after observing the cleverness of men in those days to “open shafts” and discover “the place of sapphires, and … gold” [v.4,6] ” and that “Man puts his hand to the flinty rock …. He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing.” [v.9,10] Man was clever and wonderfully industrious even them!
But how true are Job’s further questions and observations, “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know …” [v.12,13] Job persists with his questions, but the “friends” are silent. ” “From where, then, does wisdom come?” Job asks, “And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living …” [v.20, 21]
Then Job declares, “God understands the way to it … and declared it; he established 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.’ [v.27,28] Consider – the ‘awe’ we should feel in our hearts the more we sense what God must be.
The Scriptures alone reveal the wonder of all that the Creator is – insofar as mortal humans, if they seek, are able to grasp. The more we grasp this, the more we can start to echo David’s words in Psalm 119.
“I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. …I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside … How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.” [v.99-104]
Can we join David in saying this? Should not this be our response when we become aware, as Jesus declared in today’s chapter 2 in Revelation; “I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.” [v.23]