Job and his friends had been speaking about the dealings of God’s Providence toward the wicked and the righteous. Job had shown that some wicked men live and die in prosperity, while others are presently and openly arrested by the judgments of the Lord. But if anyone asks the reason why some are punished in this world and not others, they must be told that this is a question which human minds cannot answer. The knowledge of the reasons why God governs the world as He does is kept from us; and we must not pretend to understand them, nor ought we to reach after this forbidden knowledge. “Secret things belong not to us, but things revealed,” declared Moses in Deuteronomy 29:29.
Job maintained that the dealings of Providence were regulated by the highest wisdom. And to confirm this, he showed the great deal of knowledge and wealth which men may make themselves masters of. The caverns of the earth may be discovered, but not the counsels of Heaven. Go to the miners, O sluggards in religion! Consider their ways, and be wise. Let their courage and diligence in seeking wealth which perishes shame us out of our slothfulness and faint-heartedness in laboring for the true riches. How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! How much easier; and how much safer, too! Yet gold is often searched for, while grace is neglected. In the things of this world, to what great heights has the human intellect soared! How noble, how endowed, and how intelligent does man seem to be! But despite all man’s boasted wisdom in things of nature and art – yet ever since the Fall, in respect of Divine things, even the wisest of men have been living witnesses to this Divine truth: “the world by wisdom knew not God!” (1 Cor. 1:21) And it seems as if the Lord has been pleased – in order to draw a line of distinction between natural knowledge and spiritual wisdom from above – to give certain of His creatures greater insights and larger abilities than others, in order to enable them to investigate the utmost points of worldly science; and at the same time, He has withheld things of a spiritual nature from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto humble children, in order to show both the greatness and the littleness of mere human knowledge.
“Where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?” (verse 12) This is a sweet verse, and it is a question involving everything important. What wisdom was Job referring to? Not human wisdom, nor the discovery of the things of this world; for he had already observed that men know the locations of silver veins and gold mines. Is it not Jesus, then, Who is here folded up in the word Wisdom? The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to tell the Church that Christ is the wisdom and power of God, for in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (1 Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3). Nor is this all! For in the beautiful eighth chapter of the Book of Proverbs, there is a character introduced under the name of Wisdom, which can be applied to none other except the Son of God! And the Gospel-mercies which He has procured for us, His children, are too costly to be sold; they are bought without money, and without price! “Ye are redeemed,” said Peter, “not with corruptible things, as silver and gold; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” What pearl, topaz, onyx, or gold of Ophir is extraordinary enough to even be mentioned, in comparison with the blood of Jesus?
There are two different kinds of Wisdom. One is hidden in God; it is secret, and it does not belong to us. But the other is revealed by Him to mankind. Even just one day’s events in one person’s life are so intertwined that only He Who knows all things can distinguish and organize every part. But the knowledge of God’s revealed will is within our reach, and it is true wisdom. “Fear the Lord, and depart from evil!” As soon as a person has learned that, he has learned enough. This wisdom will not feed our foolish pride or vanity, nor will it amuse our vain curiosity. Rather, it teaches and encourages sinners to fear the Lord, and to depart from evil by exercising repentance and faith, without desiring to solve every difficulty about the events of this earthly life.
The manner in which Job concluded this part of his discourse, in verse 28, gives the whole chapter more of a Gospel-meaning than anything which went before. “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,” he declared; “and to depart from evil is understanding.” Now in other passages of Scripture, we are told that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10), and that Christ is made wisdom to us (1 Cor. 1:24, 30). The treasures of true Wisdom are hidden in Jesus, revealed by the Word, and received by faith. And when the believer fears and loves the Lord, that is Wisdom’s gift. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19); and we know that love will draw us continually to the One Who is loved, and it will give us a holy fear of doing what is displeasing to Him.
Lord Jesus, we confess that we are all, by nature, ignorant and foolish; for even when You – Who are true Wisdom Yourself – dwelt among us during Your earthly ministry, we were so depraved as to sell You for a mere thirty pieces of silver! We thank You for purchasing redemption for us with Your precious blood, which is worth more than gold or silver; and we praise You for revealing the riches of Your grace to “babes” like us, rather than to those who are worldly-wisemen. Amen.
If you prefer to listen, today’s Family Bible guide is available in audio format on both SermonAudio and YouTube.
Join other families all around the globe and receive the full-color, freely downloadable format of these thoughts in your email every day! It’s my prayer that you and your family will be equipped to receive abundant blessings from the hand of the Lord as you study His Word and worship in His presence together.
photo by Keoni K | Lightstock.com