The Search for Wisdom

We strive for the ability to understand life, and to make the right decisions to achieve the right goals in life.  The Bible calls this wisdom– the ability to choose the best goal and to know the right way to achieve that goal.

But where do you find that wisdom? The ancient patriarch of the Bible, Job, asked that very question when he asked: “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” Job 28:12 (NKJV). To Job, it was not an abstract hypothetical question – he was suffering the loss of his family, his wealth, and his health.  Enduring pain while being criticized and accused by his friends, Job focused on seeking the wisdom that would enable him to mentally cope with his own situation and, perhaps, answer the questions, Why this? Why me?

In an extended discourse, Job inquires and then answers his own question.

Mining for Metals – Job likened the search to mining for precious metals: As there are mines for silver, gold, iron and copper (vv. 28:1-2), men risk death to enter the darkness of mines to search the recesses of the earth for metals (vv. 3-6) in places where animals do not go (vv. 7-10) and all of this risk is taken so “What is hidden he brings forth to light” (v. 11). But how do you bring God’s wisdom to light?

The Search for Wisdom – Job asks “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” (v. 12) Though man does know the value of wisdom (v. 13) he cannot find it on earth, and he cannot purchase it with gold, onyx, sapphire, coral, quartz, topaz or even jewelry! (vv. 19)

The Source of Wisdom – So, Job asked again From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?” (v. 20) Unlike physical stones that are precious and valued, wisdom is concealed from our eyes; it is not physical item (v. 21). It is God alone that knows the way of wisdom; He alone saw wisdom as He established His creation (vv. 27).

This is wisdom – In conclusion, Job rightly described the source of God’s wisdom at creation: “Then He [God] saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.  And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ” Job 28:27-28 (NKJV).  Wisdom begins with God, and our ability to live within his wisdom requires the fear, reverence for Him, and a submission that separates us from evil. This, then is the wisdom that cannot even be valued in pure gold, the wisdom found in acknowledging and revering God, as we trust and obey in his Son, Jesus Christ. 

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