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Job 28, Where Wisdom Is Found

Job paints a beautiful picture of God’s creation and all the mysteries it holds. But at the end, the one question that remains is the location and source of wisdom. Only God holds wisdom.

It is interesting to me that humans believe they hold wisdom. All the fights, all the wars, all come down to one thing – every side believes they are right. I have had relationships before that were incredibly frustrating. In one instance, the person (although with many great qualities) had a conversational quirk I found truly annoying. When we sat down to have conversations about nearly anything (politics, religion, pop culture), they only talked and rarely listened. Sure, I was able to speak, but while I spoke, I could see the wheels spinning in their head to come up with a counter to what I had said. No matter what I said, there was always a contradictory rebut. Additionally, I usually felt as though they were trying to convince me they were right more than they were engaged in a conversation designed to help us both learn and grow. After a while I stopped having deep conversations with that person because there was no give and take, no learning and growing.

Ultimately, when I engage in a deep conversation, it’s because I want to learn and grow. Two can come up with more than any individual on their own. But if one party believes they have all knowledge, there is no learning or growing for either party. We all come out better when we recognize that only God has all knowledge. The best we can do is never to stop learning – we will never acquire all the knowledge of God. It is in those “aha!” moments that life can truly delight us.

Job 28

“Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold to be refined. Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. Miners put an end to darkness, and search out to the farthest bound the ore in gloom and deep darkness. They open shafts in a valley away from human habitation; they are forgotten by travelers, they sway suspended, remote from people. As for the earth, out of it comes bread; but underneath it is turned up as by fire. Its stones are the place of sapphires, and its dust contains gold.

“That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon’s eye has not seen it. The proud wild animals have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. They put their hand to the flinty rock, and overturn mountains by the roots. They cut out channels in the rocks, and their eyes see every precious thing. The sources of the rivers they probe; hidden things they bring to light.

“But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Mortals do not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living. The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’ and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ It cannot be gotten for gold, and silver cannot be weighed out as its price. It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls. The chrysolite of Ethiopia cannot compare with it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.

“Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air. Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’ God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. For he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens. When he gave to the wind its weight, and apportioned out the waters by measure; when he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the thunderbolt; then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out. And he said to humankind, ‘Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.’”