The word wisdom means that you have gained knowledge that came from experience and have the ability to make good judgement. In Job 28, Job himself speaks about wisdom and it really stuck with me. Job has been suffering endlessly and wishes for the wisdom to understand his suffering. In my Bible, this verse is titled “A Hymn to Wisdom” and I think that is a perfectly stated summary of this incredibly eye-opening verse.
I feel like many times all of us think that we cannot be considered knowledgeable or wise. For example, I feel like I struggle a lot with confidence in my knowledge of the Bible at the moment, because I don’t want to say anything wrong. But, the thing is we must know where wisdom comes from to strive to attain it.
There are so many things that can be found on the earth, but you can’t just find wisdom. Silver can be mined. Gold can be refined. Iron can be taken from the ground. Copper is smelted from ore. But you can’t just discover wisdom. In this verse, there is a metaphor created for God being a miner. He “puts an end to the darkness” and “probes the deepest recesses for ore in the gloomy darkness.” He destroys any darkness we may find ourselves in and covers us in His light. He also is the only one that can see the entirety of our situations, just as a miner can see what is happening underneath, but the rest of us cannot.
He looks for our good in even the darkest of places. When ore is found it is used to make copper. He uses our gifts and attributes to do great things. “He cuts a shaft far from human habitation, in places unknown to those who walk above ground.” He works in our lives in ways we (the people above ground) cannot understand.
“Food may come from the earth, but below the surface the earth is transformed as by fire.” We are fed by things around us on earth, but God is lighting a fire of passion under us and we are changed from the inside out. He transforms us.
He alone knows all. There is no one else that can be informed of everything on earth. “No bird of prey knows that path; no falcon’s eye has seen it. Proud beasts have never walked on it; no lion has ever prowled over it.” No one has walked his line of wisdom. He alone is wise in all things.
He causes emotions and passions in us all to move. Job describes this in his metaphor as the miner turning up ore. “He cuts out channels” leading us through certain paths. He also sees our gifts and abilities as important as “his eyes spot every treasure.” He is also there to aid in the hard times when it feels like everything is crashing down around us. As Job says it “He dams up the streams from flowing so that he may bring to light what is hidden.” Through hard times he brings light to brighten the darkness.
Many people want to be smart or wise. But true wisdom cannot be found by studying and learning as we usually do. Job asks “where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located? No one can know its value, since it cannot be found in the land of the living.” We cannot find wisdom around us, just in the world.
You cannot buy wisdom. “Gold cannot be exchanged for it, and silver cannot be weighed out for its price wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or lapis lazuli. Gold and glass do not compare with it, and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it. Coral and quarts are not worth mentioning. The price of wisdom is beyond pearls. Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it, and it cannot be valued in pure gold.” Overall you cannot just find wisdom or buy it. Wisdom is “hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky.”
But “God understands the way to wisdom, and He knows its location. For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.” Only He is the way to true wisdom. He has “fixed the weight of the wind and distributed the water by measure.” He also “established a limit for the rain and a path for the lightning, He considered wisdom and evaluated it.” He established wisdom and thoroughly examined it.
Job tells us that God said to us “The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.” The word fear can be skewed when looking at the Bible. But, in the case of the Lord the word “fear” is really meant to be defined as an attitude of respect and reverence. Living with reverence for God is wisdom and striving to do the right thing is an understanding of wisdom.
Many people strive to be knowledgeable and believe that knowledge will make them wise. But, the truth is that if you have a true respect for who God is and what He does for us then that is true wisdom. And as a sign of understanding, someone with wisdom will turn to do the right thing.
It truly is impossible to always do the right thing, but the point of this verse, I believe, is that you cannot find wisdom in other things, because He is the only way to true knowledge and the ability to make the correct choices. So, look to Him when you do not understand what is going on or what to do. We will not always be granted with this wisdom in our time on earth, but it is absolutely crucial to understand who is in control of absolute wisdom.
This verse has affected me greatly, and I just love the way Job describes wisdom and how we should respect and revere Him. I thought I would just share this because it has really stuck in my mind over past week and I hope it brings to light some important things to note in your life as it has been in mine.
-all of the quotations in this post come from Job 28 (CSB)-