Job 24-28 God understands the way to wisdom

From Job 24-28

18 Job three friendsChapter 28 of Job is the centre of the book. His suffering has led him to seek wisdom. He describes what it is like to search it out. He speaks about its value. In the end Job repeats what the LORD has told him about wisdom and where it can be found. Wisdom is fear of the LORD.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

18 Job 24-28

Job continues on from yesterday asking where is God? Why doesn’t he judge the wicked? Why doesn’t he bless the righteous? He speaks about the lifestyles of both (Job 24). Bildad jumps in with a very small response. How can a man be righteous if he was born of a woman?. Remember the Jews considered childbirth an unclean act (Lev 12.1-8). Job will reply how insignificant man is compared to the size of God’s creation. How can man understand God (Job 26)? Job reaffirms his commitment to be honest and to live righteously, saying now that God at times does punish the wicked (Job 27).

This is where our passage picks up. Job begins speaking about wisdom.

28 “Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine.

2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore.

3 Man puts an end to darkness and searches out to the farthest limit the ore in gloom and deep darkness.

4 He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives; they are forgotten by travelers; they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.

5 As for the earth, out of it comes bread, but underneath it is turned up as by fire.

6 Its stones are the place of sapphires, and it has dust of gold.

7 “That path no bird of prey knows, and the falcon’s eye has not seen it.

8 The proud beasts have not trodden it; the lion has not passed over it. (Job 28.1-8)

Job begins by speaking about mining. Man seeks for precious stones and gold. He looks whee no one has been before. Where no one lives.

9 “Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots.

10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing.

11 He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle, and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light. (Job 28.9-11)

Job continues on describing the endeavours of man. His mining and labour. Considering all his seeking for what is precious, Job now turns to wisdom.

12 “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?

13 Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living.

14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’ and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

15 It cannot be bought for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price.

16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.

17 Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.

18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls.

19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold. (Job 28.12-19)

Job has used the mining analogy to describe man’s search for wisdom. While man has gone places no one has been before in the search of precious metals and stones. In all his striving he does not necessarily find wisdom. Wisdom cannot be bought with the gold and precious stones he has found. Where can wisdom be found?

20 “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?

21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the air.

22 Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’ (Job 28.20-22)

Job realises it is difficult to find. But one person knows.

23 “God understands the way to it, and he knows its place.

24 For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. 

25 When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure,

26 when he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder,

27 then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out.

28 And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’ ” (Job 28.23-28)

God knows how to find wisdom and understanding. He graciously tells man where to find both.

Story of Jesus

God still gives man wisdom and understanding. Paul speaks about his work with God;

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (1 Cor 2:6–10)

The Spirit reveals all things including what is most important. Jesus is the Christ. If they knew this they never would have crucified him. But they did. Jesus who died on the cross was raised from the dead. He is the Christ. Our Lord and Saviour.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.