Thursday after the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Job 28-30 (NKJV)
28:1 “Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. 3 Man puts an end to darkness, and searches every recess for ore in the darkness and the shadow of death. 4 He breaks open a shaft away from people; In places forgotten by feet they hang far away from men; They swing to and fro. 5 As for the earth, from it comes bread, but underneath it is turned up as by fire; 6 Its stones are the source of sapphires, and it contains gold dust. 7 That path no bird knows, nor has the falcon’s eye seen it. 8 The proud lions have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed over it. 9 He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the roots. 10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing. 11 He dams up the streams from trickling; What is hidden he brings forth to light.
12 “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13 Man does not know its value, nor is it 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 purchased for gold, nor can silver be weighed for its price. 16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. 17 Neither gold nor crystal can equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made of coral or quartz, for the price of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.
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 Destruction and Death say, ‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’ 23 God understands its way, and He knows its place. 24 For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heavens, 25 to establish a weight for the wind, and apportion the waters by measure. 26 When He made a law for the rain, and a path for the thunderbolt, 27 then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. 28 And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.'”
29:1 Job further continued his discourse, and said:
2 Oh, that I were as in months past, as in the days when God watched over me; 3 When His lamp shone upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness; 4 Just as I was in the days of my prime, when the friendly counsel of God was over my tent; 5 When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were around me; 6 When my steps were bathed with cream, and the rock poured out rivers of oil for me!
7 “When I went out to the gate by the city, when I took my seat in the open square, 8 the young men saw me and hid, and the aged arose and stood; 9 The princes refrained from talking, and put their hand on their mouth; 10 The voice of nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth. 11 When the ear heard, then it blessed me, and when the eye saw, then it approved me; 12 Because I delivered the poor who cried out, the fatherless and the one who had no helper. 13 The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban. 15 I was eyes to the blind, and I was feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the case that I did not know. 17 I broke the fangs of the wicked, and plucked the victim from his teeth.
18 “Then I said, ‘I shall die in my nest, and multiply my days as the sand. 19 My root is spread out to the waters, and the dew lies all night on my branch. 20 My glory is fresh within me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.’
21 “Men listened to me and waited, and kept silence for my counsel. 22 After my words they did not speak again, and my speech settled on them as dew. 23 They waited for me as for the rain, and they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain. 24 If I mocked at them, they did not believe it, and the light of my countenance they did not cast down. 25 I chose the way for them, and sat as chief; So I dwelt as a king in the army, as one who comforts mourners.
30:1 “But now they mock at me, men younger than I, whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock. 2 Indeed, what profit is the strength of their hands to me? Their vigor has perished. 3 They are gaunt from want and famine, fleeing late to the wilderness, desolate and waste, 4 who pluck mallow by the bushes, and broom tree roots for their food. 5 They were driven out from among men, they shouted at them as at a thief. 6 They had to live in the clefts of the valleys, in caves of the earth and the rocks. 7 Among the bushes they brayed, under the nettles they nestled. 8 They were sons of fools, yes, sons of vile men; They were scourged from the land.
9 “And now I am their taunting song; Yes, I am their byword. 10 They abhor me, they keep far from me; They do not hesitate to spit in my face. 11 Because He has loosed my bowstring and afflicted me, they have cast off restraint before me. 12 At my right hand the rabble arises; They push away my feet, and they raise against me their ways of destruction. 13 They break up my path, they promote my calamity; They have no helper. 14 They come as broad breakers; Under the ruinous storm they roll along. 15 Terrors are turned upon me; They pursue my honor as the wind, and my prosperity has passed like a cloud.
16 “And now my soul is poured out because of my plight; The days of affliction take hold of me. 17 My bones are pierced in me at night, and my gnawing pains take no rest. 18 By great force my garment is disfigured; It binds me about as the collar of my coat. 19 He has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 “I cry out to You, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You regard me. 21 But You have become cruel to me; With the strength of Your hand You oppose me. 22 You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride on it; You spoil my success. 23 For I know that You will bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
24 “Surely He would not stretch out His hand against a heap of ruins, if they cry out when He destroys it. 25 Have I not wept for him who was in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor? 26 But when I looked for good, evil came to me; And when I waited for light, then came darkness. 27 My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest; Days of affliction confront me. 28 I go about mourning, but not in the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help. 29 I am a brother of jackals, and a companion of ostriches. 30 My skin grows black and falls from me; My bones burn with fever. 31 My harp is turned to mourning, and my flute to the voice of those who weep.
In chapter 28, Job discusses wisdom: “From where then does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air” (28:20-21). So what really is wisdom? Some say that mere knowledge is wisdom. It’s knowing all the facts. Others say it involves more—that we must be able to apply those facts to a given situation. For instance, it’s not enough to know it’s cold outside, we must prepare ourselves to accommodate the cold weather.
But true wisdom is far more than facts and their application. For true wisdom is found in God Himself. God speaks in Job 28:28, “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.'” In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified as God Himself. In the New Testament, St. Paul writes: “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption…” (1 Cor. 1:30).
Many people clamor for our attention claiming to be wise, both in the physical world as well as the spiritual. Their salesmanship can make their wisdom appealing—”pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise” (Gen 3:6). But our only source for wisdom must be found in God alone, as revealed in His Holy Word.
Prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, let us never trust in our own wisdom or in the things of this world. Rather, let us trust in the Wisdom from on high, that we may know what is right and pleasing in Your sight, and be enabled to follow through on such wisdom in our words and actions; In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.