Job continues his concluding speech by painting a picture of the source of wisdom. Or rather where one does not find wisdom.
His friends/counsellors have come to him offering what they seem to believe is “wisdom”. What they have offered is ideas and perspective completely informed from an “under the sun” vantage point. They have sought to understand Job’s plight based upon what can be discerned from natural observation or the accumulation of knowledge gained from a long life.
Job vividly demonstrates how wisdom cannot be found in this world. It cannot be found even through great effort. It cannot be bought even at a great price.
(As an aside, in doing this Job describes a world and society which appears quite advanced. The constructing of dams, mining of various metals and precious metals, etc. Job lived near the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Let’s not be so foolish and, as C. S. Lewis described as “chronologically arrogant”, to think that people in their days were ignorant and primitive.)
After demonstrating extensively where one cannot find, discover or purchase wisdom, Job concludes this portion of his speech with a very “Proverbs” like statement on the source of wisdom.
“Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”
Wisdom has its source in God Himself. Wisdom is given by God and revealed to us by God in His Word. Without God speaking and revealing to us we cannot even begin to make sense of the world in which we live and our own lives in it.
This is why the book of Job is so important and why it is classified as “Biblical Wisdom Literature”. It gives us a perspective on suffering and particularly the suffering of God’s covenant people which could never be learned simply by naturalistic observation or even the accumulation of purely human, “under the sun” knowledge.
God speaks to us through the pages of Job and the life of Job, and we gain wisdom as we submit to Him and His declared Word.
Soli Deo Gloria
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