The Procurement of Wisdom Requires Hard Work and Sacrifice (Job 27; Job 28)

Heart of a Shepherd

Jan 29, 2023

Translations

Italian

L'acquisizione della saggezza richiede duro lavoro e sacrificio (Giobbe 27; Giobbe 28)

Portuguese

A obtenção de sabedoria requer trabalho árduo e sacrifício (Jó 27; Jó 28)

Spanish

La adquisición de la sabiduría requiere trabajo duro y sacrificio (Job 27; Job 28)

Russian

Приобретение мудрости требует тяжелой работы и жертв (Иов 27; Иов 28)

French

L'acquisition de la sagesse nécessite un travail acharné et des sacrifices (Job 27; Job 28)

Urdu

حکمت کے حصول کے لیے محنت اور قربانی کی ضرورت ہے (ایوب 27؛ ایوب 28)

German

Die Beschaffung von Weisheit erfordert harte Arbeit und Opferbereitschaft (Hiob 27; Hiob 28)

The Procurement of Wisdom Requires Hard Work and Sacrifice (Job 27; Job 28) 

Scripture reading - Job 27; Job 28

Bildad had concluded his final discourse with Job (Job 25), and reminded him no man can be justified in the sight of God (Job 25:4). Job’s response initiated his lengthiest speech in the book, beginning with Job 26:1 and concluding with Job 31:40. Our examination of Job’s response continues with today’s Scripture reading, Job 27-28.

Job 27 – Job’s Parable

Verse 1 described Job’s response to Bildad as a “parable,” or a wise saying. Appealing to God as Creator, Job complained the LORD had denied him justice and “vexed” or embittered his soul (Job 27:1-2). Interestingly, though the Book of Genesis was not yet penned by Moses, he understood the uniqueness of man’s creation, and confessed, the “spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3; Genesis 2:7).

 

Job friends had argued his troubles were a consequence of sins, yet, he declared his innocence, and said, “My lips shall not speak wickedness, Nor my tongue utter deceit [lies]. (5) God forbid that I should justify you [agree with their false accusations]: Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me” (Job 27:4-5). This ancient of men refused to compromise his integrity to pacify the men who assailed him. He accepted the disdain of his “friends,” rather than the weight of a guilty conscience (Job 27:6).

The Family of the Wicked Often Pay for Their Transgressions. (Job 27:11-23)

Job acknowledged the wicked are not always punished according to their sins, but he was confident God’s judgment was inevitable (Job 27:11-23). They may enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25), but their children often bear the consequences of their transgressions. In Job’s reflections, the children of the wicked are destined “for the sword” (often die early deaths), and never “satisfied with bread” (never happy or content, Job 27:14). Even the wives of the wicked become embittered by their pernicious ways, as the Scripture says they “shall not weep” for their husbands when they die (Job 27:15).

 

The wicked enrich themselves at the sacrifice of others, but when they die their possessions are sometimes divided among the just and innocent (Job 27:16-17). Their households are unstable, and as fragile as the cocoon of a moth (Job 27:18). Regardless their boasting, the wicked go to the grave, and the honors heaped upon them perish with them (Job 27:19). When the terror of death, and the wrath of God comes upon them (Job 27:20), they will not find mercy (Job 27:22). 

Job 28 – The Search for Wisdom

Drawing an analogy where men mine for silver and refine gold (Job 28:1), Job described the great lengths men must go to find wisdom. The intense labor of a miner (Job 28:3-11).

 

The miner digs a shaft into the earth, and brings light into the darkness in search of ore (“stones of darkness,” Job 28:3). As he excavates the earth brings forth “sapphires…[and] dust of gold” (Job 28:6). The miner lays his hand to the rocks, and overturns mountains seeking rich ore (Job 28:9). He cuts channels in the rock (“rivers among the rocks”), and prevents waters from flowing into the mine shaft (Job 28:10-11).

“Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?” (Job 28:12-22)

Unlike “book learning,” wisdom is not something that can be acquired in a classroom. True wisdom, the wisdom only God can impart to a man, is priceless (Job 28:13a). Wisdom cannot be mined out of the earth, nor found by exploring the depths of the sea (Job 28:14). Wisdom cannot be purchased with gold or silver (Job 28:15), and the purest gold is not to be compared with it (Job 28:16-19). Then, if wisdom is so valuable, and rare, “Whence then cometh wisdom?” (Job 28:20). Wisdom is “hid from the eyes” of man and “the fowls of the air” (Job 28:21). One cannot find wisdom, though it is sought among the dead who have passed from this life (Job 28:22).

God Alone is the Source of Wisdom (Job 28:23-28)

Man can only know wisdom by God’s revelation: He is omniscient, and “understandeth the way thereof, And He knoweth the place thereof” (Job 28:23). He is omnipresent, and sees and knows all things, “For he looketh to the ends of the earth, And seeth under the whole heaven” (Job 28:24). Because He is Creator and Sustainer of the earth, the LORD even knows the weight of the winds and the water, and regulates the rain and the “way for the lightning” (Job 28:25-26).

 

Closing thoughts (Job 28:27-28) - Where might a man acquire wisdom? Job answered:

 

“The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28). The “fear of the LORD” is more than an emotional response; it is a practical response that obeys the Law of the LORD, and forsakes the way of sin (“to depart from evil is understanding” – Job 28:28b).  Moses commanded Israel to keep the statutes and judgments of God, “for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).  Hebrew fathers and mothers instructed their sons and daughters in the statutes and judgments of God, that they might “learn to fear” the LORD (Deuteronomy 4:10). 

 

Tragically, the 21st century has given rise to a generation of pastors, teachers, and preachers who purport “Grace” and “Liberty,” and have neglected to teach and instruct our sons and daughters in the statutes and judgments of God. The result is a culture of pride and carnality that is a cancer in our homes and churches.

 

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

 

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