The 28th chapter of Job is one of the finest you will find anywhere concerning a description of humanity’s greatest quest. Job’s difficult situation causes him to reflect on the meaning of life and the ultimate discovery. He himself, no doubt, is desperate for an answer to his many questions. Wisdom, in his view, consists in seeking to find the answer to the question of WHY. He thinks most people don’t have a clue. Certainly his friends don’t seem to know anything about it.
People spend all their lives mining for silver and gold. Humanity is ingenious at industry that finds these valuable minerals and many other interesting things. I especially like this one, for example — “They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures” (28:11 – NLT). But the big question is: Do people know where to find wisdom? Job concludes that when it comes to mining this most valuable of all resources, it all remains a mystery. Nothing anywhere in all the world compares to its value because it is so important and so scarce.
In the end he realizes that only God knows where wisdom can be found. Job associates the idea of wisdom with God’s creative genius and continuing sustenance of the world. Everything in the entire universe is ordered by God’s amazing ability which is his wisdom. Only He knows what wisdom is all about. And He has a message for all of humanity about where to find this wisdom. It is in fearing the Lord and forsaking evil: that, is what wisdom is really all about. (This is what the writer of the Proverb says as well– 9:10.) In other words, it is in recognizing God’s greatness and living one’s life in relation to His power and majesty that one is able to successfully find wisdom. It is in this kind of true worship which also includes recognizing and separating oneself from evil that one discovers what is more valuable than anything else in the entire universe.
Those of us who know the Gospel story realize that a proper regard for God and true separation from evil comes through acknowledging the significance of Jesus Christ. Wisdom consists in recognizeing that He came to earth as the incarnate God to overcome evil through His death and resurrection. In the midst of all of humanity’s very fascinating pursuits this is the most important discovery that anyone could ever make.
As for me, when I consider the amazing wonders of our world and the constant pursuit that occupies everyone’s attention, I feel hugely blessed to have discovered this wisdom that Job is speaking about. And though I am a very small speck in God’s mighty universe it is so good to know that wisdom which is more important than anything else in the whole world. Having discovered that wisdom means a life of exploring its many glorious facets and living in its exquisite beauty forever.