Last week we saw that valuable treasures are kept well and protected. We also saw that treasures are hidden deep-under where they cannot easily be reached except with great effort, sacrifice and hard work. We also learnt that “the kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Mathew 13:44)
Today we are going to learn from a man who had it all and saw it all.
Job, the scriptures tell us, was a righteous man. He was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. Job 1:1
God had blessed Job with great wealth that would have been envy for many today; but one day, God allowed that wealth including his treasured family to be taken away from him.
In ordinary circumstances, Job had no reason to continue living. He had every reason humanly speaking, to distrust God. But as we shall see in a moment, Job’s life was not anchored on his treasures.
When God seems far away:
Have you ever been in a situation where God seems far away?
Job being human, felt like God had deserted him. When we read scripture, we know that God had allowed this testing of faith to happen. God was so proud of Job to the extent that He testified that there was no one on earth as righteous, upright, a man who feared God and shunned evil as Job did. Whereas we have this understanding, please remember Job did not know what was happening behind the scenes.
Job had friends and a wife who thought he must have sinned against God. They tried to persuade him to repent to avert calamity, but he was clear in his mind that he had done nothing wrong.
Job experienced pain; he searched for God to no avail. Job 23:3 Job says, “If only I knew where to find Him; If only I could go to His dwelling!” Sometimes our circumstances make us feel like God is so far removed from our situation.
Despite losing all what he treasured and had worked for all his life, Job acknowledged the sovereignty of God. Vs 12 “I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.”
Today, many may find themselves in a similar situation. All you treasured is disappearing and hope seems to be diminishing. Your job is threatened by the economic times; your career has stalled; you had hoped to finish school this year and now you are faced with another year in school; You were looking forward to getting married this year and now it seems unlikely to happen; You had just taken a loan and you were expecting to start this dream business and now you are facing fore-closure even before you have started. It is not easy at all!
I want to remind you that there is a God behind the scenes.
Job testified: “God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. Yet I am not silenced by the darkness that covers my face.” Job 23:16-17
Wisdom and understanding:
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 Mortals put an end to the darkness;
they search out the farthest recesses
for ore in the blackest darkness.
4 Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,
in places untouched by human feet;
far from other people they dangle and sway.
5 The earth, from which food comes,
is transformed below as by fire;
6 Sapphires come from its rocks,
and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
no falcon’s eye has seen it.
8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it,
and no lion prowls there.
9 People assault the flinty rock with their hands
and lay bare the roots of the mountains.
10 They tunnel through the rock;
their eyes see all its treasures.
11 They search[a] the sources of the rivers
and bring hidden things to light.
12 But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?
13 No mortal comprehends its worth;
it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, “It is not in me”;
the sea says, “It is not with me.”
15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
nor can its price be weighed out in silver.
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,
with precious onyx or sapphires.
17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it,
nor can it be had for jewels of gold.
18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;
the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;
it cannot be bought with pure gold.
20 Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
22 Destruction[b] and Death say,
“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
24 for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
28 And He said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”
In the middle of Jobs suffering, he began to understand the ways of God.
Sometimes it takes a while to appreciate or acknowledge that the ways of God are superior to ours. We plan and we expect to succeed in our worldly endeavors. Job knew how to make wealth; he knew God and remained faithful. Yet, he did not escape what seemed only fit for the enemies of God.
What are you going through today? What are your fears? Are you fearing losing what you have treasured?
For Job to remain faithful despite losing all he treasured, he needed great wisdom and understanding. He learnt it directly from God. In vs 13 he stated, “Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.” In other words, Job understood that people who do not understand the importance of God’s word seek for wisdom of this world. They treasure what they can see without revelation that it can be taken away.
The ultimate interpretation of life of who we are, what we live for and where we are going must come from outside and above our mortal life. God’s wisdom is revealed in His word.
Job 28:1-11; Gives us a picture of the ability of man. We know where to mine good and precious things. We work hard and invest a lot. We search through rumble and tunnels of rock. We are willing to go deep where no one has ever reached to acquire what is precious, but are we willing to mine for wisdom? Are we willing to spare time for wisdom? We know how to search the sources of rivers and bring out hidden things; but where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?
It cannot be found in the land of the living, the deep says it is not in me, the sea says it is not with me. It cannot be bought with the finest gold.
Only God understands the way to it and He alone understands where it dwells.
Vs 28 “The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”
Three friends to be careful of:
He thinks that wisdom is learnt by observing and experiencing life. Job 4:7 “Consider now: Who being innocent, has ever perished? This kind of friend has an attitude towards God and thinks he has observed how God works and has figured Him out. Gods ways are more superior than our ways.
He thinks wisdom is inherited from the past. Job 8:8 “Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned.” He thinks those who have gone before us figured God out. Whereas we learn from others, we must seek God for ourselves and over our own situations.
He thinks wisdom belongs to the “wise”. He bases his advice on his wisdom that has no other source than himself. Job 20: 3 “I hear a rebuke that dishonors me, and my understanding inspires me to reply” No man carries the truth about wisdom; True wisdom comes from God.
Job finally understood; God is the source of wisdom and the first source of attaining wisdom is to fear God. He reveals His wisdom to those who humbly trust Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
God bless you