I love the book of Job. I am so glad that God included it in the Bible. Its wisdom and raw gritty honesty about suffering is refreshing. One of my favorite sections, though there are many, has been Job’s cry for wisdom in chapter 28. It is beautifully written poetry that yearns in us as “deep calls out to deep” at the noise of His waterfalls (Psalm 42:7). Job’s cry for wisdom to speak into the circumstances of his life is one that stirs my soul as I too long to find God’s wisdom for my life.
Job says, “Surely there is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore" (Job 28:1-2). “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living. The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’ and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ It cannot be bought for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price" (Job 28:12-15).
“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. Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears’" (Job 28:20-22).
"God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure, when he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder, then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out. And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding’” (Job 28:23-28)
Of all the things precious in this life, God’s wisdom is the most valuable resource, and it is hidden!
Other precious resources are hidden too. Gold is not easy to find, and when it is located, there is a massive “rush” to go dig it up. There are many stories of gold rushes and the trials that come with them in modern history. Many people have even died as a result of these gold rushes. For example, during the California Gold Rush between 1948-1950, more than 300,000 people poured into California as word spread of gold being found there. Fights and rivalries resulted too and over 4,000 of the native population were even murdered by enraged miners! During the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890’s, men and women left everything behind to go search for gold in the extreme conditions of the Yukon. An estimated 100,000 people migrated north to try their luck at finding gold, even though the isolated and severe circumstances would mean that very few succeeded, and many died trying.
These just serve to illustrate the lengths that people will go to, to find something that they really want. But here in the book of Job we see that when we are going through trouble, gold and all the earth’s most precious resources are not what we need. We need God’s wisdom! But it is hidden, even more so than the gems and precious resources of this earth. Proverbs encourages us to dig it up.
“…Incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding…” (Proverbs 2:2-6).
It’s very encouraging to know that the Bible is clear that if we seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him.
“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29). I love that in the end of the narrative of Job’s life, we find that Job does receive the wisdom from God that he so yearned for. He receives a very personal encounter from Yahweh in chapters 38-41. Consider Job’s response to the wisdom He received: “You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know...'I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.'”(Job 42:3,5-6).
God is a God of words. He speaks to us in our sorrows and in our joys. From the beginning, He Spoke the world into existence. And He currently speaks through His living Word to us. The Bible once spoken is the living Word that still speaks through the Holy Spirit. Do you need wisdom from God? Cry out to Him for it, doubting nothing as James 1:5-7 says. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…”
God wants to speak to us! That is so exciting to me. I would rather hear a rebuke from God, as Job and Isaiah did (see Isaiah 6) when encountering the Almighty, than to hear nothing at all! I hope you will join me as I cry out to God for the hidden wisdom for life.