Wisdom cannot be found in the land of the living. God is the one who understands the way to wisdom. Wisdom is a journey to a destination which is beyond earthly realms. As we revere the author of wisdom, we may acquire a fraction of it from the Almighty One…
1 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.
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.
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.
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
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.”
Job 28:1-4, 7-8, 12-15, 21, 23-28
Job describes how humans mine for precious metals – our ingenuity to explore and overtake all parts of the earth is not limited to its surface. We cut shafts into the ground to go to places untouched by human feet, where even birds and other beasts have never been. We continue to explore today, yet space is now the frontier of choice in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Although we have these God-given pursuits of exploration, we do not find wisdom in any of these places. Wisdom cannot be found in the land of the living. In other words, it is not tangible and cannot be grasped or quantified by us. It is worth so much, yet cannot be purchased with gold or silver.
Job continues to amaze us with his understanding of God. He reveals that Only God can see it because he has the scope of all heaven and earth in his sights. God sees the visible and the invisible.
When he looked at wisdom in the process of his creation, God appraised it, confirmed it, and tested it. In other words, God is the author and owner of wisdom. He is wisdom’s Master.
And then God said to the human race, words which we shall rely upon and pursue today and tomorrow and until we see the other side of life and death, and the depths of which we shall still not fully appreciate: “The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.”
After all this glorious metaphor and imagery, the essence of enacting wisdom or attaining it or appending it to our beings comes down to fearing God and shunning evil. As we revere the author of wisdom, we may, by living with honour toward his command, acquire a fraction of it from the Almighty One.
Seek him who understands the way to wisdom…