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

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links


 

Job 28:12-28 Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

Job 28:12  But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:13  Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

Job 28:14  The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.

Job 28:15  It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

Job 28:16  It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

Job 28:17  The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

Job 28:18  No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

Job 28:19  The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

Job 28:20  Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:21  Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.

Job 28:22  Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.

Job 28:23  God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.

Job 28:24  For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;

Job 28:25  To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.

Job 28:26  When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:

Job 28:27  Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.

Job 28:28  And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Introduction

Not only are Job and his friends one and all self- righteous types of you and me, they are also filled with the kindred spirits of pride and vanity, being all puffed up in what they all consider to be their superior knowledge of God. Notice what Job had earlier told his friends:

Job 13:1  Lo, mine eye hath seen all this, mine ear hath heard and understood it.

Job 13:2  What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you.

‘What you know, I know also’, is the vanity of a carnal mind. As carnal men “in the Potter’s hand” (Jer 18:4), knowledge always first puffs us up:

1Co 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

It is this pride and self- righteousness in our flesh which drives us to reprove, contend with and to condemn our own God and Creator. It is this “enmity against God” which is inherent in all flesh of all time:

Rom 8:5  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

It is a testament to God’s power and His ability to blind us from seeing ourselves, that we are all capable of being “enmity against God” and His commandments while at the same time considering ourselves to be God’s humble servant.

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Joh 16:1  These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

Joh 16:2  They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

Joh 16:3  And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

This is who we all are before the seven plagues of the seven angels are fulfilled in our lives. This is where Job and his friends are, as the Old Testament types of us, before those seven plagues are fulfilled within us.

We ‘do these things because we have not known the Father or His Son’. So the time comes when we must have knowledge of who God and His Son are, and when we are given to know God and Christ, then we will be anything but “puffed up” or have any great “enmity against God”.

Hos 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

But at this point we, as Job, are speaking of things about which he knew nothing:

Job 34:35  Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom.

Job 42:1  Then Job answered the LORD, and said,

Job 42:2  I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Job 42:3  Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

But for now Job, as the type of our own self- righteous beast, is now on a roll and is declaring his own righteousness and displaying and demonstrating to the world that he considers himself to have a vast store of knowledge of the very God he is reproving, contending with and condemning. This is the very nature of a marred vessel with the heart of a beast (Ecc 3:18).

If only we will be granted to see how personally applicable are these words:

Job 28:12  But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

As the New Testament reality of which Job is the shadow, we think we have both wisdom and understanding, even as we are demonstrating that all we are capable of doing is saying “Lord, Lord” while demonstrating by our actions that we are totally incapable  of “do[ ing] the things [ our Lord] say[ s]”.

Mat 26:31  Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

Mat 26:32  But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

Mat 26:33  Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

Mat 26:34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Mat 26:35  Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

We have no idea what “die with thee” means, even as we make our boast. We all think we are “disciples indeed” when in reality we are yet nothing more than “carnal babes in Christ”. We have never been tried in the fire of His Words, so we simply cannot yet say that we have “continue[ d] in [ His] word”:

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word [ through the seven plagues of the seven angels, Rev 15:7-8], then are ye my disciples indeed;

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Rev 15:7  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Rev 15:8  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

But as the spiritual reality of who Job typifies, we actually believe we understand things that are far above our own experience.

Job 28:13  Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.

It is those spiritual things we consider to be “foolishness” for which we are not yet given the ability to properly value. They are ours, but  we let them slip away from us and be stolen from us, as it did in type with both Esau’s birthright and his blessing. “Not knowing the price thereof” is just telling us that we first “despise [ our] birthright”, we “lose [ our] first love” before we are granted to repent of that sinful act and are given to value the things of the spirit.

Gen 25:34  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

Gen 27:34  And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

Gen 27:35  And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.

Heb 12:16  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Christ and His words are wisdom, and like Job and like Christ’s disciples, we have no appreciation for Christ or His words. We all first deny and despise those words. If it is given us in this age, we are brought to see how little we appreciate Christ, and only then we all ‘go out and weep bitterly’ for the lack of appreciation we see within ourselves. Only then do we, like Jacob and Peter did, begin to value “the things of the spirit”.

Luk 22:61  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Luk 22:62  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

Job 28:14  The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.

“The sea” is the Biblical symbol for all beastly flesh, out of which we all first proceed:

Ecc 3:18  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

Rev 13:1  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Rev 13:2  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

The only thing that is precious to a wild beast is more flesh, for which it is more than willing to kill. The beast we all first are does not value wisdom or the words of wisdom.

Job 28:15  It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.

Job 28:16  It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.

Job 28:17  The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.

Job 28:18  No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

Job 28:19  The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

The holy spirit has used five verses enumerating the physical things which are highly valued by our old, natural man. The point being made is that the things of the words of our Lord, the things of the spirit (Joh 6:63), are vastly superior to all these precious physical things combined. We do not “weigh the price thereof”; we do not compare the value of Christ’s words with gold or precious stones.

The stories of Jacob stealing Esau’s birthright and blessing and the parable of the unjust steward are not given us to encourage us to be unjust thieves, rather they are given us to encourage us to be “wise as serpents, but harmless as doves”, to place the unseen things of the spirit above all else, and to be as wise as “the children of this age” in our desire to acquire those “things of the spirit”.

Luk 16:8  And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world [ Greek, aion, age] are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

It is spiritual proof that we are mere beasts when we think that Christ or His doctrine can be purchased as a commodity with the fruits of our own ‘good works’. Such an attitude belies how spiritually base we are by nature. That is the lesson of the story of Simon the magician in the book of Acts:

Act 8:18  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

Act 8:20  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Act 8:21  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

Act 8:22  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Act 8:23  For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

It is natural to die without appreciating the incomparable spiritual value of the spiritual words of wisdom given us by our Lord:

Job 4:17  Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?

Job 4:18  Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:

Job 4:19  How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?

Job 4:20  They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.

Job 4:21  Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth [ Greek, gives life]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Job 28:20  Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?

Job 28:21  Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.

Yes, what is the source of wisdom? Does God learn wisdom? If so, from whom does God learn wisdom? Here is the Biblical answer to that question for all who are granted to receive His words in answer to that question:

Psa 111:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Pro 9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Knowledge, understanding and wisdom, the doing of what we know and understand, are one and all wrapped up in our Lord and in knowing Him. That is “whence… comes wisdom”. God is wisdom. God did not learn wisdom.

Job 28:22  Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.

It is lack of wisdom which produces death. It is true that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, but very few realize the connection between life and wisdom:

Job 28:22  Destruction and deathsay, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.

Job 28:23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.

Job 28:24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;

Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.

Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy hinm that had power of death, that is, the devil;

So we are told:

Ecc 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Rom 12:2 and be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of thee Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

1Co 15:50 Now this I way, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Ecc 7:12  For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Is that not the same as this verse quoted above?

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

That again is the connection between wisdom and life. Life is Christ’s words of wisdom. “They are spirit, and they are life”, and they are also words of wisdom.

Job 28:23  God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.

Job 28:24  For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;

Job 28:25  To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.

Job 28:26  When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:

Job 28:27  Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.

Does the fact that we are told that “God understands the way thereof, and that He knows the place” of wisdom, mean that wisdom is not inherent in God? Does the fact that we are told that God can “see [ wisdom], declare it, prepare it, and search it out” mean that wisdom is not inherent in God? How absurd we become when we “lean to our own understanding”, and attempt to bring God down to our own limited, physical, level.

If indeed God had to “search out wisdom” before He could know it, how then could He make this statement?

Job 28:28  And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

If indeed wisdom is something God had to learn and search out for before He Himself could understand it, then what do these words mean?

1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1Co 2:8  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1Co 2:10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

1Co 2:11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God

There it is in very simple words: “Wisdom [ is] of God”, and “the spirit searches… the deep things of… God[‘s own] wisdom”. God is not searching to find or to discover wisdom, His spirit within us “searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” within us, for our benefit, and for our knowledge, not for His benefit or for His knowledge.

Notice these words:

Exo 31:3  And I have filled him with t he spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

2Sa 14:20  To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.

1Ki 3:28  And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.

So  “the wisdom [ is] of God”. It is not something God had to go out and discover wisdom from anyone else or anywhere else.

Isa 45:5  I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

Isa 45:6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

So Job, in boasting of his knowledge of God, is condemning himself for reproving, contending with, and condemning the all- wise God of all creation.

In our next study, we will hear from Job himself just how good, and how respected, and how worthy of that respect he was before God, totally without cause, as Job sees it, took it all away from him.

Here are our verses for next week’s study.

Job 29:1  Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,

Job 29:2  Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;

Job 29:3  When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;

Job 29:4  As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;

Job 29:5  When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;

Job 29:6  When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;

Job 29:7  When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!

Job 29:8  The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.

Job 29:9  The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.

Job 29:10  The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.

Job 29:11  When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:

Job 29:12  Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.

Job 29:13  The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.

 

 

 

 

Other related posts