Last week in our blog we began unpacking what I consider a neglected portion of Scripture in Job 28. In this passage that we’ll look at today, I think Job shares great insights with us that are supported by many other scriptures. Also, be aware as we look at this passage the book of Job probably predates the giving of the law under Moses, as there is no reference to the law in the book of Job. We read beginning in verse 25, “To establish a weight for the wind, and apportion the waters by measure. When he made a law for the rain, and a path for the thunderbolt, then he saw wisdom and declared it; he prepared it, indeed, he searched it out. And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding,’”(Job 28:25 – 28 NKJV). First of all, in this passage Job discusses the fact that God’s wisdom is demonstrated in control of the elements. God has adjusted the weight of the winds so that they are not too weighty or too light that injury should be caused. At times God will allow the elements to do destruction as He did in the case of Job’s family. It is in the face of new challenges that we seek God’s wisdom, as we have in recent times, during these difficult last three years of the pandemic. I would suggest to you that God allowed the tragedy of covid by removing His hand the protection of our world. God’s sovereignty and control over tragedies that happen in our world is very seldom considered living in a complete and total secular society that has forsaken any spiritual grounding or insight.
verses 26, 27 God saw and values wisdom, in contrast to man’s inability to do
so. God knows how to control the rain and guide the storm as it moves across
The flashes of lightning and billows of thunder that seem arbitrary to us are all part of God’s control and majesty. The will of God’s providence is out of our reach and what God has reserved for Himself belongs to the Lord our God alone. To know the particulars of what God will do in the here and now and in the hereafter is really beyond our comprehension to grasp. I’m reminded of the words of Solomon where he writes, “He has made everything beautiful in its time, also he has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end,” (Eccl.3:10 NKJV). We desire to understand the mysteries of God, but His ways are far beyond us our ability to comprehend or understand them, especially in the really painful things in life’s journey.
In verse 28 God is speaking to man when He states, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding,” (NKJV). Please remember these verses in the context of Job’s friends assaulting him for being a great sinner. Having the fear of the Lord in this context is referring to having a loving reverence for God and who He is. It means valuing above all else what God says and what He does and to have a respect and awe of His majesty and power. This is not the fear of paralysis that many of my Catholic friends have in their image of God as an angry father, waiting to smack them upside the head with the big stick, if they get out of line or make the smallest mistake. Many people’s understanding of God was shaped by nuns in parochial schools who responded to the least trivial offense in this matter. Having a proper fear of God means to obey His commandments and to walk in His ways.
If we have a healthy fear of God that can lead to conquering other fears. When we serve Him with loyalty and wholehearted devotion, as Job had in his life, this brings a smile to the heart of God. The essence of wisdom then is the fear of the Lord, even when we cannot understand His ways. We must reject evil in the face of our world and live in accordance with God’s standards of holiness, and wisdom whether we understand God’s leading and will. Spiritual wisdom is not abstract, it is very personal and very practical. If Job’s friends had seen such a basis of inspiration from his life, then certainly, they would not have regarded him as a godless man, but they ignored his life and testimony and replaced that with their own faulty reasoning and traditions.
One of the major themes of the entire biblical
revelation is the importance of having a proper fear of God. Personal pride is
one of the greatest barriers to spiritual wisdom. Solomon writes, “When pride
comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom”, (Prov. 11:2
NKJV). He also writes, “Pride goes before destruction, and the
haughty spirit before a fall,” (Prov. 16:18 NKJV). Solomon writes later
in his life, “I know whatever God does, it shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men
should fear before Him,” (Eccl.3:14 NKJV). I’d like to come back to this theme
of fearing the Lord and see what Jesus has to say about that next week in our
blog. Until then, let us walk humbly with our God and trust Him to move and
work as He sees fit in blessing and using our lives.