Tuesday 05 October 2021

Bible Book:

But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? (v. 12)

Job 28: 12-19 Tuesday 5 October 2021

Psalm 5.1-8


This chapter is described in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (NRSV) as an ‘interlude’. Is it to be viewed as Job’s own utterance, or is it a later insertion into the text in much the same way as the prologue and epilogue were incorporated later?

The theme of the Book of Job is not only the impenetrable human mystery of suffering but how we are to speak of God in the midst of disaster. Job’s friends after an initial period of silence (Job 2.13) speak out. They are theologically trained and provide answers.  But Job rejects their explanations. They only add to the poignancy of the attack made on him by Satan. Orthodox answers are no longer valid when a person feels totally abandoned by God.

In such a vacuum can wisdom be found? Wisdom in the Hebraic tradition is not about intellectual cleverness but about acting with moral insight and integrity. The goal of wisdom is to build an orderly and functional society reflecting the requirements of God. It is essentially practical and affects every part of life as illustrated in the Book of Proverbs. It is the Lord who gives wisdom, indeed wisdom itself seems to be a living personification of God in his act of creating (Proverbs 8). Wisdom is better than silver, gold and precious stones (Proverbs 8:10-11). That was why Solomon is so significant in wisdom literature.

So where and how do we find wisdom? Or rather how do we allow wisdom to find us? This chapter lists some of the places where people have looked. They have dug into the earth; cut channels in the rock; sought advice from birds and animals – but to no avail. In the dark tunnels in the ground, where miners have searched for gold and copper, the treasure of wisdom has not been found. Job is in deep darkness and he too finds nothing that can be refined by fire.

To Ponder:

  • Have you ever been in a dark place spiritually where God seems to be absent? What did you do?
  • Do educational attainments make you wise?


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