So where does wisdom come from?….God understands its way, and he knows its place. – Job 28:20, 23
Job’s speech on his integrity and innocence from sinning continued. He pointed to his friends and asked them if they knew the source of wisdom. Job went on to describe in detail how man could rip open the earth and discover and exploit the wondrous beauties within the earth, which no other creature on the planet could do. However, he noted that even with all of man’s greatness, he, mankind, still didn’t know the source of wisdom because it was (and is) hidden from man. The truth was, and still is, that God alone knows the source of wisdom, for he is the giver of wisdom.
So, do you think of yourself as wise? Upon what standard do you use to measure your sense or level of wisdom? Is it the knowledge gained from life experience or that studied within the halls of academia’s great libraries? Man’s wisdom is real and has its place, but is it true wisdom? According to the Bible there is no wisdom outside of what God determines. He is the source of knowledge and wisdom. In fact, Job will later come to state that wisdom is the “fear of the Lord.”
Using Job’s definition of wisdom – the fear of the Lord, let us examine ourselves against such standard and evaluate whether or not we are wise. The world has no fear or reverence of God because it is at odds or in opposition to him and his ways. The people of the world may think of themselves as wise, but anyone who would rise in rebellion against one’s Creator cannot be ultimately “wise” but foolish. Even Jesus, while alive on the earth in human form, said to fear only the One who was, and is, able to throw both body and soul into hell and not to fear those who can kill only the body. Thus, those in opposition to God are “wise” merely in their minds and not according to what God has established.
Thus, we have to ask ourselves, from where does the “wisdom” we possess come? Is it truly given by God? Or, is it that we have gained experientially from trial and error? Is it a reverence we have obtained from knowing the sheer awesomeness and power of God, himself? Or is it not? If we have a healthy respect and reverence for the Lord God Almighty, then we can claim that we are “wise” and have received it from the One who created it. To think proudly that we know what we know because of scientific discovery or through other human efforts is true evidence of our lack of Godly wisdom. For the truly wise man knows that pride comes before destruction and arrogance before a fall.
Father, you’ve once again outdone yourself, at least by what I know in my finite mind, and shown me the truth of real wisdom. Wisdom is not merely applying knowledge gained in life in a given situation although you did teach us through the apostle James to ask for wisdom (as stated here) from you if we are lacking it. Yet, I sense deep within me that the truth of revering you is real wisdom. I would dare not think or even speak treason against you by saying that I don’t fear you. I know that you are not a phantom being sitting in heaven with lightning bolts ready to zap anyone who does wrong. In fact you’re a just yet loving God, a righteous and tender parent, and an exact yet compassionate being. You withstand the arrogance of man daily and do not destroy us because of your great love for humanity. Help us all to be wise in learning to revere the One who gives life and is also true life itself. Help me to gain wisdom as a I traverse this journey called life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.