“But where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located?” Job 28:12 CSB
Job, along with Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon, are “wisdom” books. Understanding this is essential to understanding these books with all of their poetry, parabolic language, questions, and sayings.
Job 28 paints the picture of the search for wisdom. It cannot be purchased, it cannot be mined, it cannot be refined, it cannot be found, it often eludes the man on the quest to obtain it. Yet, the answer to wisdom’s location is indicated in verse 12: “But God understands the way to wisdom, and he knows its location.”
Collectively, the wisdom books contain an answer to what wisdom is: the fear of the Lord and knowledge of Him (see Ps. 111:10 and Pr. 1:7, 9:10, 15:33). Wisdom is found in reverencing God and wisdom grows in knowing God. It is gained in a life lived out before God. That is why Luke records of Jesus, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
Surely if Jesus grew in wisdom, then we certainly should try. The only way we are going to find this wisdom is, as Job indicates, to ask God. James tells us plainly: “Now, if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God – who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly – and it will be given to him (James 1:5).”
There is no escaping it, wisdom is not something we can obtain on our own. Therefore, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7 ESV)
“Father, let me not be wise in my own eyes. Instead, help me to grow in wisdom and in favor with you and others that I might live righteously and learn from You, Amen.”
John Blackmon serves as pastor of Meansville Baptist Church.