(Today's post by Joshua Jones)
In today’s passage we continue to see Job’s response to Bildad.
Just as a recap to where we are currently: Job was a righteous man, he had good character, and everything seemed to be going well for him. However, God gave him over to Satan to test, saying “There is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil” (1:8). Satan, thinking he could get this “man of God” to speak against his creator, was given permission to basically ruin his life. His health, wealth, and family were all laid low, decimated, and yet Job refused to speak against God. So here we see Job, amidst one of his many monologues, replying to one of his so-called, “friends”, who had just basically blamed Job’s “life problems” on the fact that he was not a righteous man. His statement was, “man cannot be righteous, so you had this coming”.
We already addressed earlier this week the first half of Job’s response: that he will continue to live a righteous life because God is holy and just. In the second half we see Job telling Bildad that the wisdom of God is unknowable to man, God is ultimately wise, and he knows why things happen. Job tells Bildad, “Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living…it cannot be bought for gold.” (13-15). “God understands the way to it, and he knows its place.” (23).
We see Job stating that Godly wisdom is almost unachievable to man, but then he does an about-face, and tells Bildad something that we tend to gloss over: “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.” What is wisdom? The fear of the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I know I have prayed many, many times for God to give me wisdom. Whether it is in the big life decisions, or the small day-to-day things, we all at some point have prayed for God’s wisdom in some form. But wait! The formula for Godly wisdom is given to us right here in Job! The Fear of the Lord is wisdom. What does that mean? This is not a fear that stems from being afraid. God is not the boogeyman. We have no need to be afraid of God as someone who will smite us just because. But God does take his glory seriously. We are created as vessels of His Glory to give Him glory, and to bring others to His glory for His Glory to be known by all. Therefore, godly wisdom stems from being mindful of God’s glory, his mission, and our part in it. When we start to act against the glory of God, we do not have the proper fear of God, and when we do not have the proper fear of God, we lack wisdom.
So, today’s lesson from Job: the fear of the Lord leads to wisdom. How can we walk in the wisdom of God in our lives? In our ministry? In our families? At work?
What can walking in proper respect and fear of the Lord accomplish in your life?