Wisdom Revealed (Job 28)
Job chooses to remain faithful to God. He understands that God’s wisdom is beyond his understanding. Job 28 employs mining as an analogy for searching for wisdom. It reveals that wisdom “is not found in the land of the living” (Job 28:13), but in the mind of God. “God understands the way to it and he knows its place” (Job 28:23). This is a reminder that technical knowledge and practical skill are not enough for truly meaningful work. We also need God’s spirit as we go about our tasks. We need God’s guidance far beyond the realm of things we commonly think of as “spiritual.” When a teacher tries to discern how a student learns, when a leader tries to communicate clearly, when a jury tries to determine a defendant’s intent, when an analyst tries to assess a project’s risks, all need God’s wisdom. Whatever the goal of our work is, “God understands the way to it, and he knows its place” (Job 28:23).
Yet we cannot always get in touch with God’s wisdom. “It is hidden from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air” (Job 28:21). Despite our best attempts — or sometimes because of our lackluster efforts — we may not find God’s guidance for every action and decision. If so, it is better to recognize our ignorance than to put our stock in speculation or false wisdom. Sometimes humility is the best way to honor God. “Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).