Job Sees The Light - Twenty-ninth in a series
Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion
In Chapter 28 Job describes how man has found precious stones, ores and minerals by methods and labor, but he, a rancher and farmer by trade and truth seeker by temperament, has mined for wisdom.
Job 28:1-4 NIV He begins by reflecting on the pursuit of ‘gold diggers’. They explore and persevere, bearing light in dark places, to dig out and extract valuable metals and then to refine them.
Job 28:5-11 NIV Though the earth appears to be a field of grain, beneath it lie fiery treasures, sapphires to gold. Man by his intelligence and sweat carves out and dotes on what birds and beasts never see nor need.
Job 28:12-19 NIV Yet for all his mining sense and skill, man does not understand how or where to search for wisdom nor does he appreciate its importance. It is not found anywhere in the earth or sea, and cannot be purchased by gold and silver, though its worth is far more than any precious jewel, coral or pearl.
Job 28:20-27 NIV In these verses, Job speaks of wisdom that is hidden, that only God understands and can reveal.
Because of Job’s specific knowledge of crafts and natural wonders, some commentators have supposed Solomon to be the author of the book, however, Thomas Coke, one of the founders of the Methodist Church in the United States, wrote:
The sapphire was mentioned before, and, being itself a Hebrew word, there can be no doubt about the meaning of it; but for the other words, whether we translate them rightly is a controverted point among the learned; and the obscurity of the text in this, as well as in other places, affords no inconsiderable argument of the antiquity of the book. (ref)
Job saw the majesty of God but could not perceive that it testified to his wisdom in Christ; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting our sins against us (2 Cor 5:19). Even though this was established in the beginning, it was not yet in view. (1 Cor 2:7; Eph 1:4)
Treasuring Christ is true wisdom that can prevent us from foolish seeking after gold and silver. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
Job knew only that fear of God and being upright were wisdom and understanding: emotion and action, attitude and practice, as then, so today.
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:27)
And with this Job suggests that his friends should have been satisfied, and not have pretended to dive into the secrets of God, and condemned him for a hypocrite, by misinterpreting the designs of Divine Providence. - ibid, Thomas Coke (1747-1814)
Job could not fathom what we today take for granted: Christ in us, our hope of glory, the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints (Col 1:26-27) Yet, if we take this for granted without cherishing it, then we have no fear of God and we do evil. We do not know as much as Job did millennia ago.