Goods or God?

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), January 26 

imagesSilver and gold lie in the depths of the earth. To what length will man go to obtain this wealth? Job provides an answer to that question in chapter 28:1-11 as he describes the mining and refining process:

  • Mining and refining precious metal is arduous work.
  • Digging at great depths is required and dangerous.
  • Mining and refining is rewarding.

Job says all this to make his point: few seek wisdom as they seek wealth. Wisdom, the greatest treasure, lies barely mined by man. Why? Because man, on bended knee, has to come to God to obtain it, “God understands its way, and He knows its place. For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heavens” (Job 28:23-24).

Two trees stood in the garden of Eden. The tree of life offered its fruit to man, but he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead. The pursuit of prosperity (really, anything but God) instead of wisdom has haunted man ever since. The foolish man spends his entire life in pursuit of earthly treasure.

Job’s discourse on earthly wealth and the wisdom of God teaches a number of truths:

  • Pursuing God is arduous work. The one who pursues God denies self (a job in and of itself!), takes up his cross (embraces a crucified life), and follows Him (into hard places).
  • Mining the depths of God’s wisdom drives a man to his knees in prayer, to his study in the Word, and to a helpless dependance upon Jesus Christ for righteousness. A real enemy lurks at every turn. Discipline and watchfulness are required.
  • Getting to know God in this life is the reward. The writer of Hebrews highlights this reward, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently [not casually or infrequently] seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Living in reverential fear of God and turning from evil is wisdom, “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
  • Suffering didn’t cause Job to give up in his pursuit of God, but drove his pursuit of God deeper and farther forward.

God offers His wisdom to those who pursue Him. It takes real spiritual hunger and hyper-diligence to fight the rushing current of a world gone mad in earthly pursuits.

Questions from today’s reading (Job 26:1-29:25):

How has the “counsel” of Job’s friends altered his relationship with them?

What character of God does Job tenaciously cling to in spite of his suffering physically and socially?

How does Job describe those who are wealthy, but alienated from God?

What does Job communicate to his friends regarding God’s wisdom?