Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two sides of wisdom

Sullivan Mine - Kimberley, B.C.
Entering the Sullivan Mine at Kimberley B.C.
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Job 28:1-28

TO CHEW ON: "And to man He said, 'Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.'" Job 28:28

In wonderful poetic language Job describes mining for treasure. It's a dark job that sends searchers into the bowels of the earth for their bounty of gold, onyx, sapphire, coral, quartz, rubies, crystal, and topaz. But what he's really talking about is the search for wisdom, for that's what's on the line here. (His friends think he lacks it and that's why he is ill and his estate has been ravaged.)

He says, in effect, if you thinking finding treasure is hard, try searching for wisdom. You will find that in only one place: in God: "God understands its way. He knows its place" - Job 28:23. Where can man find it? "In the fear of the Lord and the departing from evil" - Job 28:28. It is proof to Job's friends, and to us, that he does understand the ways of God and His wisdom.

What strikes me about Job's description of wisdom here, and its mention in other places in the Bible, is the emphasis on not only finding and knowing what wisdom is (the fear of the Lord), but doing it. Obedience.

Moses: "Surely I have taught you the statues and judgements just as the Lord my God commanded me .... Therefore be careful to observe them" - Deuteronomy 4:5-6.

The Psalmist: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments" - Psalm 119:10

Solomon: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God and keep His commandments / For this is man's all" - Ecclesiastes 12:13.

One of my favourite teachers on this is Oswald Chambers. Here is a smattering of quotes from him (taken from My Utmost for His Highest) on Wisdom and how important Obedience is to it:

"My questions come whenever I cease to obey" - December 14th reading.

"All God's revelations are sealed until they are opened by obedience. You will never get them open by philosophy or thinking. Immediately you obey a flash of light comes" - October 10th reading.

"The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience.... If things are dark to me, then I may be sure there is something I will not do" - July 27th reading.

"The promises of God are of no value to us until by obedience we understand the nature of God" - November 17th reading.

Are we proving ourselves wise by not only having knowledge of God and what He wants, but also by living it in obedience?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to gain wisdom by putting what I know of You into the crucible of life, i.e. by my obedience to what I read in the Bible and hear by the voice of Your Spirit. Amen.

MORE: Moment-by-moment obedience

We often think of obedience as the process leading to an end or a goal—leadership perhaps, or success, or greater responsibility. Oswald Chambers sees it differently:

"What we call the process, God calls the end .... It is the process not the end which is glorifying to God.
"God's training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for the minute, not for something in the future ... God's end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now ... if we realize obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious" - My Utmost for HIs Highest, July 28th reading.


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