Job Refuses to Let Go of His Integrity: Chapter 27
Job has no intention of losing his integrity and spends the first six verses of this chapter declaring that. His friends have once again fallen silent, whether in frustration or exhaustion, we don’t know.
Had they thrown their hands up, wondering how in the world they would deal with such a bull-headed man? Or had they grown tired of urging him to admit the sin they were so sure he had committed?
At the same time, Job was at a place where he absolutely needed rescuing, and God was the only one that could do it. But the position he finds himself in – of placing his faith in the One True and Living God, yet feeling forsaken by him – is pretty ironic.
While feeling that God was still entirely just, he also felt denied by Him at the same time. He knew, deep down, that the same God that troubles a man can also comfort him. Job knew the truth, that the “Almighty” was a sharp, double-edged sword. Not only could it elicit fear, effectively killing off pride, but it could also alleviate despair by giving us hope.
Job’s refusal to speak wickedly showed that he stood by the idea that his friends were all wrong. He could complain but dared not blaspheme. And he certainly wouldn’t give them the benefit of hearing him say they were right.
Hypocritical Hope from Job
Job, surely completely at a loss for words towards his so-called friends, speaks to his own desire. As boldly as ever, he declares that his enemies should be like a wicked person. In essence, the same thing his friends claimed would visit him is exactly what he wished on them.
But this desire was not baseless.
The law in Israel stated that if a person was falsely accused and found innocent, then the one who was accusing him would receive the same punishment he would have received if found guilty.
He could still agree, however, that it was truly hypocritical for a to be both guilty and hopeful at the same time. It was vanity, at the very least. He also agreed that God doesn’t hear the prayers of a hypocrite, but at the same time, was trying to manage the silence that seemed like God’s only response to his own prayers.
Job also agreed with the punishment for the wicked, but he was frustrated that his friends seemed to have no understanding at all. They spoke eloquently about all they vainly professed to know, but still managed to speak falsely concerning Job. Especially since they had no proof of any wrongdoing on his part.
In verses 13 through 23, he continued his argument by speaking of the things a wicked man would receive. They might seem to be “winning” for a season, but the end result would always be the same. Still, even though the things that had happened to him seemed to point towards a great accuracy with the words of his friends, he refused to admit that he was guilty of a thing.
In layman’s terms, he was basically saying, Hey, I know it looks like I’m guilty, but I promise you, I am not.
Treasures on Earth: Chapter 28
As this chapter opens up, Job speaks a bit about precious metals such as silver, copper, iron, and gold, how men search for it to remove it from the earth.
There has always been a bit of controversy about this book of Job. Certain Bible scholars believe that since it doesn’t seem to fit the “voice” of what comes before and after, that it surely couldn’t have come from Job. Job’s friends couldn’t have been authors of this either, as it was simply too reflective and calm.
The fact is that this is a part of this book and considering that it has survived with the entirety of the rest of the book, we must consider that God wanted it there.
Job goes on to talk about the lengths that men will go to in order to find those precious metals. They’ll use lights to search every possible space and even put themselves in great danger, all for the chance to find them. Even the historical perspective is on point here, with no traces of fallacy in what he has to say.
The point, overall, is that even with such great boldness in action, and the ability to accomplish so many massive accomplishments in these endeavors, it’s still nearly impossible to find wisdom.
Earth’s Treasures are hidden
Job argues that even bread and precious stones all come from the same earth. It’s a treasure cove for untold riches and hard work goes into bringing them all out. But wisdom… I mean, really honest to goodness wisdom, is one of the rarest things of all.
Even with the same great searching measures used for stones and precious metals, a man can’t find wisdom that way. The only way a man comes to wisdom is that God reveals it. And then, only as much as he wants to.
So, where do you find wisdom?
But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof, neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.Job 28: 12-19
So Where DOES Wisdom Come From?
When Job asks where wisdom comes from, the purpose is two-fold. First of all, he knows he needs it more than anything. However, it wouldn’t hurt if his friends found some too!
It all boils down to the same simple fact: wisdom is only revealed through revelation from God. Not by anything at all that man can or is willing to do. He’d known the answer to his own question the whole time.
In wrapping up the 28th chapter, Job winds up right back at that revelation talking point.
…Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.Job 28:28
David said nearly the same thing in Psalm 111:10, when he said that the fear of the LORD was the beginning of wisdom. You’ll see similar entries in Proverbs 9:10 as well as 15:33.
What It Boils Down To
If a man could gain wisdom from energy, effort, or ingenuity, then there would have been absolutely no point in fearing the Lord. However, the fact that it only comes through revelation from Him shows a very valid point. That to attain wisdom, there must also be a right relationship with God.
To be wise requires the most precious sacrifice of only. We only make that sacrifice for ourselves because the very sacrifice IS ourselves.
There’s an old saying that says something to the effect of, “If you can’t fully explain something to a five-year-old, then you really don’t understand it yourself.”
With that thought in mind, how far do you think you would get in trying to explain God’s motives? His lack of answer to Job’s prayers? His seeming to not even hear his prayers?
It’s hard to speak to the truly hard and nearly impossible to digest situations that come up when there are simply no answers in sight. But I believe it’s something we must aspire to. The key to understanding God is to simply get more of His Word on the inside of us.
Father, help us all to have a clearer vision, even in the midst of struggles and trials. We all face many things on the day to day, some burdens are lighter to bear than others, while some feel crushing! But we know that YOU are our Creator, our Strong Tower, our Shield and Buckler, our Savior, our EVERYTHING! Thank You, Lord! We ask it all in Jesus Name! Amen.
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