Wisdom and Understanding
Job 28:28 And he said to humankind,
‘Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding.’”
In this chapter in Job we find a type of interlude on wisdom. This is the climax of that chapter of poetry reminding us that fear of the Lord is wisdom, and avoiding evil is understanding. The word used here “Lord,” is unique for it’s not the same word for God that is used throughout the book of Job. Instead, this word “Lord” or “Addonai” is the same word that is used to refer to the Messiah.
Adam and Eve did not fear, or respect the Lord because they disobeyed him and ate of the forbidden fruit. Wisdom is to understand that God can be trusted and that we should live in obedience to him. That wisdom grows in understanding when we depart from evil. Two simple but profound truths that can take us and protect us through life.
I know that for many the language of “fear” is not pleasant. The idea of “fearing” God does not exactly give us warm fuzzies. It presents us with an idea of a rigid God who does not love but is waiting to smack us like a “whack a mole” every time we do something wrong. That is not what the “fear” of the Lord is to mean to you or to me.
Fearing God means we have a healthy respect for him and in this we discover wisdom. However, along the way we cannot forget that God truly is love. It is God’s nature of holy love which draws us toward him, and this is away from evil. The closer we draw to God, the more understanding we have for in God is all wisdom. The world would want you to believe that wisdom and knowledge comes from education and study, which are not bad things, but it is when those things point us in the direction of God that we discover true wisdom.
Some of the best and brightest of our day are Christians. For many, the more they study the complexity of the world around us, the more they are driven to a creator God. It is arrogance which leads us to believe that we are the center of our universe!
In very practical ways our attitude toward God and evil will affect our daily lives. This attitude will be revealed in the way in which we treat those closest to us. Do we love and respect them? Do we desire the best for them? Do we shun evil simply because we would not want to bring harm to them?
Our attitude affects the way we treat those with whom we have casual contact — say at the store or the gas station or at the bank. Having God’s wisdom and understanding means that we look at these individuals in the same way that God would look at them. We love them, respect them, and shun evil for their good.
Our attitudes affect the way in which we interact with the world around us. All of God’s creation is good! We were to care for all of God’s creation and so as we draw closer to God and we shun evil we begin to look upon this creation through God’s eyes. How do we lovingly cultivate and care for the things of this world that God has so graciously given to us. We begin to have a different relationship with the resources that we have. Our resources are not just simply things for us to enjoy, but we are to be good stewards of it all.
Wisdom and understanding, they are not beyond our reach, but instead they are in the very shining face of God. Seek the face of God and his glory will shine on us and his glory will be reflected to the world. The wisdom of God will be seen in our actions and reactions because God will be seen in us. And the closer we get to God as we continue this spiritual journey, the further we are from evil. Depart evil, turn to God and get to know him in his incredible wisdom.
Lord, please help me to seek you, your direction and your wisdom this day. Amen.