Job 28:1-11 (NIV) 1 “There is a mine for silver and a place where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. 3 Man puts an end to the darkness; he searches the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness. 4 Far from where people dwell he cuts a shaft, in places forgotten by the foot of man; far from men he dangles and sways. 5 The earth, from which food comes, is transformed below as by fire; 6 sapphires come from its rocks, and its dust contains nuggets of gold. 7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path, no falcon’s eye has seen it. 8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it, and no lion prowls there. 9 Man’s hand assaults the flinty rock and lays bare the roots of the mountains. 10 He tunnels through the rock; his eyes see all its treasures. 11 He searches the sources of the rivers and brings hidden things to light.
On verses 1-11: Why does Job speak at length about how people mine for silver and gold? It’s because Job is comparing getting wisdom to mining for precious metals. In both cases the treasure is hidden beneath the surface, requires an intentional and difficult search to find, is hard to reach (v4), and cannot be perceived by bird or beast (v7-8, 20-21).
Job 28:12-21 (NIV) 12 “But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? 13 Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living. 14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ 15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed in silver. 16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or sapphires. 17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. 18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies. 19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold. 20 “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds of the air.
On verses 12-21: But unlike gold that you get from a mine, wisdom cannot be uncovered with brute force, obtained with blunt objects or bought with money. The only way to get wisdom is through the fear of the Lord – trying to live a life that pleases God (v28) – for God alone knows where wisdom dwells (v23-24). Wisdom is far more precious than any precious metal (v15-19).
Job 28:22 (NIV) 22 Destruction and Death say, ‘Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.’
On verse 22: Why don’t death and destruction have much knowledge of wisdom? It’s because wisdom walks hand in hand with life. Over and over the Bible speaks about the close relationship between wisdom and life, how one powers the other. For example in the book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 3:16-17 says about wisdom, “long life is in her right hand…she is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed”.
Proverbs 9:11 says, “Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life.”
Proverbs 16:22 says that “Wisdom is a fountain of life to those possessing it”
God, wisdom and life all go hand in hand – you can’t find one without the others.
Job 28:23-24 (NIV) 23 God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, 24 for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
On verses 23-24: God is where true wisdom is at. If you need wisdom for your marriage, family, future, business, ministry, health or any other area of life, you need to go to God. For you won’t grow in true wisdom without growing in your relationship with God. Grow in God, grow in wisdom. Push God away and you push wisdom away.
Job 28:25-27 (NIV) 25 When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, 26 when he made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, 27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it.
On verses 25-27: Wisdom was the means by which God created the earth (v25-27). Likewise, it is with wisdom that God fashions people into the image of His Son Jesus. If you want to grow into the Christ-like man or woman God made you to be, it’s about allowing God’s wisdom to build you from the ground up.
Heavenly Father, thank You that with You is all wisdom, and that I find wisdom when I find You. Holy Spirit come and fill me today. Give me a wise and discerning heart to deal with every situation I come across. As it is with You, may wisdom empower every decision I make and every word that I speak. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!