-As Job continues on this lengthy speech that extends through chapter 31, he sums up the comparison between the earth’s treasures, which are attainable with much effort, and God’s wisdom, which is a more difficult matter to grasp. His conclusions are right on the money though we will see in the end. He begins with the fact that surely there is a mine (or source) for silver and a place where the people of the world refine gold. Iron is taken from the dust, and copper smelted from rock. Men will search high and low for these commodities, which are precious on this earth. He sinks a shaft far from habitation, digging deep for treasure. Job also comments on some earth features here, which are again consistent with what we know from scientific-observable facts. Food comes from the earth. Under the earth, if turned up to certain depths, is fire. From the rocks come sapphires and the dust contains gold. Man, unlike the lesser birds and beasts (he names falcons and lions specifically), overturns mountains in excavational work from the base hewing out channels through the rocks to find precious things. Man also dams up streams from flowing so that the things that are hidden in the current are brought out into the light (Job 28:1-11).
-But then, Job gets serious with an important question, “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” Man tends to devalue wisdom, and Job says it’s not even found in the land of the living. The deep of the earth speaks, “It (wisdom) is not in me.” The sea says, “It is not with me.” Pure gold, even the gold of Ophir, onyx, or sapphire cannot be given in exchange for wisdom, and wisdom does not find its value in these commodities. Silver cannot be weighed as its price. In fact, gold nor glass can equal it, along with coral and crystal. Job tells that "the acquisition of wisdom is above that of pearls.” The topaz found in Ethiopia cannot equal it, so where does wisdom actually come from? And where, pray tell, is the place of understanding? Job concludes it is hidden from the eyes of all the living and concealed from the birds of the sky. Abaddon ('abaddown- place of destruction, ruin) and death say that they have heard report of wisdom with their ears. But, God fully understands its way and know its place. He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens (God’s omniscience). At the beginning, when He imparted weight to the wind, meted out the waters by measure, set a limit for the rain, and the course of the thunderbolt, He saw wisdom and declared it. The LORD established it and searched it out. Thus, He told man, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding (Job 28:12-28).”
-*Application* What we have here is a temporal-eternal dichotomy that plays out every day revealing the intentions of mankind’s heart. There is a worldly wisdom that leads to pride, greed, and death, but there is a Godly wisdom, based on the healthy respect, wonder, and awe of the LORD, that leads to life (1 Corinthians 1:20; 3:19). Departing from evil is understanding. Sadly, we live in a world that runs headlong into evil, which makes them essentially foolish with no sense of true direction. The ways of the LORD will prosper man and lift him up. The ways of the world will continually drag him down. Seek wisdom, it can be found in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Verse to Memorize: Job 28:28