Explore The Bible Study: Wisdom Gained

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Imagine that you or someone you know or love is diagnosed with an illness. What resources would you use to find answers? Whose counsel would you seek? How do you determine if the answers you discover, hold any merit? Or, consider how you deal with your own personal choices or societal norms. If a personal choice or a societal norm is questionable, do you seek wisdom from God's Word? Are you willing to reject the behavior based on the wisdom found in God's Word? These are the questions that will be considered in this weeks Explore the Bible Study: Wisdom Gained.

When we face life’s challenges such as a severe illness, we typically jump into research mode and look for answers, wise counsel, and information from a variety of sources. We may search the internet looking for the right piece of advice or help we need. We may fill our bookshelves or eBook readers with self-help books. While searching for information, answers, and knowledge is vital, it is imperative that we also seek out biblical wisdom. Additionally, when determining if a certain behavior or lifestyle is acceptable, one must seek biblical wisdom and be willing to respond as God directs.

In Job 28:1-28, Job launches a monologue that offers amazing insight into God’s wisdom which he had gained through his ordeal. The main passage for this study will focus on a portion of his insight, found in Job 28:12-28.

Job 28:12-19 -- Job Asks and Answers a Question Regarding Wisdom and Understanding

Job asks, "Where can wisdom be found? Where is understanding located?" He answers his own question by stating that it can't be found in the land or the seas. He also teaches us that no one can put an estimate of its value because it's more valuable than the most precious and expensive stones, minerals, or jewels.

What does this communicate to you regarding godly wisdom versus human knowledge and ingenuity?

Job 28:20-22 -- Job Repeats the Question, Giving a Stronger Answer

Job now tells us that, not only is wisdom hidden from the land and the sea, but it is also hidden from the creatures of the sky. Even birds, who have the highest vantage point, cannot find wisdom. Job goes on to emphasize that wisdom can’t be found below the earth – Abaddon and Death. Abaddon is a parallel to the grave. Essentially Job was saying, regardless of how high (birds) or low (grave) you go, the wisdom of God cannot be obtained.

If wisdom can’t be found in the ingenuity of man, through the treasures of earth, above the earth, by the living or the dead, then how do we seek it, how do we find it, and how do we know the wisdom we find is authentic?

Job 28:23-28 -- Job's Final Answer!

Verse 23 tells us that God is the one true source of wisdom because He alone understands the way to it and knows its location! God is the only true source of wisdom because He sees everything. He is the One who fixes the weight of the wind, distributes the water, establishes the limit for the rain, and determines the path of lightening! Finally, in verse 27 Job tells us the absolute truth regarding true wisdom -- God designed it, created it, and examines it!

Consider how these passages explain the relationship of Jesus Christ to wisdom— 1 John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-17, 1 Corinthians 1:24. You will discover in these passages that Jesus is the fullest expression of God’s wisdom. He is the Creator of wisdom. When we reject Christ, we reject true wisdom.

Are You Willing to Search for True Wisdom?

In Job 28:28, Job concludes with a powerful and clear statement regarding how we find wisdom. He tells us that God said, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.” Job is only repeating what God has said. 

The concept of fearing God and turning away from evil is important for understanding the Book of Job as a whole. True wisdom comes from fearing God. To fear God is to stand in awe of Him. God is the almighty Creator; we are mere creatures. God is sovereign; we are dependent. God is holy; we are sinners. If we acknowledge God as our King, we will naturally seek to do what He says. The more we understand Almighty, Holy God, the more we will desire to turn from evil. When we’re truly turning from evil in repentance, then our lives will naturally align with God’s standard.

What Job is NOT saying

Job is not telling us to ignore every source of knowledge available to us in this world. God has gifted individuals with skills that help us in various areas such as the medical fields, the psychological fields, the vocational trade fields, the academic fields. However, all sources of man’s wisdom and knowledge are not complete or perfect because we live in a sin-broken world therefore it should be filtered through the Word of God and wise counsel of other mature believers. 

If any knowledge or perceived wisdom is contradictory, it is not wisdom from God. If it is “wisdom” or knowledge that doesn’t cause one to fear evil, then it is not godly wisdom. If it doesn’t align with the truth of God’s word it is false wisdom.

Are You REALLY Seeking Wisdom and Understanding?

  • How might you need to adjust the sources you are using to gain wisdom and understanding?
  • If a personal choice or a societal norm is questionable, do you seek wisdom from God's Word? Are you willing to reject the behavior or "norm" based on the wisdom found in God's Word? If you aren’t, then this reveals that you truly don’t fear God. One who truly fears God will exercise sound wisdom and understanding. Repentance and then obedience is the first step in discovering godly wisdom and understanding.
  • When you are faced with the need to seek wisdom and understanding, practice turning to God through prayer and Bible study first, before ever going to a secondary source. Then, practice filtering everything you hear from secondary sources through what you know about God’s Word, in order to make sure the knowledge you have discovered is truly grounded in God’s wisdom.
The downloadable teaching helps provide more details for this study along with some tools you can use in guiding a group Bible study. Be sure to use this as a supplement to your study of the Explore the Bible Study resources provided by LifeWay.

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