Great stuff at the Bible study tonight.

The topic we’ve moved to is “Wisdom”, and Solomon’s application of it – or lack thereof.

Tonight: “The Foundation of Wisdom”

Job 28:12-28


12 “But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?

Where are we to look for wisdom, says Job. If you know who Job is,
you’re halfway there. Job was perhaps the first book of the Bible
written. It chronicles the story of the most righteous man of his time.
A man who God bragged about to Satan.
Now, knowing God’s standards of Holiness, and perfection… he was
likely very close to the mark, by faith and deeds. Satan told God he
could break him. He failed. Job lost everything he had, but He kept his
faith in God. God rewarded him richly for it, once the story ends, and
Satan is defeated. Job, his friends, and everyone to follow learned a
lot of lessons from his experience. The following is part of it. What
is history for, other than to learn from?


13 ” Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the
living. 14 “The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; And the sea says, ‘It is
not with me.’ 15 ” Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, Nor
can silver be weighed as its price. 16 “It cannot be valued in the gold
of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire. 17 ” Gold or glass cannot
equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for articles of fine gold. 18 “Coral
and crystal are not to be mentioned; And the acquisition of wisdom is
above {that of} pearls. 19 “The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor
can it be valued in pure gold.

Here’s everywhere it is not. Here is everything that it cannot be
exchanged for. It’s not valuable in the sense that most people
interpret as “valuable”. Wisdom is valuable in another way.


20 ” Where then does wisdom come from? And where is the place of
understanding? 21 “Thus it is hidden from the eyes of all living And
concealed from the birds of the sky. 22 ” Abaddon and Death say, ‘With
our ears we have heard a report of it.’

It’s nowhere we’d go of our own accord, he’s saying. It’s hidden, and
cannot be found. Frustrating, you might say. But read on.


23 ” God understands its way, And He knows its place. 24 “For He looks
to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heavens. 25
“When He imparted weight to the wind And meted out the waters by
measure, 26 When He set a limit for the rain And a course for the
thunderbolt, 27 Then He saw it and declared it; He established it and
also searched it out.

So, wisdom is from, and is held by, God Himself. So what do we need to do to be wise?


28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’ “

Pretty straightforward. Sort of. Fear is not meant as “abject terror”.
Your father loves you, right? Think bad to your childhood. What did he
do when you screwed up? He punished you. Were you literally afraid of
your father, simply because he could punish you if you did something
wrong? Or did you have a considerable, healthy respect for him? Did you
still love him, even though you “feared” him? Would you respect him if
he let you get away with anything you wanted, and never punished you
for doing wrong? If you would… you shouldn’t. God punishes those who
belong to Him, because He loves us. He wants to let us know that we
can’t run roughshod over His Holiness. He has rules, boundaries, and obviously, being all-knowing, He knows what’s best for us.

Wisdom is practical application of knowledge – not theoretical concepts.

Wisdom is common sense – to an uncommon degree.

Wisom is doing the right thing – even in a situation you’ve never
encountered before. You know what is right, and what is wrong. You do
what is right.

A God as awesome as ours, and as Holy, should be feared. He’s not the “god” of the flower children – only
peace, joy, love and happiness… He is a Holy God, a powerful God, a
Just God, and a God who cannot stand sin. Period. In His mercy, He
witholds instant judgement of our sin – He allows us a chance to take
the way out He provided. Thopse of us who have taken that way out – we
aren’t exempt from fear. In fact, we frequently have altogether too
cavalier a view of God. God is Awesome. Our God is the same God who
created us, the universe(s?), parted the Red Sea, appeared as a pillar
of fire, and caused Israel to ask Moses to beseech Him not to appear to
them anymore – they were afraid they’d die if they saw Him again. He
was that awesome.

That’s the God we say “I don’t need you” to? All I can say is… God is holy, as well as merciful. If you don’t request His grace and live by His principles with His help,
and not on your own steam, you’ll face that holiness, justice, and
wrath, one day. f you’ve ever lied, you’re a liar. So am I. If you’ve
ever held anything at all as more important than God – you’re an
idolater. So am I. If you’ve ever considered anything but the God of
the Bible (or been mistaken as to the attributes of the god you’ve
considered “God”)as your “god”. or “deity” (including yourself) –
you’ve had a god before Him. Guilty myself. If you’ve used God’s name
for anything but addressing God? You’re a blasphemer. Me too. Set apart
every seventh day to God, and dedicated it to Him, and Him alone? No?
You broke the Sabbath. Me too. Honored your father and mother, every
single time? Even as a teenager? No? Another one down. Guilty myself.
Murdered anyone? No? Jesus had an interesting thought about that. Ever
hated anyone? Thought about killing someone? Told someone you hated
them, in anger? Murderer. I’m guilty then, too. Ever stolen anything? A
pen? A paper clip? Thief. I’m guilty. Ever lied? You’re a liar. So am
I. Ever wished you had something someone else had? Been discontent with
your current situation enough to wish what he had was yours? You’re
covetous. I have been too.

So, that all being said… we’re all lawbreakers. That law is what we’d
have to keep, our entire lives, without a single, solitary, slip, for
our whole lifespan – to measure up to God’s standards, and be
considered “good enough” to be in His presence. When you die, there are
only two places you can end up. Heaven (with God, and everyone else who
“measured up”), or Hell (apart from God, and subjected to punishment,
forever). Pretty stark? Yeah, it is. The Old Testament had a way out of
man’s predicament, though. Sacrifice. Slaughter an animal, put it on a
big altar, and burn it up. That animal’s life is symbolically given for
yours, and your sins were considered forgiven. Until God came up with a
“more excellent way”. He came down Himself, lived a perfect life as a
man, died, in our place, taking all of the sins – past, present, and
future, in Himself, and thus paid the panalty for everyone who believes, in a leap of faith that it’s true, and follows Him, sacrificing worship of self for eternal life.

That’s the message. As condensed as I can get it.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If you know what right
and wrong is – and I’ve just listed what “right” is – and don’t do it – that’s sin.

Once you know what sin is, here’s the question: Is there a penalty for
sinning? Yes. Death. So… how do you escape that death penalty? Not
just physical death – dying, forever. A long, long, time. How do you
escape that? You do one thing.

You say “Thank you”.

To the one who created you, loved you, and wants you to be saved from His judgement, by His mercy.

Believe that Jesus exists. Believe that He did what He said – “gave His
life as a ransom for many”. Believe that you cannot ever, ever be good
enough to meet God’s standards. BUT – you accept the gift He gives.
Life! Jesus was real. He was on earth for one purpose. To save us from

He told us this: “I am the way, the truth, and the life – noone come to the Father but through me.”

Will you? I don’t want to see you face God’s Justice, without His mercy
to counterbalance it. The mercy will not be in evidence, should you
reject God’s gift to us. All you’ll meet is his Justice. He already
gave us the rules. And a way to “qualify”, though through nothing we do

Here’s that tagline you were waiting for. Yeah, I’m done typing.

The only things separating God from Man are the sins of man and the
Justice of God. Mercy can only be given by God if man’s free will is
exercised to accept it, and choose God over self.

I hope you’ve chosen God over self. If not, life is very short. Is that
short time of self-gratification worth an eternity of paying for it? I
don’t think so.