Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11, 2011 … Trials’ Lessons: Increased Wisdom

Passage of the Day: Job 28: 12 - 13 … 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.

My Journal for Today: Get ready folks; … if you’re reading along with my journal entry for today, we may go a bit longer today because Job 28 is one of my favorite Old Testament chapters [linked here if you're rigorous enough to go back and study the passage]. In today’s text we read of Job, who had been through a most incredible set of trials; and now, recognizing that he can’t explain or rationalize his circumstances, he concerns himself with man’s pursuit of wisdom and understanding. And to appreciate the teaching from the book of Job here, it’s important to see it in the context of the word picture which was used to describe man’s pursuit of wisdom. And we also need to define “wisdom” here as the essence of God’s mind, i.e., Godly understanding of man’s circumstances.

In Job 28, the unknown author of Job, relates how Job had been through agony of unspeakable horror; and the author compares man’s search for wisdom to that of the mining practices of his day. This involved digging shafts down through the rocky earth just big enough for a single man to be lowered on a rope in a support harness, at times hundreds of feet down into the earth to chop away at the rock to mine for jewels or precious ore. It was very dangerous and rigorous, but men risked their lives to mine in this way so that they might find the precious metals or stones which could be worth so much to them in that age.

The text in Job today is in the context of that picture … man, knowing the wondrous value of the mind of God and being willing to dig deep into His word and his relationship with God to find the precious content of wisdom. And in Job 28: 28, Job gives us the same lesson Solomon gave his son (and us) in Prov. 1: 7, which you can read below …

SCRIPTURE: Job 28: 28 And He [God] said to man, 'The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.' "

SCRIPTURE: Prov. 1: 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, …

In other words, in the context of the word picture from Job, the mining of the precious jewels of Godly wisdom begins when we mine for them deeply in the recesses of the Word of God. And from personal experience, I know that such mining requires rigor, discipline, and the faith that digging into His word will produce the jewels of God’s will and His promises. In the New Testament, James wrote about what we must do to mine the mind of God in James 1: 5 – 6

SCRIPTURE: James 1: 5 – 65 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

When we dig shafts deeply into the word for God, mining for His precious wisdom, we must truly believe and expect that those precious gems of wisdom we pursue will be there; and from these gems of God’s truth, which we glean from his word, God’s promise is that such wisdom will be ours if we mine in faith with the confidence that our efforts will pay off richly with an abundance of wisdom coming from our reverence of God and our expectation that we WILL find His wisdom.

As John MacArthur put it in his devotion for this date in Strength for Today, “God’s wisdom puts things in the right perspective during trials and helps us to endure them.” And that was exactly the lesson to which Job was addressing himself in Chapter 28 of the book of scripture God gave us through his writings.

However, from these lessons (above from Job, Solomon, and the Apostle James), we see that gleaning God’s wisdom is not an automatic task for the believer. We must actively and rigorously pursue the mind of God and ask for God’s wisdom [from ardent prayer] with an attitude of expectation from His own promises (see the verses above). And if you read how God provided wisdom for Solomon in 1st Kings 3: 5 – 13 [linked here], you will see that our willingness to surrender to God’s promises from His word will produce vast jewels and precious ore from the very mind of God.

The trials of life are the minefields from which we must dig and dig, with expectation and faith and an attitude of trust, knowing that such efforts, i.e., mining from the word of God, will produce all the riches we seek from God’s mind. And truly this is God’s promise (see Prov. 3: 5 -6 and all of Psalm 119). So here I am, day-by-day, digging deeply into God’s minefield of precious gems (i.e., His word), knowing that, like today, as I relate in this journal entry, my mining will bring up beautiful jewels of wisdom which will pay off with royal dividends in my life. I pray that you are mining and finding these gems of truth as well.

My Prayer Today: O Lord, I mine from Your mind; and everyday You give me Your jewels. Amen

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