Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012 … Mining for God’s Mind

Passage of the Day: Chapter/Verse Reference: Job, Chapters 24-28 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Study Passage: Job 28: Today’s focus and my journaling will focus on Chapter 28 in Job’s book. Here is a link to that chapter

My Journal for Today: If you’re motivated to dig into what my reading plan has led me to study this morning [i.e., Job – Chapters 24-28], you’ve read that Job is continuing his dialog with his three critics (later a fourth joins); and Job strongly – at times even cynically – defends his own innocence and the biased misconceptions of his critics. Job agrees with them that God does – in truth – punish the wicked and gives favor to the repentant and contrite believer. However, Job also strongly contends that man cannot always know the mind of God, a place which can be a deep struggle for us in to know the purity of truth. Yesterday, I referred my followers to Isaiah 55: 8-9 [linked], which documents that searching for God’s way, His will, and/or His wisdom can often be very, very difficult.

And this brings me to my journal focus for today, which is found in one of my favorite poetic chapters in all of the Old Testament – actually in all of the Bible; and that is Chapter 28 of the Job’s book. And for any reader following me today, I must exhort you to click on the Chapter 28 link above or go to that chapter in your favorite version of Scripture and read/meditate on the entire chapter.

In Chapter 28 of the book by Job’s name, we read a poetic word picture of what man’s search into the mind of God is like; and for the human author’s (remember it is the Holy Spirit Who is the base author of Chapter 28) biblical picture of this search, he uses a description of the mining practices of that day. In past studies and teaching on this chapter, I’ve done my homework on this process by studying the middle-eastern mining practices in this age, which was in the iron-age historically. And bear with me for a moment while I describe these practices briefly.

In that day, miners would dig singular shafts down into the earth just wide enough for one man to enter each dig. When the hole was deep enough, they would rig themselves with a harness and lower themselves into the shaft to use digging tools to dig out the iron ore, jewels, or precious metals (gold/silver) which could be picked away from the mine shaft. Since this was a one-man operation, the miner would dig deeper and deeper into the earth so that he could reach the sides of the shaft to extract the valuable rocks, jewels, or ore he was seeking. Therefore, as the shaft deepened, the process of mining for what the miner was seeking got more and more risky. The holes sometimes got quite deep; and in general the deeper the miner went with his shaft the more productive would be his mining.

And if you’ve read this far with me, this is a wonderful word picture of what Job felt was the task ahead of him as he sought to mine the very MIND OF GOD for the wisdom he sought to answer all the WHY questions he had as to how he (Job) had gotten into this minefield of life where God had led him. Job knew that he was going to have to go on a risky trek to mine our the gems of wisdom from God’s mind (i.e., mine), digging and digging to find the jewels of explanation for why Job was where God had led him at this perplexing time in his life.

And this is a great word picture for all of us who seek to mine the very mind of God for all that God has to offer us in terms of Godly wisdom, trying to turn darkness into light with regard to our circumstances. The mining picture would say to us that we need to be willing to dig deeply into the minefield of God’s truth, which we know as Christians is God’s word (the Bible) to find God’s ways and His will for our lives. And just like the mining practices of that day, the digging is not easy; and maybe it can even be a bit risky; because sometimes, in pulling out gems or truth, we discover that those gems tell us clearly that God wants us to go down a different path in life, … a painful path we would not likely have chosen for ourselves.

And the summary of all of Chapter 28 in Job, … this mining picture into our search for wisdom, is found in the truth of the last verse in the chapter, Job 28: 28, which resoundingly states: And he said to the human race, … "The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding." And you’ll note that this verse is a quote, which comes from other Old Testament sources such as Proverbs 1:7-9 also Ps. 111: 10. And this shows this humble miner of God’s truth that the human author of the Book of Job was doing his truth mining directly from the same minefield where our mining for wisdom should center and that is God’s word (i.e., Scripture). But, my friend, we have a far richer minefield to dig for Godly gems of wisdom than did the author of Job’s book, don’t we?

Having the assurance of 2nd Tim. 3: 16-17 [linked], we have ALL of what we know of as SCRIPTURE (i.e., the entire canonized Bible) to dig for God’s pure gold of truth or for His gems of wisdom. The author of Job only had a few mines of the Old Testament into which he could mine for truth. We have ALL of Gods’ word – our entire Bible – as our minefield to search for God’s wisdom, His ways, and His will. I can only pray – as I will below – that we’re willing to dig and dig and dig for Godly wisdom as I’m trying to do with my mining of God’s word chronologically this year.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me – and my friends who come along with me – to go deep into your mine of truth, the Scriptures, this year as we search for your purified wisdom. Amen

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