What is Wisdom?

What is Wisdom?

Written by Sarah Stoffel

Job is a man renowned for loss. In chapters 4-36 of Job, his friends stop by to comfort him. They’re terrible comforters, so naturally he and his friends become angry, and then accusatory.

If we pull back a minute from the negativity of this “he-said, he-said” conversation, we can pick up two themes. The first theme is a wicked person. Both Job and his friends throw this idea around frequently. Coincidentally, all four of them are in agreement about the definition. 

Below are examples Job and his friends agreed upon that define a wicked person;

1. They oppress the least of these: the poor, widow, hungry, fatherless, naked, cold, disabled, and stranger.

· 20:19 – The wicked oppresses and forsakes the poor (profiting off of underpaid laborers or ignoring refugee/homeless/poverty-stricken needs)

· 22:7-9 – The wicked doesn’t offer food to the hungry, sends widows away empty, and crushes the fatherless

· 24:1-10 – Even those who know God can choose to afflict the least of these

· 24:14 – The wicked person is a murderer and a thief to the poor and needy (for ex:human trafficking)

· 24:21 – The wicked is cruel towards a woman who can’t have children, and to widows (insensitive to others bearing burdens)

2. The wicked does not desire the knowledge of God’s ways (21:14, 22:13)

3. The wicked person is involved in sexual sin such as pornography and adultery

· 24:15-16 – They wait for darkness thinking no one will see their sin

· 31:11-12 – Adultery is called a heinous crime, a “fire that consumes into destruction.”

To contrast this, the second theme is found in Job chapter 28. It is a beautifully poetic description of wisdom boiled down to one thing: fear the Lord.

In chapters 1-2 we know the only reason Job was allowed to be tested was because God considered him blameless, upright, one that fears God (wise), was full of integrity, and someone who runs from evil. 

Now in chapter 29, we get to see what Job’s actions were that caused God to give him such high praise:

· 29:12 – Job delivered the poor & the fatherless

· 29:13 – Job caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy

· 29:15 – Job cared for the disabled

· 29:16 – Job was as a father to the poor

· 29:17 – Job “broke the jaws of the wicked” and plucked victims from them

· 30:25 – Job would weep and grieve over the poor

· 31:1 – Job had a covenant to protect his purity

Wisdom is fearing the Lord. Some ways that we can practically apply this wisdom are relieving those in need, holding a desire for knowledge of God’s ways, and protecting a testimony of purity about ourselves.

Wisdom is fearing the Lord.

This week, underline or highlight Job 26:2. Focus on one area within your community that serves the least of these that you may have no involvement or knowledge about. How can you get involved?

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