“But where shall wisdom be found and where is the place of understanding?”
The consolations of the three friends has now ceased and Job has entered into a lengthy dissertation of the wonders and beauty of Almighty God. His words have turned from being directed to Bildad and now he speaks editorially about the things he has been taught. His body has been depleted of all strength and there is no comeliness in him. He has lost all possessions, his children are gone and his wife has denounced him yet the Spirit is revealed, in these tribulations, in the proclamation of the truth.
The things of this world all have their place and time. These have been set by the hand of God according to His wisdom and power. None came into existence by their own will, none chose the time of their habitation or their assigned station in the time line of creation and without the constant and continual effectual power of God, nothing can remain. Yet in all these magnificent demonstrations of His majesty and will, where shall wisdom be found? The evidence of wisdom and her design may be seen clearly in the things that are made and even the natural mind may deduce the presence of a 'higher power' that has overseen the creation, but this is not wisdom herself.
True wisdom is not indigenous to Adam. He was created with abilities and given understanding so as to be able to name the beasts of the field and every fowl of the heavens as God brought them unto him, yet he did not possess true wisdom. When Adam took and ate of the fruit of the tree he was infused with the knowledge of good and evil and he acted according to his understanding of his condition. His conduct was carnal and unwise since he fled from God and attempted to rectify his condition by the strength of his own might and the power of his own will. Every child of Adam has this knowledge and follows the example set by him but true wisdom is not inherent to mankind. The wisdom of Adam is limited and finite. He does not understand spiritual matters as demonstrated in his attempt to atone for his deeds with fig leaves, denial and accusations against his creator.
When God saw the wickedness of the world that He had created and purposed to destroy the wickedness, He told Noah to build an ark. Noah had never seen rain and certainly did not know what a flood was. He may have been a carpenter and may have known which end of the hammer to hold but he did not know how to build an ark until Jehovah God gave him the wisdom and the understanding, but this was not true wisdom. The true wisdom was in the heart of Noah to hear and obey Jehovah God for; “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge” (Pro. 1:7). Noah had a respect and reverence of God that enabled and caused him to hear and obey.
When God called Moses out of Egypt and schooled him in the wilderness, He called him to the work assigned for him. Moses claimed that he was unlearned and incapable to do this work but God told him; “Who hath made man's mouth or who maketh the dumb or the deaf or the seeing or the blind? Have not I Jehovah? Now therefore go and I will be with thy mouth and will teach thee what thou shalt say” (Ex. 4:11f). Yet this is not true wisdom. Moses had to have the fear of God in the inward parts where God desires truth and made him to know wisdom (Ps. 51:6) before he could be made obedient to His word.
When God brought the nation of Israel to the mount in the wilderness and there gave them His commandments in types and shadows, He told them to fashion all things with the exactness and precision of the pattern given in the mount, yet they were ignorant. Only after God gave them the wisdom and understanding to do the work He demanded and made them willing in the day of His power, did those 'in the shadow of God' (Bezaleel) fashion with cunning workmanship all that Jehovah had commanded, exactly as He intended. Yet the true wisdom was not in the hands or the minds of these who laboured in the shadow of God until He filled their hearts and minds with wisdom (Ex. 36:1-9).
Wisdom is not of the outward man for it dwells in the hidden inward parts and is “hidden from the eyes of all living” (Job 28:21). The natural man has a form of wisdom which is sufficient in his own eyes and by which he judges his fellow man. Whatever a person has been given to believe and the extent of that belief is the wisdom that they have and everyone has that which is wise in their own understanding. Only God understands the way of wisdom for she is one in Him.
Wisdom is eternal and is exceedingly greater than any comprehensive ability that mortal man has. Man cannot find out wisdom by searching for she is not to be found. He cannot understand her by studying for he lacks the cognitive ability and the common frame of reference which is spiritual. She is before all time or ever the foundations of the earth were laid. She is One with the Almighty from the beginning and in her is strength, counsel and sound judgment. There is no arrogance, evil or pride in her and she loves them that love her. She leads in the way of righteousness and her fruit is better than all the cumulative riches of the all of creation.
Wisdom is a kindred companion to those who have been born from above. Those who delight in the law of God after the inward man do so because Jehovah has put wisdom in the inward parts and given understanding to the heart (Job 38:36). Because of the Spirit of Wisdom (Eph. 1:17) the child of grace walks according to all that the Father has ordained them to do, without fail. They are strengthened by His might and walk in Wisdom (Col. 4:5) because they have been given all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Col.1:9). This walk and the work that they have been created unto is worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing and it is fruitful unto every good work (1:10).
Wisdom is also the discretion of understanding whereby the child of grace knows the nature and characteristics of man (Rev. 13:18). By this the doctrine of the three friends is identified as false and unprofitable. God said that His servant Job had spoken rightly about Him and that he had not sinned. Eliphaz and his two friends had spoken the things which established the sovereignty and Holiness of Jehovah God and His wrath was upon them. Their doctrine was based on what man can do and how God would react to man's conduct. They presented God as the bestower of His good and precious promises and blessings only if and when man was obedient and the source of chastisement and judgment if man was disobedient. This placing of conditions upon the love of God is not speaking rightly of His grace and mercy. The idea that He is sovereign is not congruent with the doctrine of Him reacting to man's actions. This is false doctrine and an abomination before God.
Now some will intimate that because God knows all things and He has afore seen what man would do, He accordingly made His decrees. This may appease the mind of Adam and preserve the sanctity of free will but it impugns the sovereignty of God who works all things after the counsel of His own will. This will or the desire of His heart which He performs, is by His love wherewith He loved His people and sent forth His Son to redeem them from under the law, reconciling them unto Himself. Herein is the forgiveness of sin, according to the riches of His grace, wherein He has abounded toward all His people in all Wisdom and prudence (Eph. 1:8). This is the Spirit of understanding that He has given to the elect by revelation in the knowledge of Him (17) whereby He has made know to all principalities and power in the heavenlies by the church, His manifold wisdom (3:10). The decree of God is based solely upon the good pleasure of His will, in the confines of His eternal love for His bride and is actuated by the power of that same will. He has set the wisdom and revelation of this will in the inner parts and has given this understanding to the new heart that He has put in all the children of the new covenant. He has written His law upon that heart and his Spirit dwells within the chosen vessel, causing them to walk, wisely and unto all pleasing, after His law. Hereby the children keep His commandments and perform all the good works they have been created in Christ Jesus unto.
It is very easy to condemn the three friends for the doctrine that they espouse, but when God speaks to Eliphaz, He shows forth His mercy. He proclaims the iniquity of Eliphaz and his two friends and pronounces their guilt, He then requires a perfect blood sacrifice and the mediation of one who is a perfect and upright man who feared God and eschewed evil. When He saw the blood and accepted His servants mediation, these three were delivered from the wrath to come (Job 42:10). There are brethren according to the election of grace whom God has not yet revealed Himself to. Like each and everyone of the household of faith, they walk “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature the children of wrath, even as other, BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, for His GREAT LOVE wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ and hath raised up together and made sit together in heavenlies in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:2).
Jehovah God knows them that are His. He leads them by the way along the appointed path by His love and brings them into the knowledge of His will at His appointed time. He teaches them His ways and fills them with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. HE alone strengthens them with all might, by Wisdom, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness, giving thanks unto the Father who has made them suitable to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints of light and accepted in the Beloved. Hereby do His people know what the sure sound is of that certain trumpet, the trump of the everlasting gospel, for He has given them ears to hear.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 16, 2012