Thursday, September 9, 2010

Searching for Wisdom

I am woefully behind in my Bible reading. I think I was reading the July schedule at the end of August. I spent way too much time being lazy with the kids this summer. It was a much needed break. But now that school has started it is time to buckle down and get going.

So I have been reading quickly to catch up, not necessarily even digesting every word. And yet, I still get caught by a nugget of truth I needed to hear that day. That is what I love about just reading the Bible, no Bible study questions to answer or teaching attached to the reading. Just reading. When I come to the Bible without any intent other than getting to know God and His word better, I get just that. No agenda. Just God.

Last week I was reading Job 28 where Job is talking about man mining for gold and silver, searching caves for precious stones, mining for iron and copper. He writes in verse 10, "He (mankind) tunnels through the rock; his eyes see all its treasures." First I was impressed with the way mankind even at that primitive point in history was already seeking the hidden gems found throughout the earth. And then I read verses 12 & 13:
But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?

Man does not comprehend its worth;
it cannot be found in the land of the living.

How quickly we are distracted by finding gems, that we stop trying to find things of real value. The iron and copper have use in tool making, but the jewels, the silver and gold were for making things more beautiful, more valuable. They did not change the purpose of the item, only the way it appeared. And yet they were using their time and creating unsafe and uncomfortable working conditions in order to gather together wealth.

I wonder what would happen to the world if we started valuing wisdom? Would we be in this recession brought on by mismanaged and unethical financial practices? Would we have a fringe church standing up to Al Qaida by burning 200 Quran? Would we have kids demanding the latest iPod and cell phone? Or grown ups thinking they needed and deserved the latest toy even if they could not afford it?

The problem with wisdom is that it is hard to mine. It requires us to let go of ourselves, our egos, our desires and connect ourselves to the source of wisdom - God. Job goes on to finish chapter 29 by writing:
Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?

It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds of the air.

Destruction and Death say,
'Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.'

God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,

for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.

When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,

when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,

then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.

And he said to man,
'The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.'

I am beginning to realize, slowly, over many years, that God is God. And the more I understand this, the more I trust His plan, His words, His deeds, the more content I am. The more I can role with the punches of life. The more I know God's word, the more I can see that He does have a plan. I may not always understand it. I may not always agree. But I am beginning to see that God is way wiser than I am, so it is better that I let Him be in charge.

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