Where Is Wisdom?
A good question to ask. One people have contemplated for thousands of years.
“But where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?”
Job 28:12, NASB
The dare written on the face of the young teen challenged me to answer her question. “Are you wise?”
How do you answer a teenager setting you up to look foolish or prideful? The answer—carefully and truthfully.
“God’s word says to ask for wisdom and he freely gives it to you.” At least she’s listening and the smirk is fading, and the rest of the group waits to hear my conclusion. “I have asked God for wisdom.”
In my head I’m thinking now I know why I’ve asked for wisdom. Then I finish. “I believe God is true to his word. He has given and is giving me wisdom as I seek him. It is a growing process. Am I wise?” I grin. “Sometimes and sometimes not. I have wisdom, but I don’t always use it.”
Job’s three friends had a wisdom that found credence
- in what they saw,
- what they heard from tradition passed down,
- and what a nighttime stealthy spirit spoke to one.
They had yet to discover where true wisdom is found, resulting in a lack of understanding Job’s current situation.
Job on the other hand had true wisdom—not yet complete but on the way to completion. The wisdom he had understood the wisdom of people discovered knowledge to find the deepest hidden treasures of the earth, but didn’t compare with the wisdom of God. He states—
“Man does not know its value,
Nor is it found in the land of the living …
it is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the sky …
Abaddon and Death say,
‘With our ears we have heard a report of it.’”
Job 28:13, 21-22, NASB
Job makes the answer clear as to where wisdom and the place of understanding are found.
“God understands its way;
And He knows its place …
And to man He said,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord,
that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
Job 28:23, 28, NASB
The young teen put her hand on her hip and declared, “I don’t want wisdom.”
Wisdom says to me, “Don’t register shock.”
I asked the teen, “Why?”
“Because then I am responsible to use it.”
Before she could leave, I addressed the group. “Because you don’t want wisdom does not relinquish your responsibility to use it. It’s available to all who ask.”
“But if any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God,
who gives to all men generously and without reproach,
and it will be given to him.”
James 1:5, NASB
“Wisdom leads you to the place of understanding not only what to do but why God asks you to do it. It leads you to full trust in God—where wisdom is found.” The group left challenged to,
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.”
Proverbs 3:5-7, NASB
Wisdom begins with fearing the Lord—respecting and standing in awe of his great wisdom.
Walking in the wisdom of God—
- turns you away from evil;
- gives you a right path or purpose, one not riddled with regrets;
- gives peace when the world is filled with chaos;
- brings you to the place of understanding the value of living for eternity rather than the temporary;
- brings you treasures without measure.
Wisdom from the mouth of Jesus tells us—
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust destroy,
and where thieves break in and steal.
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust destroys,
and where thieves do not break in or steal;
for where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.”
Matthew 6: 19-21, NASB
Where will you find wisdom? What treasure will it bring you?