From Job 28 –

Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots.
He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing.
He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle, and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.

But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?

Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living.
The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’ and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
It cannot be bought for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire.
Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold.

From where, then, does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?

It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the air.
Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.

For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure,
when he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder,

then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.

And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’

I love the description of man here – creative, enthusiastic, industrious even – but not wise. Only God is wise and only in Him is the real wisdom I’m longing for. The fear of Him is a mysterious application, but doesn’t it start by getting down on my hands and knees before Him, looking at Him as full in the face as I can stand? I think then I would see the evil in me more clearly and more readily turn away from it. External “evil” is easy to see and steer clear from, the evil in my own flesh is part of me. I live with it and accept it and even like it a little – or maybe more than a little.

Forgive me Lord when I live by my own wisdom – when I apply it to relationships and choices that are holy and eternal and needlessly confused and muddied by my own limited understanding. Forgive me for not examining the evil that is in me, not turning from it, and not acquiring the wisdom I say I want and know I need.  Amen.

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