Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wisdom & Circumstances

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

And he said to man,
        'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.'
Job 28:23, 28

There is really only one source of all wisdom. God understands what true wisdom is. He knows what I need. This observation comes from the heart of a man who had suffered intensely, reasoned out a hard fought theology of suffering with antagonists who claimed to be close friends, and in the end could not recant one iota of his firmly held theology. It wasn't because Job had such a firm system of reasoning. It was because of what he absolutely knew about God. He knew that he had not lived in disobedience to the Almighty. And He knew that God was the source of wisdom and blessing.

To truly forge any philosophy of life worth accepting, I must begin and end with God. I must live a life that respects, rejoices in, and remembers God. That is the fear of the Lord. It is not fear in the sense of a paranoia. It is not fear in the sense of a phobia. It is not fear in the sense of a dreadful emotion. It is fear in terms of respect for an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-sufficient, and all-loving God.

When I know God in this way, turning from what is evil is a natural consequence. It is not a focus on DON'T, but more a focus of what I get to do with God. There is so much there. Job's words previous to this have set the wisdom of God of greater value than any precious gold or gem that men labor for to mine from the earth! And that is the observation of a man who was at one time extremely wealthy and knew the value of them all because he probably owned them all. And he valued God above all. That is why his integrity could stand the test of the loss of all things. God's wisdom and relationship of truly fearing God can never be lost when they are valued above all else.

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