Today’s reading comes from Job 24-28. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word.
The final line of today’s reading really struck me hard … “And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord-That is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28 NIV) Friends, that sums up Job’s entire discourse with his friends.
All throughout they have had this constant battle back and forth about what has brought these calamities upon Job. His friends blame some hidden sin issue in his life. While Job realizes that could be it, he knows he has lived his life in an effort to worship and praise God with it. In today’s reading we have even seen the back and forth about what happens to evil people. Job paints the most beautiful picture of what end will eventually come to those who choose to live the wicked path of life. That fullness is realized in the eternal separation from God if a life saving/changing relationship with Jesus is never gained.
After all this back and forth Job concludes with his friends that wisdom is worth more than any precious stone, any precious ore from the ground, or any of the riches conceived by man. Wisdom is a high value commodity, and the root of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
Friends, do you fear God? I think when we hear this phrase we too quickly run to that idea of something horrible, something scary, and something that will endanger us. While that may be a part of the definition it is only a part. I think in fear there is a healthy amount of respect. As an adult I no longer fear the wrath of my parents or the negative they can do to me. But because they are my parents, because of the blessings they have shared with me, the lessons they have taught me, and the roots they have given me I have a healthy respect for their thoughts, opinions, and guidance. This respect comes from the love they have shown me. I think this is the similar fear of God that we would be wise to have.
God does not correct, God does not teach, God does not allow hardships in life just because he thinks we need punishment. I believe these things happen to mold and shape us into the people he desires us to be. God is like the master potter at work. I will end by leaving this verse from the New Testament in your minds … “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10 NIV84)