Whew, can you say "Sam's a bad blogger"? I've discovered something very important: I blog best when I'm procrastinating from school. Knowing that, don't expect any consistent posting until September after I've settled into school. I'm actually writing the Harry Potter post now, however, just in time for the release of the final book, so that should be coming sometime in the next two weeks. In the meantime, here's a meditation on Job 28 from my quiet time this morning.
I think Job 28 is one of the most beautiful chapters in Scripture, and especially in Job (second only to God's monologue of creation in chapters 38-41). The entire chapter is worth quoting here; please take the time to read it and savor the beauty and truth contained within:
“Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place for gold that they refine.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
and copper is smelted from the ore.
Man puts an end to darkness
and searches out to the farthest limit
the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;
they are forgotten by travelers;
they hang in the air, far away from mankind;
they swing to and fro.
As for the earth, out of it comes bread,
but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphires,
and it has dust of gold.
"That path no bird of prey knows,
and the falcon's eye has not seen it.
The proud beasts have not trodden it;
the lion has not passed over it.
“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.’”
Think of the camera that follows Saruman's rooks into the mines at Isengard during The Fellowship of the Ring. Reading this chapter is like following that camera, but instead of the heat of the lava and the squalor of the orcs, we are treated to huge caves filled with gold, silver, sapphires, and multitudes of precious jewels. It's a beautiful, breathtaking sight.
But then Job asks the question: Where is wisdom? That which is valuable above all else, where can it be found? Only God knows where it is or how to find it, for it was he who created it. Wisdom is found in the fear of the Lord, for only when we fear God will he impart wisdom to us.
I don't have a lot to say about this passage, mainly because it speaks for itself. No matter how beautiful creation is, it can never match the beauty of wisdom. That is why Solomon tells us in Proverbs 2 that "if you seek [for wisdom] like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." Wisdom is the ultimate treasure, and it is found in knowing God. Search for him and find him, and you will have everything you need.