“It cannot be bought for gold”
Job’s friends have given up reasoning with him! This is good; their point of view was a sort of tunnel vision arising from their conviction that his woes were the result of some concealed misbehaviour on his part. Job now switches his thoughts more fully to perceptions of God and his ways – his thoughts are highly interesting to say the least.
It is evident that in his era there was extensive mining; he is understood to have lived in the time of the Patriarchs. Job 28 starts, “Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore”.
But after writing about man’s mining ability and “the thing that is hidden he brings to light” (verse 11) which is done so much today, especially in Australia, Job’s thoughts refocus on a more vital matter!
He asks, “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” (verse 12). He then observes, “It cannot be bought for gold, and … cannot be weighed as its price. It cannot be valued …” (verses 15,16) adding, “it is hidden from the eyes of all living” (verse 21).
The climax of this chapter reveals the answer and it is wonderful! Job says, “God understands the way to it … and he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear [awe] of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding’” (verses 23,28). Constant reading and meditation on God’s word creates in our minds the way to wisely think, speak and act – doing this becomes increasingly challenging, but this is even more vital as the world around us becomes so intensely ungodly.
Maybe we can add to that, as the unpredictable American President Trump makes pronouncements about Jerusalem and we are challenged to more intensely watch events in the Holy Land.
Finally we recall what we read last week in 1 Peter “You have laid up treasure in the last days so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ”. These were probably – in the first place – “the last days” in Pater’s era – but today we can see how well they apply to the here and now.