DO. NOT. SEEK. THE TREASURE!
May 4, 2017 | by: Bill Burns | 0 Comments
Posted in: Guest Writers
In Sunday School the past few weeks, Pastor Dale and I have making our way through the Book of Job. Talking with a couple of folks from class, we all agreed; Job is a book we don’t tend to read very often. To be honest, it’s a bit depressing, and if you’ve read even the first two or three chapters, you know it starts out grim and just goes downhill from there…until the end, of course. In between the ‘bookend’ chapters recounting the troubling circumstances (to say the least!) of Job’s predicament and its resolution at the very end of last chapter, there are about 39 chapters of poetry to wade through. Poetry! Ugh!
The Book of Job raises some of the “Big Questions™;” ‘Why do we suffer?’ ‘Is God in control of all things in our lives?’ ‘Why do wicked people seem to prosper and good people go about as paupers?’
Job Chapter 28 is a meditative moment in the book; in it Job compares the search for wisdom to mining:
“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?...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’” (vv. 9-12, 20-22).
We want the answers to all those hard questions and so we strive for wisdom, looking everywhere, digging and scraping in the dark. Job wanted an answer desperately. You may have wrestled with these questions. Perhaps you’re in the thick of your own crisis and wonder about some, or all, of these questions right now as you read this. We lack wisdom to know how to resolve our crises. What to do? Why is this happening? Who can help us? But do we seek the wrong treasure, or treasure wisdom above God himself?
Job says of wisdom:
“God understands the way to it, and He knows its place. For He looks to the end of the earth and sees everything under the heavens…”
And so Paul the Apostle:
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption…” (1Corinthians 1:30)
Christopher Ash comments,
“Wisdom is the centerpiece of God’s crown jewels, utterly flawless and of infinite value. And God alone knows its place…as the poem (of Chapter 28-wtb) ends, our hopes may be raised, for surely if God knows the way to wisdom, maybe he will take us there and open our eyes so we too may grasp wisdom and find the answers to all our agonized questions. Not so!...The Lord himself…knows the answers, but chooses not to tell us. Our eyes are directed away from the search for the architecture and toward the person of the Architect.”
The triune God Himself, with Christ our Wisdom, our Righteousness, our Sanctification, our Redeemer, is the true treasure Job teaches us to seek.
At the end of the story of Job, in Chapter 42, verse 5, Job, after hearing directly from God, no longer speaks of wisdom, but of the Source of all wisdom:
“My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You.”
May we who hear only with our ears for now, confess, with our brother, Job,
“I know that my Redeemer lives; and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God…” (Job 19:25-26)
Amen! He is risen! He is risen indeed!