"Hard Truths About Wisdom"
What lessons can Job teach us about gaining wisdom and living it out? In Job we know he suffered great physical loss, and it affected his view of God. What does this chapter help us to see concerning wisdom?
Hard Truths About Wisdom
A. I think about all the suffering that people in this world have faced. I think about the terrible suffering people have that lost loved one due to terrorism. I think about all the suffering people have had to face due to sickness beyond their control. I think about the suffering people have face because of natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes. I think about those suffering and understand their crying out to God.
B. The truth of the matter is, life is not fair as you and I count fairness. But a bigger truth is God understands all that we face, God understands our idea of fairness, and God continues to remind us to seek him for wisdom instead of leaning upon our own understanding. But sometimes, sometimes, God doesn’t make sense in what he allows and what he doesn’t. Sometimes it is frustrating to be in a situation where unfair actions are happening in my life and God doesn’t fix them.
C. Does suffering in this life drive me see God and the wisdom that comes from above, or does it drive me to seek only what my human understanding can give me based upon my interpretation of fairness? So I ask you to turn to Job and walk with a man who suffered great pain and loss, not due to his sin, but due to his faithfulness to God. Walk beside this man with me to hear him cry out for wisdom and see what we can gain from his story.
I. Crisis Intensifies Our Need
A. Think about this real life situation. A young husband and wife we making lunch on a Wednesday and trying to decide what they wanted to eat. There was a little argument between eating a sandwich or going out for a quick bite to eat. Life was good and that was their most difficult decision that day. But Thursday morning she suffered a stroke. The doctors gave conflicting advice on what to do.
B. This man wrote, “On Wednesday, my most difficult decision was what to choose for lunch. On Thursday, I needed to make a life-saving decision for my wife! Needless to say, crisis intensified our search for wisdom.”
C. Job was a man who faced the most difficult of times and we get his story. Job lost his seven sons and three daughters to death in one day. Job lost his business and wealth, he lost the respect of his wife, and after facing all of that Job lost his health. I am not saying sickness is worse than death, but when the sickness destroys you physically after you have been beaten down emotionally, what is left? Where is the fairness and justice?
D. But understand Job was not marked out to suffer not because there is anything wrong in his life, but because there is everything right in his life. He is the tallest tree in the forest that the lightning strikes first. He stands tall for the Lord in his generation and because of that, Satan wants to take him down. Satan wants the world to see this man fall for not only can he then destroy the good in Job, but can destroy the good that Job personifies to the world around him.
E. Crisis drives and intensifies our need for understanding and wisdom on how to handle what life has done. Many seek wisdom in their darkest hour.
II. Wisdom from Below and Above
A. Job withstands all that has happened to him, but then we get the wisdom of three good friends of Job. Three men who come to Job, sit with him for a week and said nothing. But then they begin to open their mouth. They begin to share with Job their wisdom.
B. Listen to the first friend share some wisdom with Job. READ Job 4:1-9. Did you understand that? Job you always gave wisdom to people and here is the wisdom in return. The innocent don’t perish before God. The idea simply is, the fact that you have suffered is because God is angry with you and you are secretly sinning. Great wisdom?
C. Not to push this too much, but the next two friends to give wisdom reiterates that point (READ Job. 11:1-6).
D. The point the three friends make is that wisdom dictates that Job sinned, his children sinned, and that Job has gotten less punishment from God than he deserves.
E. Job wants his day in court; Job wants to plead his case. Job’s reaction is not that God is unjust but that the punishment does not fit the crime. It would be like parking in a no parking zone and getting the death penalty. Job wants wisdom, true wisdom because what he has been given by his friends is not wisdom.
F. James warns and teaches about the types of wisdom. He would tell us (READ James 3:13-18)
F. Job 28 is his cry. Listen again to our text. (READ Job 28:20-28). There are some hard truths we need to learn about wisdom. One is discerning between human wisdom and godly wisdom. Yet the only wisdom that really matters is that from the Lord. Verse 28 says, “Behold the fear of Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn aside from evil is understanding.” Apply the truth you learn from the Bible. For anything less than that is simply human and interpretation that often leads to self-justification.
A. Gandhi said after reading the Bible, “You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilization to pieces, turn the world upside down and bring peace to a battle-torn planet. But you treat it as though it is nothing more than a piece of literature.”
B. It is time for me to quit saying, “I wish I knew what God wanted from me” and start doing what God has already taught me. My unwillingness to repent, to change, to turn from evil is an unwillingness to accept God’s wisdom. That is what Job learned. Job finally understood that he did not have know why, but had to trust in the one who knows all.
C. Job ends his talk with God with these words (Job 42:1-6). May you and I live in wisdom that repents before the Almighty and live in the wisdom that is from above. If we can help live in that wisdom, then come as we stand and sing.