Thursday, April 06, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Job 27-28

Bildad, one of Job’s three “friends”, asserted in Job 25 that men suffer because of unconfessed sins, implying that Job’s sorrows and losses were, in his judgment, because of sin and wickedness.  Job 26 marked the beginning of Job’s defense to Bildad’s judgments and continues the same in Job 27-28.

Professing he has searched his heart and found no sins that would invite God’s judgment, Job is at a loss to understand why God would allow so great a sorrow to shadow his life [remember, Job had been a man of great wealth and the father of seven sons and three daughters before the LORD allowed Satan to test him; a test that ultimately took from Job his wealth, health, and family]. (Job 1-2)  Bildad professed to have wisdom in Job 25, an assertion Job addressed in a series of questions in chapter 28.

Job 28:12, 20 – “But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?… 20  Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?”

Knowledge might be obtained for the excessive price of an Ivy League education; however, wisdom is priceless and cannot be purchased (28:15-19)!   In the words of 19th century English Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”

What is the repository of wisdom and how might it be acquired? The answer: “the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).

Wisdom is found in “the fear of the LORD” (Job 28:28).  Such “fear” is reverential and worshipful.  The “fear of the LORD” is not only an emotional response, but also a practical response that obeys the Law of the LORD and forsakes the way of sin and wickedness (“to depart from evil is understanding” – 28:28b).

Moses commanded Israel to keep the statutes and judgments of God, “for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).  Hebrew fathers and mothers were to teach their sons the statutes and judgments of God that they would “learn to fear” the LORD (Deuteronomy 4:10).  Israel feared the LORD when the people received the Law of the Lord at Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 5:5).   God’s people are to fear the LORD and delight in His commandments (Psalm 112:1).  We are to fear and reverence the name of the LORD (Psalm 86:11).

In my opinion, the greatest dereliction of duty within 21st century Bible preaching churches and institutions is the failure to instruct youth in the Law and Commandments of the LORD.   A whole generation of pastors, teachers, and evangelists are preaching “GRACE” and “LIBERTY” to the neglect of instructing Millennial sons and daughters in the statutes and judgments of God.

How many preachers can declare, “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27)?   The failure to teach the statutes and judgments (Law and Commandments) of God has created a void of knowledge and fostered a liberty that is a license to sin.

The absence of “the fear of the LORD” has fostered a culture of pride and carnality in our homes, churches, and schools.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith