Something That Matters, Today!

Last week, I wrote about wealth. One of Job’s friends was trying to equate Job’s physical condition with his spiritual condition. Eliphaz was saying that Job’s lack on the outside (his loss, his health, etc) was an indicator of his lack on the inside (God wasn’t pleased with Him).

In the book of Job, the three friends (and later a fourth) and Job go back and forth a good bit. Sometimes it seems that Job is being wise; at other times, he really seems to be missing the point. But I like what he said in chapter 28, and it is a good follow-up to my last blog post that I just summarized.

Job 28:12-28

12 “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 

13 Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living. 

14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’ and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ 

15 It cannot be bought for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price. 

16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or sapphire. 

17 Gold and glass cannot equal it, nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold. 

18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls. 

19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, nor can it be valued in pure gold. 

20 “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? 

21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the air.

 22 Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

 23 “God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. 

24 For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.

 25 When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure, 

26 when he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder, 

27 then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out. 

28 And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'”

We’re talking about something far more valuable that earthly riches here. Something that can’t be bought (v15), priced (v16), or bartered (v17). What is it?

The fear of the Lord. Wisdom. To turn away from evil.

 We’re not talking about 3 different items here, but rather, 3 items that are linked together – “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”

It is mentioned in other places in Scripture as well:

Psalm 111:10

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Proverbs 9:10

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

If we really wanted to get “ahead,” we would pursue Him, more than the excellence of career, or finances, or personal health, or the other things that we can easily prioritize over our spiritual walk and our Creator.

I do believe that our God wants us to be good personal stewards of our own body and health. There are multiple scriptures for this – here’s one:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

As long as we don’t over-prioritize it over what really matters.

1 Timothy 4:8

8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

So, be the best we can be. But to do that, in our pursuit of excellence, we must remember where it starts, and what matters most.

Job 28:28

28 And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'”

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