Exercise. Read ch 28,carefully- maybe a few times..... There are no questions for this chapter. For this chapter is the gemstone of the whole book. No encouragement or help should be needed here for anyone with the slightest interest in understanding this book of Job. Neglect this chapter and you miss the truth of this book. Job, an intellectual judge and lawyer struggles in his mind with the problem of suffering, especially that which is endured by the “innocent”. Please do read the Bible version before the “easy-read” paraphrase.
Study notes on Ch.28
This chapter though so wonderful, promotes somewhat reluctant comment. For in trying to explain what Wisdom is, we may appear to be foolish. Just in case you don’t fully grasp what Job is saying, let it be understood that wisdom is the key to the book and the key to the problem of suffering in general. In his search for an answer Job has consulted his wisest friends, only to find out that their so-called wisdom, was based upon a premise that he knew personally to be completely false. Indeed, he had previously shared their wisdom, but now he realised that it was not quite so pure as he had thought. There did not seem to be an answer known to man, but he was sure that God knew. Such a rare commodity priced it above any precious stones or metals found on this earth. Thus he begins by describing the ingenuity of man in finding precious metals and jewels even though they are hidden deep in the earth. He has even devised means and knowledge to be able to know where such treasures are likely to be hidden in the earth. The animals walk over such places and the birds fly over such places, but they are totally unaware of the riches beneath their feet. Man however, has accrued, not only the wisdom to discover the riches in earth and rivers, but to be able to smelt the ore and turn it into nuggets or usable pieces of metal. When you come to think about it, that really is an advance in civilisation, from the “stone age” to the iron age.” However, though man can travel, search, find, dig, bring back, and sell such riches, he has no idea where he can find wisdom, such as is needed to know why Job was suffering. If such wisdom could be found, then who could put a price upon it. It would be worth far more than any rubies, diamonds or gold. “Verse 23 says “God understands the way to it and He alone knows where it dwells” Before the world began, when he set the forces of nature loose, in his wisdom he considered all things. When he decided how strong the wind was going to blow, or how powerful was to be the thunder storm, he looked at the wisdom of it all, appraised it, tested it, and confirmed it. He did not make it all known to man, but merely set him on the path towards it. Solomon, who had more wisdom given to him by God than anyone else wrote “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, (proverbs ch.1: 7.) thus confirming Job’s words at the end of this chapter. Our final summing up of this book later, will inevitably be a comment upon the wisdom of a loving, almighty God, creating a world of such evil potential, in terms of the suffering experienced in it. Much of the introduction notes on wisdom come from this chapter.
If ch.19 is the heart of the book, then this chapter 28 is the mind of the book.