Would you believe me if I told you that the world has messed up the definition of wisdom? Job 28:23, “God understands the way to wisdom, & He knows its location.”
I donʼt know about you but Iʼd rather walk alongside somebody who knows the way than alongside someone who is still trying to figure it out.
About a month ago now, I had a week where my family was hit from every direction. On Monday, our 7 year old daughter had to have x-rays for a possible broken arm & my mother-in-law was notified that it was time for her to begin Hospice care. On Tuesday, my mother-in-law made a trip from her home 3 hours away to enjoy what will be her last trip our home. Wednesday, my husband made a huge gash down his shin when he ran into stray barbwire. That night a hailstorm hit my in-laws home & did severe damage. Thursday, we made the 3 hour journey to be at the first Hospice visit with my in-laws. I returned home while my husband finished the week with his parents. Friday went smooth but then Saturday came. I loaded up our daughters, 7 years olds & 22 months, to go pick up husband from his parents but we had a flat tire an hour from our home & two hours from him. Instead of picking him up we waited for the tire to be changed while he headed to us.
My husband & I might have felt justified that week throwing in the towel, walking away, shouting “If this is what life is like with You then I am done, this is too hard God!” Itʼs been a time of questioning, searching, & decision making. It’s been a time of deciding whether to be “foolish” or to “Be Wise.”
That week, my husband asked me if I knew Jobʼs wifeʼs name because he was feeling like Job. Shortly, after that conversation I began to read the book of Job.
In one day, all of Jobʼs livestock, most of his servants, & all of his children died. After that happened, Job “fell to the ground & worshiped, saying The Lord gives, & the Lord takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh.” Even through the death of his children, Job did not sin or blame God. Then on another day, Job was infected with terrible boils from head to toe. I guess that was all that Jobʼs wife could handle because now she had something to say! After all, she lost all of her children too & was going through everything with him.
In 2:9 Job’s wife said, “ʻDo you still retain your integrity? Curse God & die!ʼ” She is telling her own husband that he would be better off turning away from God & dying. Job replies, “You speak as a foolish woman speaks. Should we accept only good from God & not adversity?”
Proverbs offers a contrast between a foolish & a wise woman. Based on that contrast, Job is telling his wife that she is speaking like a woman who has been marked by folly, who has no shield against evil, canʼt resist temptation, lacks knowledge of the truth, is absorbed with embittering hatred, & has a nagging spirit. I don’t want to be this woman. How can I avoid being foolish, especially in the hardest of times?
The answer is simple but it takes work & intentionality. Be wise. Here is what I mean, if I am working at intentionally being wise in the easy times then that habit is already there for the hard times. If I wait until the hard times to be wise then I may not have wisdom.
Job 28:23 says, “God understands the way to wisdom, & He knows its location.” Remember I said Iʼd rather walk alongside somebody who knows the way than alongside someone who is still trying to figure it out! Job knew that God knows the way so he walked alongside God. Job 28:27-28 says God “considered wisdom & evaluated it; He established it & examined it. God said to mankind, ʻThe fear of the Lord is this: wisdom.ʼ”
There we have it! If I am going to be wise then I need to respond properly to God. I need to fear Him; stand in awe, displaying reverence & devotion. This includes turning from evil & submitting to the rightful authority of the Lord.
Job was able to respond the proper way because he was already in the habit. In Job 1:5 we learn that he would rise early in the morning to offer burnt offerings for all of his children. Jobʼs reason for this “Perhaps my children have sinned, having cursed God in their hearts.” Job had such reverence for God that he chose daily to turn away from evil & to honor God. Job is an example of how to “Be Wise” & he lived it out for his children to see.
Are you falsely gaining wisdom by defining it as the world does? Do you fear the Lord? Are you in the habit of being wise? Have you turned from evil & recognized the authority of the Lord over your life? Are your children seeing you honor & obey God? To be wise is to fear the Lord.
Lord, thank You for using Jobʼs life to teach me. Thank you for a Mom who intentionally honors & obeyʼs You. I praise You for the blessing of a Mom who makes it a habit to turn from evil & respect the authority that You, Lord, have over her life. Lord, I ask that You stir each of our hearts, examine us, give us a deep desire to “Be Wise” in the good times & in the hard times. Lord, please lead us to make offering ourselves to You a daily habit. Mold us to be Motherʼs & daughters who intentionally live out a life of honor & obedience to You for all we influence to see. Lord, I want my children to fear You & live a life fully surrendered to You. May I be a direct reflection of You God. Lord, lead us to Be Wise. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
Guest Blogger (Adapted from a speech given at a Mother’s Day event)