Fear, Wisdom & Understanding

In one of Job’s late responses to his friends, he addresses the topic of wisdom. He echoes a familiar truth that meets find repeated over and over again in the book of Proverbs.

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

Job 28:28

When tragedy struck Job’s life, he wasn’t free from experiencing the deep hurt and pain, the questions and doubts that creeped up. Throughout his discourse with his 3 friends, he continued to rest on significant truths about God and His ways. This time here is no different. Despite his confusion and frustration with his current circumstances, and the continual accusations from his friends, Job rested in an understanding that a correct honor and respect of who God is would lead to wisdom and understanding.

As I read through Job’s story going back and forth with his friends I’m reminded of the many times in my life, where I have wrestled with God. The times I felt hurt and abandoned. When I wasn’t getting the answers I wanted in the time I wanted. Pouring my heart and mind out to a God who seemed silent and distant in the moment. And then I’d be reminded of His past provision. I’d be reminded of who He is and what He can do.

And a reverence for Him captivates me.

In the midst of hurt, my fear of the Lord is what grounds me. It brings my perspective back into alignment with reality. Job had to ground himself in the truth of who God is. He had to fight the temptation we all face, to let our circumstances and emotions skew our perspective and undermine reality.

This truth is empowering. When I fear the Lord, when I have a reverence for Him, it shapes my thinking. And I begin to live in a way that reflects trust in God regardless of what I am facing. That empowers me to turn from evil and truly find understanding.

Finding understanding doesn’t always mean having the answers to our questions. Sometimes it just means having peace in the midst of chaos, because we understand who God is and that He is still in control.

Maybe instead of just looking for answers to our “why”, we should look for peace. Maybe we should hit the pause button on our thoughts and emotions, and allow the fear of the Lord to consume us; to remind us of who God really is.

2 Comments on “Fear, Wisdom & Understanding

  1. I hadn’t heard that Job lived after Solomon. I heard speculation that he was the “Jobab” listed in the genealogies in Genesis 10 (verse 29), which would have put him before the Tower of Babel. I guess that’s one of those mysteries …


    • Thanks for your comment! It brought to my attention that I mixed up the dates of when Job is believed to have lived, and when the book is believed to have been recorded.
      I’ve updated to reflect this correction.
      Thanks again for your insight!

      Liked by 1 person

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