Read Job 12:12-17; Job 28:20-28
Prayer for wisdom and insight
You might find yourself saying sometimes, to yourself, maybe, or perhaps to a teenager – ‘now was that a wise decision?’
I’m conscious that in my late twenties and early thirties in particular, but quite likely at many other times in life also I’ve made some unwise decisions. I praise God so much for rescuing me from some seriously sticky situations which my lack of wisdom threw me into.
What we’re yearning for today is much more, however, than the ability to avoid stupidity – our own or others’.
What the poet Job, (and everyone knows poets are deep) wants us to know about wisdom is that it’s not about us at all! It’s a matter of leaning into God so that our natural human weakness is replaced by God’s supernatural strength.
Job’s answer to his questioner, his taunter really, his friend, Zophar the Naamathite, in chapter 12 is that God is in control. “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” (Job 12: 12)
Job, a once wealthy and always a truly good man, has had his life of ease and contentment stripped from him when Satan challenges God to see how loyal Job remains to God when all his wealth, oxen, sheep, donkeys, servants even his health and his family were stripped away.
Chapter 12, in response to his mate Zophar’s probing and prodding, asks the key question, who has wisdom? The answer, which really requires of us months or years of study rather than one Sunday, comes with confidence, as well as some sarcasm and humour. Job challenges his friend to declare his source of wisdom. ‘Who do you think you are?’ he taunts him. Listen, I have wisdom too, you know. In fact, even animals know a thing or two. They have something to teach us you know, and those of you who have dogs know that already.
There are moments we all have – of despair, fear, and real insight sometimes – that we are not the answers to life’s big questions, that what we have on our own is not enough. When we have lost everything – when we are full of disease – when our friends criticise us and let us down, when our life’s savings have gone, we should do what Job did – focus on God, dig deep into God’s wisdom and depend on God’s love for us.
In spite of all he has lost at this point, Job points to the wisdom of God – and how powerful God is.
Instead of dwelling on what he has lost, Job highlights God’s wisdom and power Job 12: 13” With God are wisdom and might, counsel and understanding.”
Consider all that God can do…
- If He tears a thing apart – it can not be rebuilt.
- If He captures someone – he can not be released.
- If He holds back water – it will dry up.
- If God sends water it – it will over flow the earth
- Wisdom and power belong to Him – everyone has to answer to Him
- God is wiser then the wise – He can make even wise people look like fools
- God can humble those who think they have power.
- God strips religious leaders of their robes and office.
- He takes away the ability to speak and wisdom that has been gathered over the years.
He will put to shame those who think they are mighty, pure and powerful.
- He will expose even the darkest corners of everyone’s life.
- He makes nations great – or will bring them down.
- He can take away understanding so that people stumble all over themselves.
- God is light – without Him there is nothing but darkness.
Because Job’s God, our God can do all these things, we come into God’s presence humbly. “Every knee will bend and tongue will confess” – no exceptions. We come as we are, with no accoutrements.
“Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace.”, part of the third verse of the much loved hymn ‘Rock of Ages’.
These words, these yearnings of our heart to experience more and more of God in our lives, are our expression of our desire to give all of our selves to God’s infinite wisdom and mercy, not holding back anything.
We will all meet our maker. We will all be judged.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
Well, in no way do we want to be known as foolish.
‘It is written:
‘“As surely as I live,” says the Lord,
“Every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.”
Friends, this is all about dependence. Living our lives, acknowledging that it is God who is in control, not us. We simply don’t have all the answers. We are nothing on our own.
We are everything in Jesus who gave everything for us.
Slide on screen “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1: 5
Prayer of Response to God