Text Size: Zoom In

Looking for Wisdom


Door knocker on an old Spanish building

From Eden until now, one of life’s great challenges has been to see our need not just for knowledge… but for wisdom.

The difference is just as needed when it comes to our understanding of the Bible—and maybe more so in our information age.

It doesn’t even take a knowledge of the Bible to see that any of the following can be either wise or foolish:

  • Courage
  • Truth telling
  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Love
  • Hate
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Not Envying
  • Not holding wrong against another
  • Boasting
  • Gentleness
  • Faithfulness

So where does wisdom come from? Education? Experience? IQ?

Some time after Eden, a man named Job raised the question, while having to endure not only a broken heart—but on top of it all—having to listen to his friends trying to defend God— by wrongly accusing him of hiding the sin that would explain his suffering (Job 28:20-28).

As this text shows, Job concludes that wisdom comes from God and that— the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. i.e. For openers, God shows his ways to those who don’t trust their own…

But wouldn’t Job’s friends have quickly claimed to fear the Lord? Wasn’t that what they were trying to get Job to do— as they tried so hard to convince him of deserving his pain (Job 22:4-10)?

Since they are attempting to be wise counselors, with such foolishness, did they really fear God—or did they just think they did? Or don’t we really know?


Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+28 rating, 28 votes)

71 Responses to “Looking for Wisdom”

  1. bubbles says:

    Wisdom can be found in silence.

  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Job had been a man full of faith and good deeds. So, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar are at best grabbing at straws when they accuse him of unfaithfulness to God. What they are doing to Job is also telling lies in order to make a case against him. It does not hold.

    Abraham Heschel wrote, “…when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion — its message becomes meaningless.”

    I’m with you, Bubbles, when “words of the truth of God” become like weapons — silence is better. Lord, have mercy on us all.


  3. tracey5tgbtg says:

    What was going on in the minds and hearts of Job’s friends? My answer is we don’t really know. I think their intentions were good. It is my opinion that Job, like Saul(Paul), made every effort to DO what was right and moral and lawful in an attempt to please God.

    But when Job, the same with Paul, came face to face with God, he realized that all his righteous acts were filthy rags. Job 42:5-6

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I think Job and his friends are interchangeable. God could have chosen any of the friends to go through this unexplained trial and Job would have been right there with the others saying “admit that you have sinned.”

    Until you have come face to face with God, and have been convicted by the Holy Spirit, you may believe that being good is the way to get to God. You may think you are doing a good job of being good.

    When you are convicted by God, you will see that all your effort to be good was just that – self-effort. Relying on your own self rather than on God. Does that mean once we realize that we are saved not by our own effort, but rather we are saved by the sacrifice of the Holy Lamb of God, that we now have license to sin our lives away? No, a thousand times, no! Who thinks such a thing as that once they have the Holy Spirit in their heart?

    Always we must strive to focus on God and be led by Him. He will not lead us into sin. But He can’t lead us if we take our eyes off of Him to look at ourselves and the actions of our neighbors . He can’t lead us if we take it into our own hands to save our neighbor by telling them what they are doing wrong. He can’t lead us if we look away because we are distracted by the world.

    Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.
    Prone to leave the God I love.
    Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it.
    Seal it for Thy courts above.

  4. cbrown says:

    I was going to comment but I do not have anything to say. I do have a question though. Tracey what does 5tgbtg mean?

  5. tracey5tgbtg says:

    When I was registering “Tracey” alone was already taken. For some reason I thought I had to include a number and couldn’t use capitol letters, but I see others that do so I could have been mistaken. But anyway, 5 is the number of people in my family – me, my husband, our 3 kids and tgbtg is To God be the glory, an acronym that a pastor I knew wore on his baseball cap. It got people to ask him what it meant.

  6. saled says:

    I agree with Tracey that God could have used one of Job’s friends just as well as Job. I think maybe the message in Job is that we find wisdom where we find the Spirit, in silence as Bubbles said, and in waiting.

    Mart asks, “Where does wisdom come from? Education? Experience? IQ?” I think that the Spirit uses education, experience, and IQ as Spirit wills. But Spirit also produces wisdom without any of these things. I know myself to be a babe in learning to wait for Spirit. My natural tendency is to want rules for handling any situation. I don’t want to go through the silence, waiting, and unpredictability of dealing with Spirit. But I find myself in this chaotic life with so many unpredictable situations that rules alone don’t fit.

    I tend to make quick decisions, even about important things. And then I find Spirit and wisdom in dealing with the outcome of hasty decisions. A little bit ago the topic here on BTA was time. For myself, time and silence both seem to be necessary ingredients to find wisdom.

  7. Artle says:

    I think Job’s friends were looking at Job with, and applying temporal ideas when in fact Job’s situation was eternal or spiritual. They were explaining Job’s calamity with the same mentality where one looks at another’s misfortune, disease, destitution and says, “I wonder what evil he/she/they did to deserve such. Temporal thinking is built into our troubled minds and you have to learn to look at another’s misfortune, disease, destitution and say, Perhaps, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:3 (NASB)

    I don’t think we can learn to look at others rightly without focusing on Jesus and realizing they are His sheep, not ours, and we are all in the same pasture.

  8. oneg2dblu says:

    Tracey…How quickly we can forget Paul’s confession, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

    I will never beleive that Paul, after his Road to Damascus experience, ever acted alone, or by himself again.

    Clearly paul knew it was not just his self-effort that gave him, that “all things” attitude.

    But, he also taught us that we must be fully in the race and not to be a bystander just waiting for the win.

    He also confessed that he never acheived the position he so willingly pursued with all effort and strength given him in Christ.

  9. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… the most telling things about Job and what separated him from all others were two things, his Fear of God, and his shunning of evil.

    We can not attest those same attributes to any of his friends, or should we place those same qualities that God saw as only Job possessing, because God found him to be blameless.

    So, to me, I can not reach that same conclusion.

    But for entertaining or keeping the peace with our fellow contributors, I suppose we can probably stretch all things as well.

    Although, I thought Chrsit said, He came to divide, using even the word of God as a double edged sword, separating even families.

    Christ was not silent about that!

    Just a thought… where we may see only division in hard words, others may find plain truth.

  10. poohpity says:

    There seems to be quite a difference in knowing God and knowing about God. Job’s friends seem to base their thinking on what man does will effect God’s response. Job on the other hand seemed to believe that man’s response is in how well he knows God. Job’s friends seem to speak out of fear of God like in being scared of Him rather the kind of fear Job seem to be talking about as in reverence that allowed Job intimacy and trust.

    Job’s friends tried to base their wisdom on education, experience and IQ; human based. Job based wisdom as coming from the source, God.

    I think Job’s friends did fear God but more like a paralyzing fear that prevented them from doing anything while Job’s fear was more of being awe struck by the magnitude of what God is and seeing all that Job could do because of that trust.

  11. quietgrace says:

    Good morning! Mart, to answer your question at the end I think we all fear God in our own way, according to our own experiences and values.

    I was raised by a violent pedophile who abused hundreds of children along with myself and my siblings. He was very domineering even militaristic in his parenting and interactions with others. When I became a Christian I too thought God was mean, domineering, and ready to pounce the minute I did something wrong. I thought He needed me to ‘be nice’ so that He could really love me the way I ‘deserved’ to be loved, which was completely conditional. This is a long way of saying that even though I did fear God, it took me a long time to understand that He was not like my earthly father. When I studied scripture I studied hard and could give an answer to anyone who struggled with sin how God felt about it and what they needed to do to fix it. And I believed I was right, because God said it, didn’t He?

    What I didn’t understand was grace. It took being hurt by others who also believed they were right-God fearing believers that knew the scriptures as I did and could apply them to any situation-to really understand the depths of grace. Unmerited favor by God. Simple. Too simple for our little minds, but wise beyond our knowledge. Still a mystery, even as God is.

    Blessings to all this fine day of grace.

  12. oneg2dblu says:

    In the scriptures God has revealed to us when the message given is hard and not readily accepted, discrediting or killing the messenger was often the chosen path for relieving the immediate conviction, but we also know that it does not work, because God’s word never returns void.

  13. oneg2dblu says:

    Silence is also a weapon!

    In a world full of evil and darkness found within the human heart that is unchanged by God, many things are used as weapons against the light of truth, and IQ and
    knowledge can also work against us, as well as for us.

    Yet, God tells us that only by having a child-like faith, which He embraces as being untainted, pure, innocent, willing and open to fully receiving Him, as being most acceptable.

    Without any restraint, or restriction, or further convincing, and many times as a last resort, do we find ourselves by Grace, faith possessed and runnig into His rescuing Arms.


  14. SFDBWV says:

    Just looked in on a very snowy and busy day. I would only like to answer Mart’s question concerning the difference between wisdom and knowledge.

    Wisdom is the ability to know how to use knowledge.

    Caution must be applied as even evildoers know how to use wisdom in order to apply their desired results.


  15. belleu says:

    Quiet Grace, I was also abused by my father. I have always had trouble believing God loves me and is kind. I guess it is a cross to bear, but we live by faith, not sight, for which I am glad.

    Wisdom? The Bible says to seek wisdom so I do pray for it. It also says, “Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Proverbs 26:12 Mart is right, God shows his ways to those who don’t trust their own.

    I think one thing we all lack when praying for or working for those who we see as “sinning” or “lost” is patience. God has so much patience with us and some of us are slow learners, like me. We stumble, we fall, we go forward and then back. Well, that is my experience. I’m not like Paul, who could say, “Imitate me.” I could never advise anyone to do that!

  16. poohpity says:

    Paul was a fool for Christ, he knew his weaknesses, when he was cursed he blessed. endured persecution with joy, when he was slandered he answered kindly and he had the best interest of the church in mind, he regarded himself a servant of Christ and modeled grace to others that he had received. Just some of the things earlier in the chapter he mentioned before he told the church in Corinth to imitate him as he imitated Christ.

    Mart, I was thinking about the question whether Job’s friends feared God or not and I wonder if by them trying to speak for God, lack of compassion for Job, saying Job’s pain was due to sin, all the accusations as if they were god would lead me to think they did not fear God in anyway. Not being scared of God by thinking they knew God’s thoughts and ways also showed no reverence for God either by trying to play god by being so pride filled telling Job to listen to what they said as if they knew God better than God’s friend Job did. Of course I do not know for sure but the conversation would lead one to believe, no.

    Job shared with God his heart because at that time the law written on those cold stone tablets had not been given but God seemed to touch hearts in faith and by Job’s actions lived out what God had laid on Job’s heart.

  17. Artle says:

    Had to share the Amplified rendition of 1 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP)

    Let no person deceive himself. If anyone among you supposes that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool [let him discard his worldly discernment and recognize himself as dull, stupid, and foolish, without true learning and scholarship], that he may become [really] wise.

  18. quietgrace says:

    Artle, hello and thank you for sharing that scripture. It is beautiful in it’s simplicity. And, if we can remember it when we find ourselves or others in perplexing circumstances we will save us all a world of hurt and disappointment.
    Blessings, quietgrace

  19. remarutho says:

    Hello BTA Friends —

    Job shows greater understanding than his friends, saying that that the riches of the world can be dug up like precious metals and gems — and the super-sharp perceptions of the greatest hunters (falcon and lion)can spot the prey — but wisdom is not mined like a diamond nor captured like a rabbit or an antelope. “Mortals do not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living.” (Job 28:13)

    Job is patient as he explains to his material-minded friends that wisdom is a great prize — more precious than jewels or gold or any other treasure. Recall that he endures his companions’ unkind remarks in the midst of the loss of children, servants, fields and herds. He is broken-hearted. It seems to me words of encouragement or silence itself are the best expressions of friendship and love at such a tender time of grief.

    If a person is only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The Book of Job would have been much shorter if his friends were truly wise, in my opinion.


  20. SFDBWV says:

    Quietgrace and Belleu, my heart felt sympathies for the wounds you received as children. There is nothing I could say to take away those memories or the scars they produced.

    I will tell you though I raised a foster daughter whose father abused her and her sister and put him in jail. That was all I could do, the rest was up to them and God as how to proceed with their lives. I am happy for the two of you to have done well in doing so.


  21. SFDBWV says:

    In Matthew 10:16 Jesus instructs us to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

    What we do with knowledge is what separates us between good and evil and what may be seen as wise and foolish.

    Is it a smart spider that knows to build their webs in such a position and place as to maximize their trap, or a wise one?

    After the flood of Noah, God placed the fear of man into the beast. It is accepted that until that time men had been vegetarians and did not eat meat. Even though God gave fear as a means of avoiding contact with humans into the animal, mankind domesticated animals and used cunning to keep animals under control for slaughter.

    To a discerning eye had some animals showed wisdom and used the fear God gave them of man, they would not have ended up on the dinner table so easily.

    Had Eve demonstrated wisdom and obeyed God, this whole mess of a wrecked and derailed creation could have been avoided, unless it is all God’s will and purpose; if so nothing could have prevented it.

    Wisdom it would seem is part of the created being all of living creation was given. It is only when wisdom is ignored for selfish and foolish reasons that disaster follows.

    So yes, Job, in my estimation is quite correct in saying all wisdom comes from God.

    Seeking wisdom takes us on a journey of discovering where we came from and who we were created to be, as it takes us back to the creator, back to the beginning; almost a reset in today lingo, in order to move forward then from the understanding of whom we are in Christ.


  22. oneg2dblu says:

    Over and over in this life and in the lives of those shown in scripture that God uses all things for His good purpose.
    He brings out the beauty hidden for many years because of abusive pressures placed upon even his darkest elements, as in pressing carbon into diamond,
    He takes what was birthed in abuse and darkness and brings it into His marvelous light.
    We hear this evidenced in every glowing testimony of His elect, who now shine for Him.
    Every testimony stands in the face of evil and says, with God’s help, we have overcome even this world.
    Thank you Quietgrace and Belleu for sharing, both the darkness and the light.

  23. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Prayers going up for the healing of memories for your lives, Belleu and QuietGrace. May Jesus gently bring to nothing what was — in order to create in you new things, especially the joy of his presence.


  24. Artle says:

    Something always puzzled me about Job’s friends and that is that they seemed like knowledgeable men. As a matter of fact, some of their knowledge is echoed in other biblical passages which give credence to the knowledge they possessed. Though Job’s friends came with knowledge, they failed to use it correctly.

    This leads me to the idea that all of one’s knowledge could be true and their application of it completely false. In the case of Job’s friends, the application of their good knowledge failed because they really did not know everything about Job. Now, I have to ask myself, how many people do I know everything about? How many people do I know like God knows them?

  25. poohpity says:

    I wonder then Artle why God went on to say, “you have not spoken of me what is right” to Job’s friends. (Job 42:7 NIV) God could have said, “some of what you have said is right but you do not understand my heart” or “in an attempt to defend my decisions you have no idea it was not me who did these things to Job”, then God would be defending Himself to those who it seems of yet has not even taken the time to look for God(look for wisdom). To me God does not have to defend Himself to us or to reason for any course of action “if we trust” that His ways are something our finite minds could not wrap around to begin with.

  26. poohpity says:

    Job’s friends presumed to know God it seems and sourced it through past experience, knowledge and personal wisdom that they all had God figured out. God’s response was to open their eyes to being clueless. We can figure people out by past experience, studying human behavior, history and listening to their plight all things are common to mankind and I think we try to put God in that box as well to judge Him by our own inclinations.

  27. quietgrace says:

    Thank you all so much for your prayers and kind words. Thank you, Steve, for fostering those precious girls. God’s grace comes in many shapes and forms.

    Thinking of Jobs friends, I am reminded of a time in college when I failed a course I had studied so hard for and had others praying for me also. I was devastated and had to take it over to get the degree I wanted. Some psychological abuse happened at the same time through an instructor, which sent me spiraling into deep depression and psychosis; including a period of homelessness. When I found my way back I saw a Christian counselor who said the most important words for me, “you had God in a box”. Wow, did that change my perspective and put me on a new journey of finding out just what God was all about. I thought God had let me down. Another counselor (Christian) had the skills to restore me psychologically through patience and caring to where I could again believe God really did love me. The skilled work of a psychologist the past few years has helped me through ptsd to where I function pretty well, although I don’t have the tolerance I once had for long periods of time in groups (like church) as I am in my 60’s now and wear out easier. The scars remain, but God has not changed. I only thought He had, or, thought I knew Him. He still amazes me mostly now with His grace. Above all else, His grace remains, for Job, for his friends, for me, and for abusers of little children and adult children.

    In a nutshell, “It’s all good”, as long as Jesus is accepted as the way, truth, and life. To God be the glory, great things He has done!

  28. remarutho says:

    Dear All –

    Mart, your comment on Job 22 (a statement of Job’s great wickedness) is:

    “Since they are attempting to be wise counselors, with such foolishness, did they really fear God—or did they just think they did? Or don’t we really know?”

    We can see evidence of the three friends’ hearts, it seems to me, because we have so many images of “the tree and its fruit” offered in Scripture – meaning that words (and deeds) are the outward evidence of a person’s interior motives. (Matthew 12:34) – “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

    Consider what Eliphaz (Job’s “friend”) says to him:

    “Do you think it’s because he cares about your purity
    that he’s disciplining you, putting you on the spot?
    Hardly! It’s because you’re a first-class moral failure,
    because there’s no end to your sins.
    When people came to you for help,
    you took the shirts off their backs, exploited their helplessness.
    You wouldn’t so much as give a drink to the thirsty,
    or food, not even a scrap, to the hungry.
    And there you sat, strong and honored by everyone,
    surrounded by immense wealth!
    You turned poor widows away from your door;
    heartless, you crushed orphans.
    Now you’re the one trapped in terror, paralyzed by fear.
    Suddenly the tables have turned!
    How do you like living in the dark, sightless,
    up to your neck in flood waters?” (Job 22:4-10 MSG)

    Is Eliphaz wise? Is what he says true? I believe he is spouting hypocritical foolishness and does not improve upon the silence by speaking.

    What we can learn from the Book of Job is that he prayed for his friends. (Job 42:10) We do not know how his three (or four) friends fared when Job’s ordeal was over. It may be they changed and asked Job’s forgiveness and became his true friends after all.


  29. Artle says:

    Pooh, The gist of my comment was agreeing with what Steve said yesterday, “Wisdom is the ability to know how to use knowledge.”

    I think this is what trips us up many times, even here in our discussions, because the truth and application of the truth are two different things. Two people can both be right, but fail to apply the knowledge correctly, and “not speak right of God”. Thankfully, we have an Advocate with the Father.

    No matter how much we know to be true, our truth is incomplete.

    I’m probably not explaining this too well, so measure it wisely.

  30. Artle says:

    Seems to me that the world makes no sense without God. Once the idea of God enters our minds, things begin to make more sense. As little truths begin to seep into the mind and the heart, more of His plan makes sense. Perhaps this is the beginning of knowledge or wisdom that Job and others reference. But, just the beginning. Then there is knowledge of His Son and our Lord Jesus, which clears more of the fogginess, but at this point, we have left the beginning and are on the road to the truth. Add the knowledge of Jesus sacrifice and wow begins to creep in, but nothing like when the knowledge of His Grace begins to loosen the grip on what we think we know. On the knees of my heart at this point, with tears in my eyes.

  31. poohpity says:

    Does not wisdom teach us that we do not have to think we are right which is what Job’s friends seem to think about each of their takes on what was happening to Job? Wisdom seems to be the ability to trust in it’s source.

    Solomon asked God for the wisdom to govern His people that would insinuate wisdom was given before obtaining knowledge. Knowledge seems to be what turned Solomon away from true wisdom(God) and then became wise in his own eyes no longer trusting in the source. Wisdom seems to be associated with understanding more than knowledge in Proverbs unless that knowledge is in knowing God then like Job we may find our hands covering our mouths saying I have talked about things that are far beyond what I will ever know. That is when silence may be our best bet.

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    How nice to read about how much Job was eventually blessed as we all ponder just how Job’s friends acted after all the suffering and restoration of their friend.

    I wonder what lesson Satan learned in all of this?

    After all, this story was all brought on by Satan’s factless accusations that God was protecting Job, and thus provoked this “allowed suffering” to be brought upon the blameless.

    I would say there was no skin taken off Satan’s back, in this story as he still roams freely attacking whom he may.

    Yes, we all know that God is ultimately in control because He has given us the (rest of the story) on Satan’s demise written into the End of the Book.

    However, we do not know what happened to all those that perished just to prove a point to the evil one, who we know will be much later ending up in the lake of fire.

    If there is a blessing in the shortened lives of all Job’s children and servants, perhaps their future suffering any of Satan’s free-roaming attacks came to quick end for them.

    Today we witness things in the physical world, knowing all the suffering is really brought on by the unseen world, for we fight against the pricipalities and powers in the spiritual relm, as we must walk by faith, and not by sight.


  33. oneg2dblu says:

    Apparently, I type by faith and not by sight. :O

  34. belleu says:

    Thanks from me also for all your kindness and prayers. The road for an abused person is filled with potholes, but God walks the road with us giving us strength.

    Speaking of Job’s friends; When I was 20 and a new Christian, a neighbor asked me if I’d like to have a beer. I had been raised to believe having even one sip of alcohol was a terrible sin so I said, “Oh no. I’m a Christian. I don’t drink.”

    Well, the neighbor was so angry she came towards me and her hubby had to hold her back. She said, “Are you saying I’m not a Christian?” My husband took me home.

    I thought I was right, and that she couldn’t be a Christian since she drank a beer. I had judged her, like Job’s friends judged him. I was so young and just learning the ways of God back then. I was judgmental until I fell into sin myself a few years later. I realized then that I had no right to judge anyone. I saw that I was capable of doing all kinds of bad things I thought I would never do and it was only God who could keep me good and pure.

    So, to me Job’s friends may have been truly converted but misinformed. I think they were trying to defend God’s honor – but in the wrong way. I would bet they learned their lesson, but I may be wrong.

  35. poohpity says:

    If we are walking by faith as Job did then we understand Job’s response, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this Job did not sin by charging/accusing God of any wrongdoing.

  36. quietgrace says:

    “In acceptance lieth peace” has been my mantra for many years. Accepting our circumstances, as Job did, is I think the key to learning grace; accepting that God is in it and that He is good always, no matter how bad things look.
    Jobs friends remind us of the human condition and the ways we all try at one time of another to explain pain and suffering. Ultimately, as Job says, I started out with nothing, God is in control, and even if I end up with nothing, He is still in control. And He is my God.

  37. poohpity says:

    I have heard some say God and Satan were playing games with Job being the brunt of the game, I wonder if that would be an example of the type of sin in charging/accusing God with wrongdoing? Where would be the wisdom found in that type of thinking? They would seem to speak as one who does not know God very well at all similar to Job’s friends but there is hope still found in God’s grace.

  38. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    I would say yes, Pooh. Pretty sure the Lord does not utter even one idle word. (Zechariah 13:9)


  39. remarutho says:

    Forgot to mention, Job never denied God in his ordeal.

  40. oneg2dblu says:

    I do not see that story as playing any games, because it was no game that all those people died as a result of testing Job just to appease Satan’s cunning accusations.

    I may be missing a point here, but I do not see this as any grace issue either.

    To me, it is more about faith, or God’s faith in Job as He clearly knew Job could be subjected to even great loss, disaapointment and pain, and stil remain blameless and not sin, nor abandon his trusting faith in God.

    God is true to His word, and He will not allow us to be tested beyond what we can bare. If we are tested, and we are, He will give us a way to stand up under it.

    It is almost as if the greater our faith the greater the testing, or the greater the testing the greater our faith.

  41. foreverblessed says:

    Quietgrace and Bellue, may God bless you beyond measure, may He compensate you for all the lean years Joel 2:25-27, and may you be a blessing for many who will come to Jesus, and be freed out of the dominium of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son He loves, Col 1:13

  42. foreverblessed says:

    Mart wrote,
    -For openers, God shows his ways to those who don’t trust their own…-
    I think that that line is fundamental
    It is about us yielding to Jesus, it is about us saying to God:
    I do not know, I am lost, Help me..
    But the trouble with christians having been raised in a church, having had much education in the bible, they know all these principles, and they are God’s principles, but yet: I was not totally yielded to Jesus, so the knowledge was God’s but, not the power by which it flows from God through us to others.
    Am I clear? That is a real problem, we know it all, but lack the Grace, the Mercy, as only yielding in God we are really in the Truth, in the real Life, Christ’s life flowing through us, not because we keep the commandments, but because we believe in Him, humble yielded, very small in our own eyes.
    And then we talk to others who are having problems, and we lack the character traits of God, His own, mercy grace, patience, longsuffering,
    I believe that even Job was too much busy with keeping the laws, without really knowing God Himself.
    So also for him personally was the ordeal to a profit, he had a deeper meaning of living in faith in God, and yet still keeping all the commandments, but surpassing that as high as the heaven is above the earth, in mercy, grace, etc.

  43. SFDBWV says:

    What is your motive for reading and learning from Scripture? Is it to increase your Biblical knowledge and if so, to what purpose?

    Satan, a son of God according to Job, was able to stand in the presence of God and have a conversation with Him. Sounding cordial God asks Satan where he had been.

    Sounding aloof Satan say’s he had been walking up and down and in and out of the earth.

    God responds with a kind word directed toward Job. But the evil that exists in Satan responds with a negative remark instead of a simple and agreeable one. Satan accuses God of blessing Job and continues to bad mouth Job.

    There is a lesson to be found here in just this much of this story; that is if you are looking for it.

    How we respond to one another can either be from a heart of love or a heart of contention.

    Suppose the conversation had gone something like this; God asks Satan if he had seen Job and what a wonderful fellow he was and Satan simply said yes I did see him and yes he is a wonderful fellow.

    All of Job’s heartache and woes would never had occurred.

    All of our conversations have the same opportunity to either produce good results or bad, depending from where the remark comes from, good intentions or bad.

    Jesus accused the rulers of Israel of being the children of Satan because their attitudes, words and actions sprang from a heart of evil. Where do our attitudes, words and actions spring from?

    Are we pleased or disapointed at the responses to the things we say to each other?


  44. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, I am sorry that I was disappointed in what you said in the discussion of the relativity of days. It really made me sad. I am sorry that I was sad but it was the truth, so it happened to me.

  45. tracey5tgbtg says:

    What I find interesting is going over the list of attributes that Mart included and trying to see how each could be considered wise or foolish.

    How could courage be foolish? I guess if I am so confident in my strength that I fear neither God nor man. But still I am called to be strong and not fear.

    I do struggle with hate. How is it ever wise? I know that some will say we must hate sin and evil. But it is also foolish to carry any feeling of hate in your heart. Still trying to process that one. Maybe I never will. I will never have all the wisdom of God.

    Am I misunderstanding the point? Should we consider how each of those things could be wise and also foolish? Or is it that each of those things is either wise or foolish, but not both?

  46. BruceC says:

    IMHO wisdom is the application of our knowledge of God we derive from the Word and its application to our lives.
    It is based in a “fear” of the Lord; which is awe and total respect of who He is and what He asks of us.
    The “wisdom and knowledge” of this world will pass away, but not that which is of and from God.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  47. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, I made no comment directed at you whatsoever. When I address anyone here I always say to whom.

    Your sadness was wasted on your misunderstanding, and your comment to me in grievous err.

    Feel better, be blessed.


  48. foreverblessed says:

    Well, there are more sides to this Steve, I may not err that much in my comment to you.
    When you write that we better believe that God created everything in 6 literal days, that God cannot be mocked, and that we err if we believe otherwise.
    Then there is reason for me to feel sad.
    Now, that you believe it in this way, is maybe best for you. For me to believe it that same way is impossible, and yet I do take all of God’s Word very serious, I do not twist it in the way I want to, but I want to include the evidence that is found in the earth crust, and that is a huge history of ages and ages.
    Lets talk about this subject again in about a hundered years, and then see how it will go. In the meantime, I say to you, I love you brother, and I am glad that Jesus is your and my Savior, lets celebrate in the things that bind us together.

  49. poohpity says:

    I am in the camp of if the Bible says everything was created in six days, I take it as six days. Nothing is impossible for God which is where fear, as in reverence for His mighty power comes from.

    I first read the Bible because the Lord put it in my heart to do so. It was a craving that was only satisfied by doing it. I saw my mom come from her room every morning after she read it with a glow and the change in her life was undeniable so I wanted what she had. Later I came to realize that taking away my past way of living there had to be something to replace it. I had months of recovery before but when it was not replaced by something else I went back to it. Then over the years I could find more and more reason to continue reading and went 4 years without reading daily and found that that hole got filled with other things not conducive to my new identity.

    God seems to put a desire in all His children to know and to live in vital union with Him the Bible seems to be a tool used to do just that. It is God’s Word, Jesus used it to teach about Himself and what better way to have our minds transformed than by filling it with it’s wisdom and truths. Otherwise we will be like fish out of water floundering around grasping for something. Some without it will turn to others to teach them but if you do not have it’s foundation then you do not know if they are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

    I was not even considering it “Looking for Wisdom” but when I found God there it was and He was right there all the time. Reading the Bible I can see and hear Him revealing more and more when I put time into the search. That is something that no one can take from me. My money can disappear, my health can fail, friends and family come and go but the Word of the Lord endures forever and never returns empty.

  50. Artle says:

    I think a big part of the problem with Job’s friends, was listening. They had their own ideas. Did they not fear God, or did they fall into the trap Satan intended for Job (or were they intended victims all along)? God let them off the hook, when they followed His instructions and Job prayed for them, so maybe they had a little fear.

    Job had to back up just a little bit as well. Job 42:6 (NASB)

    Need to look more at Elihu as his thoughts were apparently left standing.

  51. poohpity says:

    Job did not even have the law or the Bible but he had God and by the things he did clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, giving shelter, helping the widows and orphans and minding his own business which reveals Courage, Truth telling, Faith, Hope, Love, Patience, Kindness, Not Envying, Not holding wrong against another, Gentleness, Kindness the characteristics of one who fears and knows Wisdom/God. Those are the very fruits of being filled with God in one’s life. The foolish of the world have anger, hatred, boasting, looking for sin in others, malice, rage and causing strife just to name a few of the things that shows a lack of reverence and trust in God. (John 1:1-5 NIV; John 1:14 NIV) Job knew Him.

  52. poohpity says:

    Artle, that is a good point about Elihu and it seems to be unknown but was just wondering if a person feels that they are perfect in knowledge would they be open to listening to anything from God. (Job 36:4 NIV) Just a thought.

  53. quietgrace says:

    Dear new friends,
    I want to thank you for your prayers and for listening and not condemning me. I am thinking now of returning to church. You have no idea how you have built me up with you love and kind words.
    The last time I shared my story in church I was told by the pastor and by a missionary that testimonies like mine only mean that a person has more sin to deal with than most. I had forgotten how devastated I was because I already knew I had more sin in my past than the average person. But at the same time, I knew also that Jesus loved me so much He died for me and that He no longer saw me as a sinner.
    God is so good and has ways of rooting out the hurts and disappointment that we’ve even forgotten, but still hold power over us.
    You, my friends, have given me courage to try church again. Through tears I say thank you.

  54. poohpity says:

    Yea, Quietgrace there is nothing better than corporate worship. You will find that there are many people like us who know the grace of our Lord. Just try different churches until you find a fit but be aware of the fact they were all in need of a Savior as they step in the door. Some are just more aware and admit their need than others. Look to the Lord not people for acceptance He will never fail us.

  55. quietgrace says:

    Thank you pooh I will read and reread your comment until I can believe it! Blessings, quietgrace

  56. SFDBWV says:

    Ok Foreverblessed I see that after reading my comments this morning and yours to follow, I was in err thinking your comment was in reference to the things I had to say this morning. I had no idea you were still talking about something discussed several topics ago.

    I apologize for *my* misunderstanding.

    As for your 9:23 comment to me. It is not I that says God made everything in six earth days it is what the Bible say’s, it is not I that say’s God will not be mocked it is what the Bible says.

    What I say is that if you start changing what the Bible says in order for it to fit your ability to believe it, where does that stop?

    I think maybe you and I can fix whatever it is that I have done to touch a nerve in you. Whatever it is I ask you to forgive me or at least spell it out for me so I can address it. Either way I ask your forgiveness.

    I am not in any way offended by anything you have said to me, maybe frustrated and confused but not offended.

    Be at peace.

    We here are in the throngs of a serious winter event. I’ve plowed twice today and will again at dark. We will be in the negative numbers again for three or four days. I already have plenty to deal with


  57. quietgrace says:

    I am praying for you. Where I live we don’t have as much snow (surprisingly) but the below zero temps for days and days and wind limit travel. It all gets really tiresome though. Hope hot chocolate helps!
    blessings, quietgrace

  58. belleu says:

    Quiet Grace, I’m happy you are considering returning to church. I hope you find one that is open-hearted and full of the love of Jesus. Also, thank you everyone for your prayers and kindness.

  59. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve, here you are plowing twice and I’m out cutting the lawn. To think that only a couple of states away can make such a difference.
    I remember my plowing days in New York and New England, so I know what it is.
    I had one client who lived up a long winding and quite steep driveway, as I approached the house she answered her door saying, Yes, yes, yes, I could plow her out because no one else would even venture up to her house.
    She quickly became a very happy repeat customer.
    That was then and this is now, but I’ll bet ten I still know how to plow.
    Yes, hot chocolate fixes everything… : )

  60. oneg2dblu says:

    Church hunting can be quite a journey, but when you find that right one, you know it.
    At one time I would only go to certain denominations looking for the right fit. But, one denomination does not always fit all needs.
    My greatest need was to continue growing in the word, knowing that the teaching followed the scriptures and wasn’t just the feel good stuff that massages itchy ears.
    I crave substance, and not flowery speech, direct readings and not a Pastor’s leanings, and practical applications that support biblical guidelines.
    The greatest witness I have encountered is a growing church where people are getting saved on a regualr basis.
    To me, that is where the witness of Holy Spirit is alive and well.
    That’s just me, others may want more of a social club, a certain type of music or choir, to meet their needs more than a teaching church.
    I do live in the bible belt though with a church on every corner, so shopping is easy down here.
    My brother goes to a small church with a choir that sings hymns, and I go to a large church that has a praise and worship band.
    Different strokes for different folks, but God knows your needs and He will direct you accordingly.
    Enjoy the ride… and serve where you can.
    He knows how to bless us. Gary

  61. BruceC says:


    So happy to hear that you are returning to church. May our Lord guide to the right one. I will pray for you.

    Please my wife’s sister Kathy in prayer. She is in a home in downstate New York for people who are elderly and with special needs. She is the oldest sister at 67 years of age. She was just diagnosed with a rare form of endrometrial cancer that will require surgery and a follow up either chemo or radiation treatment. Kathy has had special needs since childhood beginning with polio and then a rare brain condition that required surgery. At that time less than a dozen of these operations had been performed world-wide. Her short term memory is poor but Kathy can quote everyone’s birthday and has no trouble remembering things from long ago. She is always quick to offer up prayers for all in need and truly is special in the Lord’s eye.
    May our Lord be with her.

    Minus 15 as I type this and likely will not go to 10 degrees today. Woodstove going and water taps running at a trickle. As I age I like these days less and less.
    I stay inside as this really affects my emphysema.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  62. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce we are not as bad off as you at -7 and I am reminded by our friend Pat up there in Canada that they were looking for -35 last night. However once temperatures get that low its all bad.

    We had just over 8 inches of snow yesterday, which isn’t all that bad its when we have those snows out of the east with more water that we get feet of snow all at once.

    Gary one of my brothers lived in Tampa and a few of his children still do. When they talk of their childhood here it is always about the snow and how they miss it…but none of them have moved back.

    One of my neighbor’s sisters lived most of her adult life in North Dakota, last year she moved to Arizona. I think this morning as I was outside gathering weather information and feeding the critters I could here her laughing. Then again it could have just been my thoughts freezing in mid air.

    I don’t know why, but I always enjoy hearing that crunch of frozen snow underfoot, maybe it is a reminder that I am still above ground.

    I do hope where ever any of you are this morning your day is blessed.


  63. foreverblessed says:

    that was very good news to hear! I was so blessed last night when I read it, and sang songs to God, for He is good!
    His mercy endures forever.

    Steve, thank you for your blessing. And forgive you, it is allright, God will work this out.
    I pray that He blesses you beyond measure, and that you are secure in Him, and stand on the Rock, which is Christ alone.
    And so it is for me, God is my Master, and My Lord.
    Lets have unity, despite differences in seeing these things, but loving one another is more important, so that we can pray together, like Matt your son has taught us that lesson, it is better to pray for one another then discussing…
    Pray for all the people who need prayers, like the Kathy, from BruceC, I pray that God will bless her, and keep her. The Lord make His face shine upon her, and be gracious to her. The Lord turn His face toward her and give her peace.

  64. Artle says:

    Awoke to the thought that Job’s story sounds like another.

    Matthew 6:19 (NASB) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

    Matthew 10:39 (NASB) “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

    Ephesians 6:13 (NASB) …take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

    Luke 22:31 (NASB) …Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;

    Matthew 5:11 (NASB) …..people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

    Matthew 24:13 (NASB) …..the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

    Matthew 6:20 (NASB) ….store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

    Colossians 2:2 (NASB) ….attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself…

  65. quietgrace says:

    Good morning all! It is zero here with below zero wind chills, again. But my heart is so warmed and humbled reading this blog this morning. Reading all the misunderstandings but being readily able to forgive and ask forgiveness without shaming and putting one another down is to me what church should look like. I am amazed at God’s ways. His are so far above ours. May way has been to avoid all and any kind of conflict by staying away from church. Now I have a fresh start with a pattern for living in community. And, at the same time remembering that there will still be those who haven’t yet learned about humility and grace. I will think of you wonderful people of God when I find a church that fits me. And how God has been so patient with me in my process. (smiling) Praying for you all. In His Grace, quietgrace

  66. poohpity says:

    Hang around long enough quietgrace and humanity with the condition of the heart will evidently rear its ugly head here too! Do not look to us, keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay close to Him with a reverent fear and experience His love.

    As I was thinking about whether Job’s friends fear God or not, I asked myself do I really have a reverent fear of God? Do I take His silence, patience and slowness to anger as a sign that He is not really there? Do I include God in my life or am I so focused on the horizontal that I do not see the vertical?

  67. quietgrace says:

    Pooh, I was just reminded that with God nothing is impossible! A great way to start on my new journey back to church.
    I do see humanity in these posts, but what I was talking about was the grace I see at work as people try to work through their differences and the humility of Christians all too aware of their hearts’ condition. We are all under one God through Jesus and have the same opportunities to sin/repent. I thank God for his daily new mercies.

    I also was asked by the Holy Spirit if I feared God enough to not be afraid to go back to church. After some soul searching I found that YES! I do fear God and that’s why I can go back. I have seen God’s people working out their differences and I can go now. It’s both vertical and horizontal, I think.
    blessings and love, quietgrace

  68. Artle says:

    I don’t think I know enough to tag Job’s friends with anything other than what God tagged them with. Their fault was, they did not speak of God what is right as Job did (Job 42:7 NASB). Considering they were up against a man who was “blameless and upright” (Job 1:8 NASB), it is not surprising they fell short of the task. It seems in this world there likely are none who are blameless and upright (Romans 3:10-12 NASB), so I have to imagine if Job were my friend I might end up right there beside E, B & Z. Of course, I do have the advantage of knowing my Redeemer, which Job apparently also knew (Job 19:25 NASB), so perhaps I would be right there beside Elihu, who seems to know too much for his age. Who does that remind us of?

  69. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    The notion of “Looking for Wisdom” seems to be a dry hole unless there is pressing need in the midst of an ordeal of testing and suffering. My experience has been that God gives great gifts as required. He does not waste time and energy on me if I simply want to pile up the riches of his grace.

    In place of *looking* for wisdom, facing trials brings us to the brink of *needing* wisdom. James writes in his letter to the Twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

    the testing of your faith produces endurance

    and the full effect of endurance is

    be(ing) mature and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:3-4)

    James goes on: “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)


  70. SFDBWV says:

    Did Job’s friends fear God; do we?

    When I was a little fellow growing up here in Bayard, we lived in the old house that my great grandparents owned and lived out their lives in. It was a time when we had a radio that got only two stations and TV was the same except we rarely watched it as reception was very bad. So we read a lot and of course told lots of *ghost* stories.

    That old house creaked and groaned with the wind and as it would cool off at night the house would pop and snap and make all kinds of noises. It didn’t take much imagination to keep us children terrified. It was a big old spooky house.

    When I was eleven we moved to DC and as the move was in progress I was left alone one night all night in that old haunted house while dad, mom and sister made a trip to DC in the old pickup loaded to the max.

    That night I put every light in the house on secured myself in my bed room which was above the kitchen and had no door to hide behind and settled in for what was going to be a very special night.

    I got down under the covers and covered up my head, I could hear footsteps with each beat of my heart and my very vivid imagination put ghost’s in every other room of the house all coming toward me. I was terrified, alone and had no where to go but under those covers.

    Somewhere in the night I fell asleep and woke up about 1:30 in the morning. I awoke thinking that if there were any ghost’s in the house that they were family and would not harm me any way. I felt very foolish for having been afraid and got out of bed and went into all twelve rooms of the house and turned off the lights and went back to bed un-afraid and was never fearful again of things that went bump in the night.

    In our search for wisdom and the first step being the fear of God, what is it that we fear from Him?

    I can only speak for myself, but that fear can only be described as a fear of abandonment or maybe best said of being left to my own designs without God as the architect of my life and the protector and provider for all those I love. Without God I am all alone out in the dark cold world with out hope.

    Jesus said for us not to fear those who can only kill the body, but to fear the one who can destroy the soul.

    So I come before God in fear and reverence each and every day as I ask for the requests and petitions I put before Him. Apart from Him I am still scared frightened and hiding under the blanket, but with Him I have no fear only confidence in His ability. In that I feel safe, not afraid.


  71. Mart De Haan says:

    tracey5tgbtg, to see “foolish courage”— watch the person who has had a few too many beers, or, as Jesus suggests, the person who goes to war, or tries to build a tower without counting the cost.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.