A Common Lack in Our Time

Last week a prominent critic of our current culture was bemoaning the fact that we overvalue knowledge and undervalue wisdom. He thought that our access to knowledge was at our fingertips, literally, with our smartphones and laptops. However, wisdom is very rare.

The Bible also highly values wisdom and considers it rare. One place that brings forth the rarity of wisdom is in Job 28. The chapter starts out by looking into earthly mining. It looks at the extreme measures needed to plunge deep into the earth and find iron and copper ore, to find priceless sapphires, and cut channels producing gold and silver. Hidden things are brought to light. (Job. 28:1-11)

Then Job 28 shifts gears from earthly treasures to things even more rare. It asks: “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living. The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’ and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ It cannot be bought for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price. It cannot be valued in the gold ofOphir, in precious onyx or sapphire… the price of wisdom is above pearls.” (Job 28:12-18)

Finally, we are told: “God understands the way to it, and He knows its place… He said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’ ” Job 28:23, 28

This is echoed in Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The fear of the Lord involves a humbling of one’s self; a recognition that there is a Creator God over all things and He knows things we could never learn on our own. Proverbs 11:2b says, “with humility comes wisdom.”

Since wisdom is so important, how can we plant the seeds of wisdom in our children’s lives, how can we cultivate and water these seeds so that they will blossom in our children’s lives. Next week: Planting the seeds of wisdom and cultivating rare flowers.

Christopher Barnes
Family Ministries Director

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