And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)
“Too soon old. Too late smart.” The lament is filled with regret. “Too bad I did not listen.” As the Lord God looks down on the human race, he must often shake his head in dismay. How can people be so dumb? We prize learning. We spend huge sums on schools. Parents will sacrifice so their children can have a good education. Smart people get advancements. They usually make more money. We want to be smart. But we tend to become very foolish.
We tend to look for wisdom in all the wrong places. When we are young, we think that if we learn how to be popular we will be better off. When we become older, we tend to think that if we learn how to make money, we will be better off. So we take the classes, we enroll in programs, we associate with people who seem to be successful. We want to learn from the best.
Too bad we don’t. How sad that when the One who has all the answers to life and death talks to us, we often don’t listen! “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom…”
Who is going to believe that? What does acknowledging the power, wisdom, and authority of an Unseen Being have to do with me becoming smart? How is that going to help me solve the problems of life? How is staying away from evil going to help me understand anything? Satan applauds those questions. That’s exactly the point he made with Eve when she reported that God had forbidden her to eat from a certain tree.
“Yeah, right!” he retorted. “That’s a lie! That’s silly!” And she believed him. She was not afraid of what her Creator would say or do. So she lost everything good. She spread the infection of destruction. The human race lost paradise, and peace, and never-ending life. But we did not lose the love of God. He continued to reach out to us. He continued to offer his instruction. He continued to preserve this planet for us to live on. He would forgive us. He would restore us. He would buy our freedom with the blood of his Son. He would make us wise unto salvation.
Where’s wisdom? It is found in the holy God—and nowhere else.
We pray: Almighty, all-knowing, and loving God, too often we look for answers to life in places where they are not found. Too frequently we will eagerly go to humans, who are as clueless as we are. Come with your wisdom. Fill us with your understanding. Deliver us from evil. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida-Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military