Summary: This is a study into Job chapter twenty eight.
Job Chapter 28 could be outlined:
Man’s Search for Wealth. Job 28:1-11
Where is Wisdom Found? Job 28:12-19
Wisdom is in the Fear of God. Job 28:20-28
1 "Surely there is a mine for silver, And a place where gold is refined. 2 Iron is taken from the earth, And copper is smelted from ore. 3 Man puts an end to darkness, And searches every recess For ore in the darkness and the shadow of death. 4 He breaks open a shaft away from people; In places forgotten by feet They hang far away from men; They swing to and fro. 5 As for the earth, from it comes bread, But underneath it is turned up as by fire; 6 Its stones are the source of sapphires, And it contains gold dust. 7 That path no bird knows, Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it. 8 The proud lions have not trodden it, Nor has the fierce lion passed over it. 9 He puts his hand on the flint; He overturns the mountains at the roots. 10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, And his eye sees every precious thing. 11 He dams up the streams from trickling; What is hidden he brings forth to light. Job 28:1-11 (NKJV)
MAN’S SEARCH FOR WEALTH
Man will go to extreme measures to find wealth. They will turn the world upside down. They will go into the wilderness – where no one has gone before – risk their lives to get rich. This is what man will do for wealth.
The common man will also go to extreme measures to get something for free. A store owner will offer a few dollars off of an item or a free item to the first ten people in line on a certain date. People, seeking a “bargain”, will show up at the oddest hours and brave the worst conditions to be among the top ten. I have seen it. I have done it. But remember – those things are temporal. God’s wisdom is much more valuable then earthly treasure.
Barnes on commenting on Job chapter twenty eight shows the lengths that man will go to obtain wealth. Here is an illustration that Barnes used:
“The matrix in which the gold in Egypt was found is quartz, and the excavations to procure the gold are exceedingly deep.
The principal excavation is 180 feet deep. The quartz thus obtained was broken by the workmen into small fragments, of the size of a bean, and these were passed through hand mills made of granitic stone, and when reduced to powder the quartz was washed on inclined tables, and the gold was thus separated from the stone. Diodorus says, that the principal persons engaged in mining operations were captives, taken in war, and persons who were compelled to labor in the mines, for offences against the government. They were bound in fetters, and compelled to labor night and day. “No attention,” he says, “is paid to these persons; they have not even a piece of rag to cover themselves; and so wretched is their condition, that every one who witnesses it, deplores the excessive misery which they endure. No rest, no intermission from toil, are given either to the sick or the maimed; neither the weakness of age, nor women’s infirmities, are regarded; all are driven to the work with the lash, until, at last, overcome with the intolerable weight of their afflictions, they die in the midst of their toil.”
Job chapter twenty eight verses one thru eleven is a lead up to the questions found in verse twelve – “Where can wisdom be found?” And, “Where is the place of understanding?” Wisdom is to be considered more precious than wealth. I would rather be around a poor wise man than a rich fool – how about you?
Proverbs talks much about wisdom – here are two verses to consider:
“For wisdom is better than precious stones, and nothing desirable can compare with it.”
Proverbs 8:11 (HCSB)
“Acquire wisdom— how much better it is than gold! And acquire understanding— it is preferable to silver.” Proverbs 16:16 (HCSB)
Man will literally move mountains to find wealth. I have seen open pit mines. Job in verses one thru four is making a point of how far people will go to find a rock or a stone. We may call the rock gold or copper. The stone may be called a diamond or a ruby – but in reality it is nothing more than a rock. He who has made the rocks and the stones is more precious than all He has made. Which is of more wealth – the painting or the artist? There are things in this world that we get turned around – mixed up – confused – He who has made all is much more precious than all. Give me Jesus above all wealth.