Job 28:12, “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
Job 28:23, “God understands the way to it, and He knows its place.”
1 Corinthians 1:23-24, “…Christ crucified…the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
As I was reading over chapter 28 of Job this morning, it struck me how similar this section is to Paul’s teaching in 1 Cor.1:18ff. It would seem that Job is using highly poetical language to say something very like what Paul is saying, namely, that true wisdom cannot be found in this world or by those who live in the world. Humanity can never–of its own–attain to true wisdom, rather wisdom must “come down from above” (James 3:15), it must be revealed.
And how is it revealed? Well, Job–and the rest of scripture–resolves the question about the nature of wisdom by stating that wisdom is–at root–the fear of YHWH (Job 28:28, Prov.9:10, etc). What I wanted to re-iterate again this morning is just how awesome it is that Wisdom’s true and final revelation–the ultimate and definitive in-breaking of transcendent Wisdom, the Wisdom that structures and sustains the universe–is the person of Jesus Christ and especially His willing offering up of Himself on the cross.
This is the “wisdom and power” of God (1 Cor.1:24), this is perfect wisdom (aka, perfect fear/obedience of YHWH, aka, perfect love). So, what does wisdom look like? It looks like the crucified Messiah…..it looks like the Son who is in the form of God and yet–because He is God–empties Himself in love to the Father and for His Bride to the point of infinite obedience unto death….it looks like God the Son pouring Himself out in a death of infinite obedience and love so that the Father might be glorified in His own glorification and so that the whole universe might be folded in to the recognition and declaration of YHWH’s supremacy (Philippians 2:6-11)……
We cannot think about wisdom without seeing the cross at the center of it…we do not truly know wisdom until we know the cross as the supreme manifestation of it…and this is what we see foreshadowed in Job 28 as he asks the sea and the abyss and death and Abaddon and all the world, “where is wisdom?” and they all respond, “we don’t know,” but YHWH says, “I know.” And now, because of the Word of the Cross, we know as well.