The Whole Truth and Wisdom

Since I last posted, I’ve read 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, as well the book of Esther and have moved on to the book of Job.

During vacation, Kim enjoyed listening to my daily reading out loud. He was patient with my stopping to make notes and highlight passages. And at the end of our trip, I closed with, “And so ends another happy message from Job.”

It is a dark book, isn’t it?

God clearly allows some VERY bad stuff into Job’s life. There isn’t any doubt about God’s complicity in Satan’s meddling with Job. And if it isn’t enough to lose your family, your business, your home, you riches, Job gets to see the exact nature of his friends. Not a good thing in this case.

Now, granted I’m only about half way through, at this point.

But these are my observations:

You know Job’s lousy friends did some things right. For instance, when they heard about Job’s difficulty, they went to him. They sat down, observed the seriousness of his situation, and they were silent. They simply mourned with him. The let him feel their presence. There are times when silence is the best medicine.

Unfortunately, these guys just don’t know how to keep the silence going.

And when they begin to speak, they show just how little wisdom they possess.

The thing is, all the characters in the book of Job—Job included— have bits of the truth. They know some facts about God. Some things about the way he works. But they don’t know all the facts. They don’t know the WHOLE truth.

And they know VERY little about God’s ways with people.

The facts constitute knowledge. The understanding of God constitutes wisdom.

And the book shows us, at the very least, how dangerous it is to begin preaching before we have the whole council of God. The whole story. All the facts. The whole Book.

We Christians can become like Job’s friends, spouting off all kinds of half-truths that leave the listener confused and wounded. I’ve seen it happen, and so have you. More than that, when we don’t work at understanding God, we will lack the wisdom to share anything of real value with the world around us.

That was the problem with Job’s friends. Half-truths. Misunderstandings. Foolish imaginations. And Job struggled with it too. The only antidote is the Word and the Spirit. With those things, we come to wisdom and truth.

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