Category: Devotional

The Physical and the Metaphysical

In Chapter 28 of his eponymous book, during a lengthy monologue Job expounds on all the incredible works of mankind. In plumbing the depths of the earth mining and exploring. Harvesting every precious metal the earth has to offer. Creating fine delicacies like crystal and glass and jewlery. In searching out the far recesses of the globe; discovering, charting, and conquering everywhere that is ‘hidden in darkness’. In working the land and bringing forward crops of every sort to benefit mankind. It is impressive what we were capable of so relatively early in human history. Remember the events recorded in Job happen some time between the recession of the Noahic Flood and the establishing of the Mosaic Law.

But Job has no idea what is to come! Oh the places we’ll go! We will explore the depths of the oceans, turn rocks and minerals into amazing devices that continue to impress, amaze, and terrify. We will send drones out to the far recesses of the galaxy to take photographs of the outer reaches of the universe. We will send human beings beyond the earth’s atmosphere to explore space first-hand. The way we — as a species — have conquered every facet of the physical world with an insatiable appetite for more and more and more is impressive to say the least. Our curiosity, it seems, cannot be exhausted.

But! As Job says in 28:28 and Solomon echos in Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10, fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. What is wisdom? Ancients understood wisdom to be a comprehensive understanding of not just the whats, but also the whys and hows. What is this thing? How does it work? Why does it work that way? When we look at a thing we can see instantly that it was designed. Something as simple as a row of stones. That they are ordered neatly in a row would be a sure sign that an intelligence ordered them that way.

So it is with life, the universe, and everything. The ancients correctly understood that if we want to understand what something is, we must know how it functions. A shoe is useless until we understand that it covers our feet. But it seems that our curiosity has succumbed to our desire for self-governance. Because we have answered every why question with ‘it’s just random’ or an indifferent shrug. Why is that? Why don’t we care about ‘why’? Because we KNOW that “why” is a God question. And that is why the beginning of wisdom (understanding) is fear of the Lord.

Job 26-29 | 026/365