LESSON 1 ...
The debate will never end.
What is the the grand over-all theme of the Book of Job?
Is it "patience?"
Is it "suffering?"
Is it "creation?"
Is it just "God and His awesome might?"
Any of these are worthy studies in themselves!
BUT none alone seems to fit all the criteria for being the
CENTRAL theme of Job!
Well, Job 28 just might provide us a "clue!"
It has long puzzled commentators and teachers of Scripture.
Is it the words of Job or one of the so-called "wise" his
Or is Job himself speaking?
Or is it the words of the Holy Spirit Himself, as a Kind of
Does it provide some type of an outline for the whole Book? (A
massive 42 chapters!) I now believe it does!
We shall investigate these matters in the days ahead, Lord
Let me give you a foretaste right now.
It's more and more looking to me like the real subject of the
Book of Job is ... WISDOM!
I'm sure no one will have any trouble agreeing with that, but
can a strong case be made that my premise is true?
How can one possibly tie the advice of three (then four)
"friends" into the same string as Job's (at first) trusting and
then (later) doubting words? Then how can God's great
discourses be linked to all the rest?
WISDOM ... the search for it and the Source of it ... may fit
If so ... chapter 28 is the "key!"
Lord willing ... more tomorrow!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I must now print for you the entire 28th chapter of Job.
We will need it for our further Bible studies.
1 Surely there is a vein for the silver,
and a place for gold where they fine it. 2 Iron is
taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of
the stone. 3 He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out
all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death.
4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters
forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away
from men. 5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and
under it is turned up as it were fire. 6 The stones of it are
the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold. 7 There
is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye
hath not seen: 8 The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the
fierce lion passed by it. 9 He putteth forth his hand upon the
rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots. 10 He cutteth
out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious
thing. 11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the
thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light. 12 But where
shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of
understanding? 13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is
it found in the land of the living. 14 The depth saith, It is
not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. 15
It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed
for the price thereof. 16 It cannot be valued with the gold
of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. 17 The gold
and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall
not be for jewels of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made
of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above
rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither
shall it be valued with pure gold. 20 Whence then cometh wisdom?
and where is the place of understanding? 21 Seeing it is
hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls
of the air. 22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame
thereof with our ears. 23 God understandeth the way thereof, and
he knoweth the place thereof. 24 For he looketh to the ends of
the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; 25 To make
the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the
lightning of the thunder: 27 Then did he see it, and declare it;
he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. 28 And unto man he
said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and
to depart from evil is understanding.
I want you to notice some "patterns" in this little chapter.
It looks like there is similarity between verses 12-14 and
20-22! Let's see for sure:
12 But where shall wisdom be found? and
where is the place of understanding? 13 Man knoweth not
the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the
living. 14 The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea
saith, It is not with me.
Compare these verses with ...
20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where
is the place of understanding? 21 Seeing it is hid from the
eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. 22
Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with
Yet there is a third similarity, which is the answer to the
28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear
of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil
Now ... this whole chapter is
obviously a quest for Wisdom!
In the first 14 verses the "where" of Wisdom is asked.
Where may it be found?
Then beginning in verse 15 the "price" of Wisdom is discussed!
At what cost may it be obtained?
But by verse 23 an abrupt change is noticed. For here GOD
is mentioned for the first time in the chapter. Also note
that He is the First Word of the verse!
And God remains the Subject for the rest of the chapter too!
One student outlined it this way:
Verses 1-14 Man
finds earth's treasures ... but cannot find Wisdom!
Man knows the place of riches! (verses 1-6)
Man knows the way to riches! (verses 7-11)
Man does NOT know the place or way to Wisdom! (verses
Verses 15-22 Man accumulates
great wealth, but fails to acquire Wisdom!
The earth's treasures are not equal to Wisdom's value! (vss.
Man's effort is unable to obtain Wisdom! (verses 20-22)
Verses 23-28 God possesses
all Wisdom and offers it to man!
God has known and possessed Wisdom from creation! (vss.
God gives Wisdom to man through the Fear of the Lord!
Glory to God!
This chapter seems to "hint" that the whole Book of Job just may
not be about suffering or friendship or final rewards ... but
about WISDOM, the Wisdom of God!
We shall examine it further later.
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Today I would like to show you the critical position Job 28
occupies in the Book as a whole.
One author has found a "symmetrical pattern" in Job that centers
on chapter 28.
It looks like this:
Prologue (opening information)
chapters 1 and 2
first words chapter 3
Three cycles of
speeches (from friends) with responses from Job chapters
CHAPTER 28 ---
THE GREAT POEM OF PRAISE ON WISDOM!
Three monologues (from
Job, Elihu and God) chapters 29-41
closing words chapter 42:1-6
Epilogue (final information) chapter
Can you see the "balance?"
It is quite apparent!
This outline makes chapter 28 the
apex, the high point, the pivot around which the Book is
In fact one might notice that the
whole "mood" of the chapter differs from its surrounding
The so called "friends" of Job
are becoming more and more abusive in their accusations of him.
And Job is becoming more and more
unstable in his wavering between faith and doubt.
(Although Job is the one whom God approves at the end ...not the
BUT chapter 28 is quiet and
meditative and filled with wise counsel and beautiful
Sometimes chapter 28 is called a
"hymn to wisdom."
If you will look carefully
chapter 28 is also marked in this sense. Job's name does
not appear in it at all! Neither do the names of the friends of
Job. The Name prominent there is the Lord our God!
The "liberals" say the chapter is
an added editorial feature due to its lack of similarity to the
context! They are wrong.
God has the chapter right where
I am beginning to think that
without a proper view of Job 28 one will only confuse the rest
of Job's 41 chapters!
My remarks today are beginning to
establish the fact that Job 28 just may be the structural center
of the whole Book!
And if it is that, watch out!
That argues that it well could be the theological center of the
Lord willing, we shall see!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
The opening 11 verses of Job 28
are interesting for sure!
"Surely there is a
vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine
it. Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is
molten out of the stone. He setteth an end to
darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of
darkness, and the shadow of death. The flood breaketh out
from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the
foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.
As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is
turned up as it were fire. The stones of it are the
place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold." Job 28:1-6
It looks to me like they are
describing some sort of "mining" process. Man is looking
for gold and silver and iron and brass and even sapphires and
other precious things! And you know what? Man has
had good success finding those precious minerals too!
In the first 6 verses the "place"
of these treasures is discussed.
Every treasure has its "place!"
(He is leading up to this ... every treasure, including Wisdom
has its place!)
Verse 1: The word "vein"
can even mean watercourse! See 2 Chronicles 32:30.
And a "place" is a home or a room! Our verse here
lists two of the precious metals.
Verse 2: The word for
"iron" is twice translated axe-head in the King James Bible. See
2 Kings 6:5. The verb "molten" means poured!
Here are listed the more common metals.
Verses 3 and 4 are harder.
They are "triple" verses, the only ones in the whole chapter!
(Each verse has 3 parts!) In essence they are telling us
the men have had to descend into the darkness to mine their
metals! (Into the shadow of death to bring forth gold!)
That sounds like Calvary to me! The expression "shadow of
death" occurs 20 times in the Bible! I believe verse 4
implies the moving of watercourses to gain access to precious
metals and stones! May will FIND those valuable
commodities! (Again, the underlying thought ... but will
he find Wisdom?)
Then verses 5 and 6 continue to
describe the places where earthly treasures are found. While we
farm the earth's surface, enjoying the vegetables and fruits ...
underneath all that the miners are fighting fire and intense
heat ... to reach their valuable silver and gold and other
natural resources. The expression "dust of gold" suggests
what lengths man will pursue to get even a little gold DUST!
The word for "dust" is translated "ashes" twice and "rubbish"
twice more in the King James Version! Again ... implied
is: Man's precious gold ... pales in comparison to God's
More tomorrow, Lord willing.
Meanwhile all day long man's
search continues ... for gold and silver and diamonds. But NOT
for God's Wisdom!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Job 28 continues.
Verses 7-11 describe how man gets
to the earth's treasures! (Verses 1-6 told us the WHERE of
the treasures! Now verses 7-11 will tell us HOW to get to
Man is on a quest! He's
looking for valuables!
a path which no fowl knoweth, and which
the vulture's eye hath not seen: The lion's whelps have
not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it. He
putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the
mountains by the roots. He cutteth out rivers among the
rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing. He bindeth
the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid
bringeth he forth to light." Job 28:7-11
To get to
earth's silver and gold and precious stones, man has to go where
even the birds have not been. Even to where the eagles'
eyes have not seen!
Man in his
search leaves a "path!" The noun means that which is
"trodden with the feet!" Mining leaves "footprints"
wherever it is done!
"bird" illustration go from general to specific! First, no
"fowl" knows how to reach those precious resources! Then,
no "vulture" does! The noun for "fowl" literally means a
bird of prey! This is translated ("ayit") ravenous bird
twice in Scripture! (Is man here being pictured as a
predator too?) The Hebrew word for vulture is only used 3
times in the whole Bible!
the "king" of beasts, the lion, been there! The noun
"whelps" is just "ben" in Hebrew, a son!
Where is man
going in his search?
To the rocks
of the earth!
He puts his
hand to them and even overturns the mountains in his mining
procedures! Hard rock mining is still practiced today!
(Man today by looking in the wrong places for Wisdom is still
upsetting the rock! The Rock! Ignoring the dear Lord
This ROCK man
has split ("cutteth out" literally means "to split") is first
used in Scripture in Deuteronomy 8:15 ---
"Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness,
wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought,
where there was no water;
who brought thee forth
water out of the rock of flint!"
The word for
"rock" in verse 10 is different from the word for "rock" in
verse 9! The first Bible use of it is in Exodus 17:6
--- "Behold, I will stand before thee
there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt
smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it,
that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the
elders of Israel."
Rock produced life saving water! (Just as the crucified
Jesus produced eternal life, salvation, living Water!)
word for ROCK yet again: "He made
him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the
increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the
rock, and oil out of the flinty rock." Deuteronomy
Also the word
is used of Jesus (!!!) in
Isaiah 50:7 ---
"For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore
shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a
flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." Man
looks for precious things in the flinty rocks of earth!
Christians look for them in the face of Jesus which was set like
a flinty Rock to go die on Calvary!
In the great
mining process, man even occasionally diverts the flow of rivers
and utilizes massive amounts of water to locate the valuables!
(Spiritually massive amounts of water ... God's Word ... reveals
nuggets of gold too!)
"He (man) bindeth the floods from
overflowing" is thought to be a reference to man's
ability to dam up rivers in order to further control his search
for natural resources. "Overflowing" means "weeping" in Hebrew!
Man's mining techniques can bring about sorrow and destruction!
(Again, the spiritual search for Wisdom ... the most precious of
all commodities ... leads to a place of weeping too ... the
Cross where Jesus died!)
hidden things (precious things, secret things) are brought forth
Man well knows
HOW to mine for gold and silver ... but not how to mine for
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Two sets of
verses in Job 28 serve as "refrains." These are like the
"choruses" at the end of the verses in our song books!
A refrain will
be repeated in a text.
Let me show
you what I mean:
"But where shall wisdom be found? and
where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth
not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the
living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the
sea saith, It is not with me." Job 28:12-14
identical is ...
"Whence then cometh wisdom? and where
is the place of understanding? Seeing it is hid from
the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the
air. Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof
with our ears." Job 28:20-22
begins with a question and follows with a statement of
frustration! After that is a negative answer to the question!
today (verses 12-14) introduces the very word Wisdom for the
first time in the chapter! (Yet it is the Subject of the
"But where shall
wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?"
"wisdom" (in Hebrew = "chokmah") means skill or prudence.
We are defining it spiritually here in this study as "seeing and
responding to life from God's point of view."
Wisdom is made
parallel to "understanding." They are similar terms.
"Biyn" comes from a verb that means to distinguish or to
separate into layers! It is being able to "discern" the
various issues of life from a Biblical viewpoint!
The bad news
is that man knows neither the value nor the location of true
Wisdom! (No living man, anyway!)
knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land
of the living."
Man has been well able to find earth's treasures ... but not
deep" does not know! That is another way of identifying
"The depth saith,
It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me."
Wisdom is not
confined to the depths of the oceans!
Then ... where
That answer is
coming, dear friend!
One thing is
for sure! Man alone can't find It!
will NOT be found "coming up" from below ... but "coming down"
Wait and see!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
We today enter
the next "paragraph" of Job 28.
It seems that
man reasons: then if Wisdom cannot be found, perhaps it
can be purchased!
Let's hear his
"It cannot be gotten for
gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price
thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with
the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the
crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be
for jewels of fine gold. No mention shall be made of
coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above
rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither
shall it be valued with pure gold. " Job 28:15-19
I can already
give you the answer to the question. No! Wisdom is
far too expensive for any man to be able to purchase It!
It is not even for sale!
"gold" appears in this short section of Job 28 five times!
(With 4 different Hebrew words! ("segor" and "kethem" and
"zahab" and "paz" then "kethem" once again! I have listed
these words in their order of occurrence in the text.) "Segor"
means that which is "shut up" (enclosed)! "Kethem" means
something "carved out" or even engraved! (Exactly what
happens when gold is removed from its natural environment!)
"Zahab" means "to shimmer" or to reflect light as gold does!
And "paz" means refined or purified! The sudden return to
"kethem" apparently indicates more carving is yet to be done!
I see in the
sequence of these words a spiritual picture! It is a type
of what the Holy Spirit of God does to us as He forms us into
the Image of the darling Son of God! Romans 8:29 tells us:
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did
predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son!"
Glory to God!
compares himself to "gold" as he goes through these fiery
trials! In Job 23:10 he states: "But
He (God) knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried
me, I shall come forth as gold."
In addition to
the gold seven terms are used for valuable gemstones! The
onyx ("shoham" = 11 times in the Bible all translated "onyx")
and the sapphire ("sappiyr" = 11 times in the Bible all realted
to the sapphire) and crystal ("zekukiyth" = only used this 1
time in the whole Bible) meaning some kind of fine glass
(jewels) plus the coral ("ramah" = found twice in Scripture and
both times rendered as coral) then pearls (only here is "gabiysh"
used) followed by rubies ("paniyn" = 6 times in the Bible always
as rubies) and the topaz ("pitdah" = 4 times in Scripture all
translated as topaz) are listed!
In Hebrew the
"root" meaning for these stones are:
word's background means "to blanch!" (To scald, to
root means "to mark or score or engrave!"
means "to be translucent (light can travel through it)!"
The meaning is thought to be one of "innocence!"
stem means "to rise!" Likely ... to rise in value!
Pearls ... "to
freeze!" (Apparently from its appearance as ice!)
Isn't Hebrew a
"to turn" as in turning a corner. Probably referring to
its being ground and shaped into a lovely round sphere for
beauty and utility!
topaz is listed which has an unknown meaning! Here is what
Strong's Concordance says: "Of foreign derivation, a
precious gem!" I guess it does have "far country"
implications! (Like "heaven" maybe!)
Then watch the
verbs: "gotten, weighed, valued, equaled, exchanged,
mentioned and priced!" There are some great spiritual
implications in these words too! For example, "gotten" is
"nathan" and means given! (Gift or Grace language here!)
And just think of the scales on which God weighs things!
Valued means tossed aside or made light of! Equaled means
to arrange or set in order! Exchanged means to substitute
for! To mention means to remember! Even the word
price has significance: to draw up or to fish out!
It sounds like
God really knows the terms for acquiring precious stones!
In Malachi 3:17 we are told that God says:
"And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of
hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare
them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."
point of our paragraph today is that Wisdom cannot be bought!
But ... the
burning question remains! Then WHERE can Wisdom be found
and HOW can man acquire It?
And that my
friend is where this rapidly ascending chapter is headed!
To the Place
We'll be there
Of course many
of you already know Him!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Up until a few
years ago, I would have always told you that the Book of Job is
exclusively about suffering.
Then I read
Dr. Henry Morris' little Book on the suffering old Testament
saint (again, that's Job). He says that if the subject is
suffering ... WHY does God not mention it in His great speech
at the end of the Book?
If the sole
subject is suffering WHY is the problem of pain not answered
anywhere in the Book?
Of course the final answer to much of this
will have to wait until we get to heaven! But I have come to
believe that just maybe the subject of Job might be ... WISDOM!
In other words, God knows what He is doing! He makes no
mistakes! And even when life is painful and confused and I can
find no answers, GOD IS! And God is in control! And I KNOW
that great God! And knowing God far surpasses comfort! Knowing
God far exceeds the friendships of Bildad or Zophar or anyone
else! At the end of the Book of Job ... knowing God and
communing with Him is EVERYTHING! (Job thought so too!)
And ... ponder this ... if one truly knows
God ... in the final end EVERYTHING will work out well!
It surely did so with Job!
Preacher Bagwell, why WISDOM?
Several key passages in Job move me toward my
Here's one of them:
"Whence then cometh
wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? Seeing
it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the
fowls of the air. Destruction and death say, We have heard the
fame thereof with our ears." Job 28:20-22
For 19 verses in Job 28 man has been seeking
for treasures; precious minerals and metals and jewels of all
kinds! He has been surprisingly successful locating and
acquiring them too!
BUT man cannot get true Wisdom on his own!
(He can't even find the place of true
Wisdom? Where does It live? Name its abode please! Is it at
Harvard University? No! Maybe at MIT? No! How about the
University of ___(Put any State here!)___? Not there
The verb "come" is in Hebrew "bo" (in the
active voice and with an incomplete sense of time ... wisdom
comes and comes and comes)! It means to come or to enter or
even to fall upon or to light upon! Often in the Old Testament
it has the idea of "coming down," which is exactly what Wisdom
has to do!
It's first Bible use is almost scientific in
nature! In Genesis 2:19 is is translated "brought." Watch it
carefully: "And out of the ground the
LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the
air; and brought
them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and
whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was
the name thereof." Wow!
Here's the second time it is used in the
whole Bible. This one concerns a Bride for Adam (a type of
Christ)! "And the rib, which the LORD God
had taken from man, made he a woman, and
brought her unto
the man." Genesis 2:22 (Again ...Wow!)
In Genesis 6:18 it is rendered "come!" God
is speaking to Noah and He says: "But
with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou
shalt come into
the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives
And in Genesis 6:4 it is apparently used in
some kind of an intimate way! "There were
giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the
sons of God came in unto
the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the
same became mighty men which were of old, men of
But it all gets marred for sure in Genesis
4:3 where we are told: "And in process of
time it came to pass, that Cain
brought of the
fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD." Man has
again ruined a beautiful word by his disobedience!
Now remember, wisdom and understanding have
to do with seeing life from God's point of view (only possible
through the Bible) and then responding to life from God's point
of view (only possible through the Holy Spirit)! Excuse me!
The noun "place" is from a background that
means "to rise!" Hence it is a "standing place." I am seeing
all kinds of "hints" of Jesus this morning!
Next we are told that Wisdom is "hid" (the
Hebrew verb means hidden or made secret ...), literally, to
veil from sight "from all living!" But God is able and willing
to reveal it to whomsoever will come to Him! That is, whoever
comes seeking It with an humble and repentant heart!
But why are we told that even the fowls can't
find or get wisdom? "Kept close" means to hide! This verb has
a "perfect" sense of time. The action is completed! Birds by
decree do not have God's true wisdom! (They can teach us
certain things about the Lord and His ways ... but not real
Wisdom!) The "treasures of Wisdom" must be found elsewhere!
Where? That's the BIG question in Job! But I'll go ahead and
give you the answer right now. Paul, speaking of Jesus, says:
"In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Remember that in Matthew 13:32 the "birds of
the air" represent unclean teachings and false doctrines! (The
very opposite of Wisdom!) Or see Luke 19:13 for the same
reference ... using our exact words "the fowls of the air!"
Lastly even destruction (in Hebrew = "abaddon")
and death (in Hebrew = "maveth") say they cannot get Wisdom! In
fact, the pits of hell are the last place true Wisdom will be
found! After all, that place was originally prepared for the
devil and his angels! (Matthew 25:41) The word "abaddon"
surfaces again in the Book of Revelation too. There we are told
of a large army of demons: "And they had
a king over them, which is the angel of
the bottomless pit,
whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the
Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon." Revelation
9:11 (The root verb behind that noun "abaddon" means to wander
away! To be lost! And the word for "death" actually means "to
kill!" Something killed mankind! Sin did!
"The wages of sin is death!"
The noun "ear" is from that well-known word
picture of a "broadened" ear! (To expand one's ear with his
hand in order to hear more intently!) To "cup" one's ear!
I wish we had time for the next paragraph of
Job 28 today!
It gets exciting!
It introduces us to the One Who can give Real
Goodness! Let's "peak" just a bit! Here's
just one more verse. We'll have to study it later.
understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place
thereof." Job 28:23
There's the answer!
In fact That's the answer to ALL of life's
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
We now come to one of the most exciting parts
of the whole chapter!
Our God becomes the obvious Subject!
"God understandeth the way thereof, and he
knoweth the place thereof. For he looketh to the ends of the
earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; To make the weight for
the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. When he made a
decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and
searched it out." Job 28:23-27
Our Creator God is in full view here!
God knows where Wisdom is!
This "all knowing" trait of God's is called
"omniscience!" God knows all ... even the end from the
God knows Wisdom because God is Wisdom!
Three times the New Testament calls Him the "only wise God!"
Romans 16:27 and 1 Timothy 1:17 and Jude 25!
Next God looketh to the ends of the whole
earth! This is a controlling look too! Here we have
pictured God's "omnipresence!" He is everywhere at once!
Then we see God's omnipotence! He can
do everything! (Omnipotence means "all power!") God
handles the rain and the wind and the lightning and the thunder!
It seems man is not quite as smart as he
Only God is fully in control!
Our verses may be describing creation week
If so, Wisdom is present as the worlds are
"The LORD by wisdom
hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the
heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the
clouds drop down the dew." Proverbs 3:19-20
Or listen to Wisdom speak in Proverbs
8:27-30. "When he prepared the
heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face
of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he
strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to
the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his
commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and
I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him."
Man searches and digs for gold and silver and
God knows where an even greater treasure is
Hebrew scholars tell us that there are 9
words employed in verses 23-24 that are used previously in
verses 1-22! What man does unsuccessfully ... God does
The term "weight of the winds" is
interesting! Man for centuries did not even attribute
"weight" to the winds! Yet here we have it in God's Word!
In fact the weight of the winds and the atmosphere is critical
in the study of meteorology! And the winds are critical to
the science of flight too! The word for "winds" here is "ruach"
and is also translated "spirit!" Remember Proverbs 16:2
--- "All the ways of a man are
clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits."
And the "weight of the waters" is mentioned
here. This has to do with the whole hydrological system
that gives us rain! Clouds do not (can not) rain until the
water droplets get heavy enough to fall through the atmosphere!
Talk about Wisdom!
Our text also suggests that God has created
"laws" for the lightning and thunder to follow! Man is
certainly still learning about these.
Man digs in the earth for rocks.
God controls the heavens and all of life!
I do believe we serve THE ONLY WISE GOD!
And if we are even going to acquire REAL
Wisdom ... we must go to The Source!
That's tomorrow's verse, Lord willing!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Well, here we are finally!
To the "peak" verse in Job 28!
Verse 28 records God's direct words!
In verse 23 God is introduced as the Subject
of this last paragraph. "God
understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place
Verse 27 further links the Lord's message:
"Then did he see it, and declare it;
he prepared it, yea, and searched it out."
Now we are ready for
verse 28, the "capstone" of the chapter!
Job 28:28 ---
"And unto man he (God) said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that
is wisdom; and to depart from evil is
There was "direct address" in Job 28:14.
"The depth saith, It (Wisdom) is
not in me: and the sea saith, It (Wisdom) is
not with me."
Also we found "direct address" in Job 28:22
"Destruction and death say, We have heard
the fame thereof (of Wisdom) with our ears."
But, most importantly of all, God
participates in this pattern of direct address saying:
"And unto man he (God) said, Behold, the
fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil
And God hereby answers THE question of the
Where can Wisdom be found?
What will It cost?
Can It be seen?
The liberals and Bible haters attack this
verse of course. They say it uses a Name for God That is
not found elsewhere in the whole Book. A sign, they say,
of a later "editor" tampering with the text!
I reject all that categorically.
I believe there are NO mistakes in the Bible!
It is true that the Hebrew noun for God, "Adonay,"
is only found once (and it's here) in all the Job corpus (body).
It is also true that God is called "Jehovah"
24 times in Job.
But can't God the Holy Spirit use another
Name for God anytime He chooses?
Adonai is God's Name that emphasizes His
absolute Lordship and Control over the universe. Does not
that fit the context of Job 28 perfectly? He is the God
Who knows Wisdom and controls Wisdom and gives Wisdom and lays
out the conditions for receiving Wisdom!
We are here told that while man has sought
Wisdom all his days ... God has possessed and It eternally!
And man can only acquire It by submission to That great God!
God here seems to give Wisdom in increasing
amounts to one as he or she grows and matures in the Fear of the
To get Wisdom man must do two things.
Turn to God!
Then turn from evil!
This is basically what Ecclesiastes says in
its closing paragraph. "Let us hear
the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his
commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (And thereby according to Job
28:28 man also receives Wisdom!)
Wisdom is God's closest Companion.
He delights in It daily!
It brings Him great joy! (Proverbs
The teachers call this whole chapter a "Poem
I call it the pure Word of God ... pointing
man to Jesus Christ and eternal life!
John says it well.
"That which we have seen and heard declare
we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly
our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus
Christ." 1 John 1:3
Because, as Paul says in Colossians 2:3 ---
"In whom (Jesus) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and
What Peace ... when one finds real Wisdom!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Today I want us to compare chapter 28 to the
opening and closing sections of Job. The opening section is
called the prologue and the closing section is called the
The prologue involves chapters 1 and 2 of
Job. It may be analyzed in the following manner:
Introduction of Job (the godly man)!
Then ... a scene in heaven followed by a
scene on earth.
Next is the introduction of Job's 3
Followed by another scene in heaven and a
scene on earth.
The prologue operates with the understanding
that there exists "hidden truth" to which Job does not have
And that's exactly what Job 28 teaches too!
Likewise the epilogue (Job 42:7-17) reveals
some unfathomable qualities of our great God! It presents
Him as The Source of all knowledge and Wisdom!
And, again, that's exactly what Job 28 does!
There is "linkage" here!
Let's stop just a minute and ask ourselves
this: What "hidden truths" are necessary to fully
interpret Job's dilemma and restoration?
What things did God know that man didn't
God is IN CONTROL of it all!
That God is willing to test Job to put him on display!
* That God puts restraints on the devil!
* That the devil is cruel!
* That Job was truly a godly man!
* That God is the CREATOR and RULER of all the universe!
* That, in the end, God always rewards His own! (Maybe
And Job 28 tells us that the only way to gain
these facts of Wisdom is to KNOW God and to fear (worship) Him
with all your heart! (Job 28:28 ---
"And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is
wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.")
And here's another amazing thing!
I'm not at all sure God has told us the real
purpose behind Job's suffering yet! I believe He still
withholds some aspects of Wisdom ... for future communion!
Praise His dear Name!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Let's summarize today.
Here's the story of Job in a few sentences.
In the beginning, Job had it all!
Job had godliness.
Job had family.
Job had wealth.
Job had health.
Job even had esteem with God!
But he lost his family.
And he lost his wealth.
Then he also lost his health.
And he did not know WHY!
Job nearly lost his godliness! He several
times dangerously wavered between faith and doubt.
The Job began his search.
He searched for reasons ... and found none.
He searched for fairness ... and found none.
He even searched for his God ... and found
Him neither! In Job 23:3 he cries: "Oh
that I knew where I might find him (God)! that I might
come even to his seat!"
Yet he know that somewhere God was near! He
never lost all hope. Job 19:25 proves that.
"For I know that my Redeemer
liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day
upon the earth."
And ... after all his fruitless searches ...
one day God appears!
With no explanations and no apologies and no
pity at all ... God just reveals Himself! (In His power and
And ... for Job ... once He has again seen
His God ... things are once more well!
He found all he had lost in GOD!
He found all his meaning in GOD!
He found all his hopes in GOD!
He found all for which he had been searching
God is the Answer!
And, dear friend, the story of Job is also
the story of Job chapter 28.
There man searches.
Then he finds!
Next he knows something is missing.
(All his "allies" could not find it for him
either ... just as Job's "friends" could not help him!)
What was missing? GOD!
God and the Wisdom He supplies!
Job 28 is parallel to the rest of the whole
Book (of Job).
Job 28 is a synopsis.
It is a summary.
By the way, friend, what are YOU missing
Is It True Wisdom?
If so ... I know where it can be found!
I'll just let the last verse of Job 28 tell
"And unto man He said,
Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to
depart from evil is understanding." Job 28:28
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I realize that probably I'm trying to cover
too much material today. The "speeches" of Job's 3 friends and
Elihu cover a lot of the Book of Job!
But even their words fall into the pattern of
Job chapter 28!
They each seek wisdom. They want to deal
with Job's problems ... but fail to truly see things from God's
point of view!
They represent the attempts of man to find
the "key" to Job's suffering.
In other words, just like the men of the
world in chapter 28 ... they search for nuggets (of truth),
finding many of them ... but none of ultimate value to Job's
In the process their "advice" seems to grow
They all seem to work from a basic truth ...
"man reaps what he sows!" (And that IS a basic Bible truth,
folks!) BUT it does not perfectly apply in Job's situation.
These men do not have the Wisdom of God in their deliberations!
They do not know about the "contest" with
They do not know that God is going to reward
Job with double blessings soon!
They do not know how godly Job's heart really
And without that Wisdom ... they are doomed
That does not mean that they do not say some
great things. But the things they say usually do not apply to
In fact, once Job said to them:
"Miserable comforters are ye all."
Now to those of you who are doubting my word
here, listen to what God tells the three "friends" of Job:
"Ye have not spoken of me the thing
that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore
take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my
servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and
my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I
deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not
spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant
Job." Job 42:7-8
Really, their speeches "boil down" to this
view. Be godly ... God blesses you. Be wicked ... God curses
you! What you get from God you have earned and you deserve
solely based upon your actions!
And that is a wrong approach in Job's case!
That view, if pressed stringently, overrules
the Omnipotence of God and the Grace of God and the whole Plan
In fact, it's the same approach the devil
Come to God to get your pay! To get your
rewards! If God does not "pay" ... then no one will come!
And God was thrilled to find a man like Job
who would serve Him whether he got paid to do it or not!
Listen to Job again:
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Job 13:15
Glory to God!
(One additional proof of the error of the
words from Job's "friends" ... their speeches get shorter and
shorter and begin to break down after a while! Their human
understanding sputters and quits! And soon now ... when man's
exhausts his ramblings ... God will speak! And that's the
exact pattern of Job 28 also!)
I can hardly wait!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Job seeks some answers!
Why has he been subjected to such suffering?
(He is not privileged to know about the
"contest" between God and Satan.)
In his deliberations Job makes some
absolutely amazing statements ... and some rather misguided ones
Yet one distinct difference must be noted.
Job's "friends" get further from the real
truth the longer they speak. Their logic eventually breaks into
Job however becomes more fixed and confident
as time progresses!
Job is looking for Something ... and he finds
it in the end!
It is also clear that Job wavers under the
load of his trials.
(Some liberals even say there are two
different Jobs in this book. One is a man of doubt they say.
And the other is a man of faith! I believe no such thing. Job,
a Believer, is fighting a battle within himself! His two
natures rage one against the other. Its the old "faith vs.
Now, while we will all admit Job is human and
has things yet to learn ... the Bible sure puts him in good
In Ezekiel 14:14 and 20 Job is included with
2 other great Bible heroes. Overall Daniel and Noah were men of
great faith. And Job is in their company in God's eyes!
James 5:11 also uses Job as a sterling
Godly old Job didn't go far wrong, did he?
Listen to God ... concerning Job. In Job
42:7 the Lord told the "friends" --- "For
ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my
servant Job hath."
It is true that Job repented in 42:6, but God
never once charged him with sin!
I can't find where God was filled with wrath
I can't find where God accused Job of
foolishness. (Just lack of knowledge)
God does get pretty rough with Job in chapter
38, but only to lead him to the true Fount of Wisdom! (The Lord
God Almighty Himself!)
Job's searching has proved empty ... until
God chooses to intervene!
God speaks to Job in two long discourses.
In the first Job is proved to have limited
knowledge on how God controls and directs the earth!
In the second Job is proved to come up short
in moral understanding as well. (The great battle of the ages!
God and righteousness versus Satan and wickedness!)
When both charges are advanced ... Job is
He falls at the feet of an Omniscient
Creator/Redeemer God, worthy of all worship!
In the end Job discovers that answers to the
problem of suffering are not what he needs! Rather ... He just
And GOD he gets!
Job ends with the Patriarch a happy man!
Not because he is wealthy again. Not because
he has ten more children! Not because he is highly esteemed by
others as before!
BUT because he is in full fellowship with
God, The Wise God, The Only Wise God of all the universe.
And, dear friend, THAT is also the story of
Here it is again. Man searches and
searches! And searching man finds some precious things ... but
not the most valuable thing (Wisdom)! Only God can give That!
To have true Wisdom one must find the Fear of the Lord! Job
28:28 concludes: "And unto man He (the
Lord) said, Behold, the Fear of the Lord, that is Wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding."
And Job did find the Fear of the Lord and the
True Wisdom That accompanies Him!
God revealed it to him!
Job's story is parallel to the thought line
in Job 28.
Job 28 (for sure) is the central chapter of
In it is the "key" that unlocks the whole
Jobian text of 42 chapters!
Christian friends, aren't you glad you have
found Him? True Wisdom? That is the Lord Jesus Christ! Paul
says in Colossians 2:3 --- "In Whom
(Jesus) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
Glory to God!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Truly the entire Bible IS the Word of God!
Scripture Itself has settled that long ago.
For example, Paul declares in 2 Timothy 3:16
that "All scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
As you know, "inspiration" has the idea of
being God breathed!
God authored the Bible!
Yet it is also true that there are certain
sections of Scripture that declare "word for word" something God
has said in direct address to someone!
Such is the case in God's responses to Job!
Twice God shared with Job personal conversation!
A few Bible teachers have "discovered" a
series of "links" between God's words to Job and the truth
presented in Job chapter 28!
Job 28 has been called by some a great "poem
Here are some of the "links:"
Chapter 28 does NOT discuss Job's most
obvious problem --- suffering! Neither do God's Speeches!
Chapter 28 leaves true Wisdom unattainable
apart from God Himself! God's Speeches also prove that Wisdom
is unattainable by natural man.
Chapter 28 proves that God alone is The
Source of Wisdom! So do the two Speeches of the Almighty!
Chapter 28 illustrates some aspects of Wisdom
in terms of the created world! So does God in His Words to
Job! (Creation in many ways apparently pictures the Wisdom of
Chapter 28 ends with the only way to know
Wisdom ... a relationship with God! And of course God's Words to
Job emphasize that Wise Relationship as well!
Again, there is "linkage" between the two!
God's first response to Job (Job chapters
38-39) proves again and again that man cannot know all the
facets of God's power, knowledge and Wisdom! (Just as Job 28 so
proved!) Here God basically says to Job ... here's how very
little you know, old boy! (Yet remember that God never reverses
His declaration that Job is a "perfect and upright man! One
that feared God and hated evil!" See Job 1:1.)
God's second response to Job illustrates with
two great creatures --- behemoth and leviathan. I believe that
both these giant creatures may represent evil in some form or
another! (As does the serpent or the roaring lion or the dragon
elsewhere in Scripture.) In fact leviathan sounds extremely
similar to the dragons of Scripture! That noun Dragon (or its
plural) occurs 35 times in the King James Version of the Bible.)
God alone can control these two beasts!
So ... God alone can control Satan and bring
wickedness to final judgment!
See what God is saying to Job? Do not
question my rightness, Job. I can handle all things ... even
the evil things of the heavens and the earth!
(Even a Devil, a Satan, who questions all of
Job's motives! And did so back in chapters 1 and 2.)
Here's what God has said to Job in the
closing chapters of that great Book. Son, listen to Me! You
can neither comprehend My Wisdom in creation (first speech) or
in My Wisdom in controlling evil (second speech)! BUT you can
know Me and My Wisdom by means of trust in the Lord Jesus
Christ! And this trust certainly IS the Fear of The Lord!
And in so saying these things in this way ...
God has outlined for us the 28th chapter of Job! (A chapter
which echoes God's very thoughts!)
The Book ends with a lot of unsolved riddles
for old Job! There are many things he never knows! (The
contest between God and Satan being the main one perhaps!)
BUT Job reaches this conclusion ---
THE RIDDLES OF GOD ARE MORE SATISFYING THAN THE SOLUTIONS OF
Job says a hearty AMEN to the closing verse
of chapter 28 --- "And unto man He (God)
said, Behold, the Fear of the Lord, that is Wisdom; and
to depart from evil is understanding."
Let me say it one more time ... Job 28 is
apparently the structural center of the whole Book (of Job). It
seems to be the "key" that unlocks everything! (I have know God
to put those unlocking "keys" at the front of a text before!
And at the end of a text too! But this is the first time I've
seen one in the middle of the text like this! Wow! You have to
get "in" ... to find the "key!"
And, guess what?
Jesus is the Only Way in!
Proof needed? Hear the Lord in John 14:6 ---
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Need I say more?
This Saturday, September 11th, thank God dear
friends that you KNOW real Wisdom! I mean Jesus ---
"In Whom are hid all the treasures of
Wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
I trust that you have not grown tired of the
Book of Job!
Lord willing, this is our last study on Job
Some may be wondering just WHY Job is so
(Just because it is in the Word of God is
enough reason of course!)
But I am really beginning to believe that Job
here is a picture (type) of our Lord Jesus Christ!
(And please no one write and tell me that you
can't see JESUS in Job!)
Job, speaking of God, longed for a "Daysman"
to intercede! ("Neither is there any
Daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us
both." Job 9:33)
Now, you tell me. WHO is the Mediator (Daysman)
between God and man? (Paul answers that clearly.
"For there is one God, and one
mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1
And in Job 13:15-16 we nearly see Jesus by
name! "Though He slay me, yet will I
trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him. He
also shall be my
salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him."
That noun "salvation" is the Hebrew word for Saviour!
Also in Job 16:18-20 the suffering saint
affirms that he has a Witness in heaven! I believe he is
talking about Jesus! "O earth, cover not
thou my blood, and let my cry have no place. Also
now, behold, my witness
is in heaven, and my record is on high. My
friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears
And the "classic" Jobian text about our
Redeemer must be included here! "For I
know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall
stand at the latter day upon the earth." Job
But even in addition to these I believe one
can see Jesus in Job!
Look at Job 1:1.
"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job;
and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God,
and eschewed evil." Is that not a description of Jesus
also? Perfect! One who fears God? One who hates evil?
Does not Job open with an account of Satan
trying to tempt Job? And Jesus' public ministry opens the same
And just as Satan lost his case with Job ...
he lost his case with Jesus!
Job's family turned against him. Job tells
us: "He hath put my brethren far from me,
and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk
have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me."
(Job 19:13-14) So did Jesus' family not believe in Him! (John
7:5 says: "For neither did his brethren
believe in him.")
Job became poor! So did Jesus! See 2
Job endured terrible physical suffering! So
Job says that God had forsaken him! God DID
forsake Jesus (on the cross)!
Yet, after all the whole ordeal, God restored
Job to double blessings and honor! And God, after Calvary,
raised Jesus from the dead and crowned Him with (double, triple,
quadruple ... plus much more ...) honor!
I am so glad we have stopped a little while
and looked at Job!
I personally believe you can find Jesus
anywhere in Scripture if you look intently! I KNOW you can find
Him in Job!
Praise the dear Lord!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell