A lot of great leaders throughout the canon of scripture seem to answer their critics with statements and ideas that seem out of place. When Jesus was asked a question by some know-it-all legal expert about the legal definition of a neighbor; Jesus begins to tell a story about a robbery. (Luke 10:25-37) When Stephen is accused of blasphemy by the religious establishment, he answers with a scathing sermon/ history lesson. (Acts 6-7)
When you apply Job 27 and 28 to the rest of the previous chapters of Job I believe that you see a man who answers his critics without using a whole lot of “direct answers.” Chapter 27 starts off with Job affirming his innocence and letting his small audience know that he will not confess to a crime that he didn’t commit. He follows it up with a small lesson on the ultimate end of evil people.
I find chapter 28 fascinating in light of Job’s entire situation. He is answering his critics with a dissertation on wisdom. This speech seems to very much be a forerunner to Solomon’s writings on the subject. Job gives wisdom physical form and compares its true market value against all of the other “stock” of the day. Just in case you didn’t catch it; wisdom wins out. Wisdom is valuable above all else. With this I believe that Job is telling his “friends” to go seek wisdom and stop giving him a piece of their minds. Much like Jesus and Stephen, Job’s talk is given to address the true heart of the matter.
This leads me to ask a question about worldview. How do you see the world? Is it through the lens of scripture? What is your view of God, man, ethics and wisdom? I pray that we would all answer those questions on a personal level. Job would suggest that we are start with a healthy fear of the God that was able to turn his life upside down. (28:28) I wholeheartedly agree.