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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Wisdom and strength belong to God; counsel and understanding are His.”—Job 12:13 (HCSB)
King Solomon once wrote, “Wisdom brings strength, and knowledge gives power” (Proverbs 24:5 CEV). Wise words from a wise man . . .
In context, today’s verse is part of a larger argument by Job with his friends.
At this point, Job’s friends have pretty much come to the conclusion that the reason all this has happened to Job is because of some secret sin. In their rationalizing minds, there can be no other reason that God would allow such trials and tragedy to befall anyone if they didn’t deserve it. So, they believe Job is lying about his innocence, that God has seen some evil way in him and some serious sin, so they advise him to repent.
Job; however, isn’t buying it. He tells his friends to stop trying to rationalize with human understanding and limited perspective for why God does what He does, because even the greatest of ancient human wisdom is foolishness to God. Joseph Barnes wrote, “However much wisdom there may seem to be with aged men . . . true wisdom—that which was supreme and worthy of the name—was to be found in God alone.”
You see, in our small minds, with our limited view of the big picture and the grand scheme, all rationalization will fall well short. We rationalize and conclude based on human thinking that the only reason someone could suffer like this is because they deserve it, but Jesus says, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45 NIV). Why? For His purposes and His will. We don’t always see it, we rarely understand it, but we don’t have to.
As believers, we simply need to remember, “Wisdom and strength belong to God; counsel and understanding are His.” If we’re in the midst of trials, God has allowed it for a purpose . . . and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV, emphasis added).
So, don’t be so quick to judge and determine that suffering is linked to sin. Don’t be so quick to believe you know why God allows things to take place or why His will unfolds as it does. Trust that He is in control, that He knows what He’s doing, and speak the comfort, peace, hope, and power of the gospel into people’s lives.
DIG: Using a Bible reference site like Bible.com or BibleGateway.com, do a word search for wisdom. Read the myriad of verses that speak about what wisdom is, what it means to be wise, and where wisdom comes from.
DISCOVER: Why is it wrong to assume we totally understand God’s will, why He does certain things, why He allows certain things, etc.?
DO: Like Solomon, pray and ask the Lord for wisdom . . . His wisdom. Pray that He will fill you with true understanding and wisdom through the Holy Spirit, that He will reveal what needs to be revealed and fulfill His purposes and work in you. And then trust Him in the gaps where you don’t understand, can’t see the full picture, or simply don’t have answers.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.