Job 12:12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
Job 12:13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
The book of Job is another important book. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Job was a man that God spoke very highly of. He was a man of wisdom and understanding. That does not mean he knew everything.
It is important for God’s people to have true humility. In order for a person to become wise, he must be willing to receive instruction. We need to keep in mind that the wisdom we are talking about is God’s wisdom. Understanding begins with knowing the true God and walking humbly in obedience with Him.
There are people who demonstrate their pride by suggesting that after they are shown something once, they think they know all about it. Learning is something that takes time and is continuous. When a person stops learning, they either have Alzheimers or some similar issue or they are dead.
Job was directed here to state that older people should be known for their wisdom and understanding. Wisdom is not something that is learned from reading a book. Words of wisdom are contained in the Bible. The Bible is the book of wisdom. It takes time and effort to apply wisdom to the heart. In order for our hearts to be able to receive God’s wisdom, we need to see the importance of hearing from God. This will require the person to be saved. Our hearts need to be changed by God in order to value His truth.
It is of great value for a person to know the Lord in his youth and then build on that basic knowledge. It will take time for the heart of man to be changed and to become more Christlike. Paul told Timothy:
I Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Timothy was a young man when Paul first met him. We first read of him in Acts 16. We read in II Timothy 1:5:
II Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Timothy was not born a Christian. He was saved through listening to the faithful testimony of his grandmother and his mother. We see here the value of the wisdom of the ancient. Timothy’s mother had some understanding of God’s Word. However, his grandmother was also essential to help him to see the necessity of knowing the true God in his youth.
Timothy was wise in listening to his grandmother and mother. They were wise in imparting to him, biblical truths. There are many things that people use as distractions. It is normal for a mother or a grandmother to try to pass on their sewing skills or their cooking skills to their daughters. Fathers can pass on their carpentry, or mechanical skills to their sons. It is important in all of these things, to build these skills from a Biblical foundation.
In the case of Timothy, his father did not seem to be a believer. His nationality is mentioned, but not his faith. Timothy’s grandmother and mother taught him the essentials of life. He had a keen interest in the Word of God by the time Paul met him. Paul could take him along on his journeys and Timothy did not run back home, like Mark did when Paul and Barnabas first took him with them.
There is a great benefit for a young person to be taught by those who are older and have demonstrated a true measure of faithfulness to the Lord.
As we consider the book of Job, we know that God saw things in Job’s life that were of great value.
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.
This is where God started this book. He began with where Job lived. In the very same verse He also tells us of the character of Job. Job was a man who was perfect and upright. He feared God and eschewed evil.
It is interesting to note that the name “Job” means “hated, persecuted”. Job was hated by the devil. His three friends also demonstrated a hatred for him in their attitude toward him. However, God said Job was perfect. The word translated as “perfect” means: “complete”. In the physical sense, Job had all that he needed to function as a man. He had the mental capacity to learn and apply knowledge. He had the physical capacity to work and to develop his farm. Spiritually, Job had the understanding needed to appreciate true wisdom.
Job was also “upright”. He was “straight”. When Job said something, he could be trusted. He could raise his children in a proper manner because he was upright. They could observe his work ethics and learn from it. They could observe his business ethics and learn good things from that. They could watch his life and see that his teaching matched his walk. Job was a well rounded man. He was that way because He feared God. Job had a healthy and vital respect for God. He reverenced God as the true God.
In the book of Job we learn that even though Job had these qualifications, as noted by God, he still had things to learn. Job learned some very important lessons with regard to the greatness of God, by the time this book was ended.
Together with the fear of God, Job eschewed evil. The word “eschewed” means: “to turn aside, to leave undone, to turn off”. The person who fears God does not pursue evil and he does not allow evil to develop a resting place in his heart and life. As we read in Genesis 8:
Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Every person has evil in his heart from his youth. The important factor is what will that person do with that evil. Job was one who chose not to allow evil to define him. He was born a lost sinner, but he chose to listen to God and he was turned to God and trusted in Him as his God and Saviour. He eschewed evil.
Because Job had these qualities, he could develop into a man of wisdom and understanding. It will take serious effort on the part of the individual to develop wisdom and understanding. It will require salvation first of all.
We need Godly wisdom and understanding today. It is missing in our secular leaders. From politicians to doctors to nurses to police to any other place of leadership in the secular world, wisdom and understanding are missing. They are not just lacking, they are missing.
This should not be the case, but it is the case because too often Godly wisdom and understanding are not found in the pulpits of this nation. A pastor must be one who is perfect and upright. He must fear God and he must eschew evil. These are not optional. They are a must.
Let those who are saved pray that God would see us as people of Godly character. We need to have His wisdom and understanding in our lives. For those of us who are older, we need to be able to pass on Godly values to our children and grandchildren. We need to care about our generation, but also those that are coming after us, should the Lord tarry.