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Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest. Daily Devotional: Fear of the Lord | A man with his head bowed holding a black hat on his chest.

Daily Devotional | Where Is Wisdom Found?


One of the most famous riddles in history is the “riddle of the Sphinx” found in a Greek tragedy: “What walks on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening?” The answer, as you may know, is: “Human beings. Infants crawl on all fours. Then adults walk on two legs. Finally, elderly people walk with a cane, hence three legs.”

Riddles like this join humor with wisdom. These are often the kind of “riddles” found in biblical wisdom literature as well. The riddle in Job 28 is “Where can wisdom be found?” (v. 12). Job chapter 28 is an interlude in the book. The anonymous author is responding to Job and his friends’ failures to reach a valid or wise understanding of Job’s suffering.

The preliminary finding is nowhere in human experience (v. 13) or the natural world (v. 14). Human technology can delve the depths of the earth but cannot find wisdom (vv. 1–11). Although the rich and powerful can usually obtain whatever they want with money, wisdom is not to be had at any price (vv. 15–19).

So the question is renewed: “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?” (v. 20). The riddle’s solution is hidden not only from nature (v. 21) but also from elemental forces like Death and Destruction (v. 22).

The answer: “God [alone] understands the way to it” (v. 23). Not only does He know what no one else knows, He controls and commands everything. His wisdom runs the world!

This conclusion anticipates God’s speeches beginning in chapter 38. If the fear of the Lord leads to wisdom, then the answer to Job’s questions about suffering, the answer to the larger “riddle,” is to learn more about God by drawing worshipfully nearer to Him.

Go Deeper

Where is wisdom found? How does that answer help us better understand suffering and evil?

Pray with Us: Where can we find wisdom? Again, Scripture points to the fear of the Lord (Job 28). Lord, we rejoice that true wisdom is found only in You. You control and guide our world. You show the way out of hardships and suffering!

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He is the author of On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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