Job 42:1–17

“Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3b).

Today we will conclude our brief study of biblical wisdom by looking at three of the most neglected books of the Bible. For many Christians, the wisdom books Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Job remain some of the most enigmatic portions of Scripture.

Ecclesiastes. The book of Ecclesiastes addresses the futility of life apart from the knowledge of God. In many ways this book is one of the first examples of biblical apologetics as it forcefully argues that without God life is utterly meaningless.

Song of Solomon. In this book, we find a celebration of the love between husband and wife, particularly as expressed in their physical relationship with one another. Throughout church history, many have interpreted this book as an allegory of the love of Christ for His Church. And while the love of Christ for His people certainly has some parallels with the love of a good husband for his wife, the intent of this book is not primarily to show us such allegories. Rather, this divinely inspired poem shows us that God, in His wisdom, looks upon the love between husband and wife as something to be cherished.

Job. Of these three books, the book of Job is probably the most well-known. In the opening chapters, Satan comes before God and claims that Job will lose his faith if his prosperity is taken away. God allows Satan to take Job’s family, wealth, and health away and, contrary to Satan’s accusation, Job continues to believe in God’s promises. This does not mean that he does not question God, for much of the rest of the book tells the story of Job asking why God has allowed such horrors to come upon one who has not sinned. God never tells Job why He has allowed calamity to come into his life. Rather, He answers Job out of the whirlwind, reminding Him of His absolute sovereignty over all things and that much of His counsel is hidden from men.

Job’s response, as seen in today’s passage, is to submit to God’s wisdom and to admit that there is much he does not understand about God’s plans and purposes. Nonetheless, Job trusts God even though He does not completely understand God's ways. Such is the response of all wise people.

Coram Deo

The book of Job is a powerful reminder that God is in absolute control of all things. This fact can be a great comfort to us and yet also be disconcerting when we suffer things we think we do not deserve. Sometimes things happen to us that do not make sense from our perspective. Yet unlike us, God sees all and has a good plan for all that happens. The wise trust God even when He does not make sense to them. Ask the Lord to help you trust Him even when it is difficult.

For Further Study