A greater part of the Book of Job has Job and his three friends arguing with each other over what Job could have done wrong to receive such a severe treatment from God. A young man named Elihu patiently waited for his chance to speak while his elders debated. When Elihu does speak, he says something that all of us need to grasp a hold of. True wisdom and who receives this wisdom is at God’s discretion only.
“I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:7-8)
A better rendering of the first sentence would be, “A man of many days and multitude of years should be able to teach wisdom. The word wisdom or “chokmah“ is rooted in the word “chakam“ which means to judge or judgment. Judgment is nothing more than the characteristics and attributes of God. True wisdom is of a Godly sort and is the ability to discern righteousness, truth, faith and piety. This is why King Solomon stressed getting “wisdom” so much, for it is of and by God.
“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:5-7).
“But there is a spirit in man”, the spirit, that animating force within man that lives in and beyond the physical body. When our spirit is quickened by, “the inspiration of the Almighty” our eyes become opened, ears unstopped and true knowledge becomes known.
The word for “inspiration” is the same Hebrew word used for breath. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).
The breath of life, the inspiration of the Almighty is the Holy Spirit and the spirit of truth. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16).
But not all will be quickened. For the Holy Ghost, “God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32).The quickening of a man’s spirit by the Holy Ghost is a function and election of God and God only.
“…I consider that the knowledge of these deep and Divine mysteries is not to be had or expected from any man as such, though never so aged or wise; but only from God’s Spirit, which alone knoweth the deep things of God. And this Spirit he saith is in man; not in every man, for the words are not universal, but indefinite, and man in this branch is no larger than them who receive Divine inspiration in the next branch. And so the sense is, God is pleased to give his Spirit unto mankind, unto men of all ages and qualities, as he pleaseth; and having given it in some measure to me, I may take the boldness to utter my thoughts” (Matthew Poole).
Days and years will offer man many earthly experiences. The prudent will learn from these experiences and from the experiences of others. But, “the Lord giveth wisdom” (Proverbs 2:6) to whom He chooses. This wisdom is spiritual in nature and reveals the spiritual nature of all things. This wisdom is from above and is, “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17).
But the wisdom from heaven above is not understood by the worldly man below. It is a mystery though plainly spoken and confusing although made clear. To the worldly man God’s wisdom is both a parable and a paradox.
The Apostle Paul explained to the Corinthians, “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:6-14).
Many days and years can teach man worldly wisdom. But only God, can bring true wisdom by quickening the spirit of man with the Holy Ghost!
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