But Where can Wisdom be Found?

I recently had the pleasure of entering White Scar Caves near Ingleton. Although I have been a few times before, the wonderful magnificence of those underground caverns continues to thrill. While supplemented by a multicolour lighting set, those ancient chambers in the carboniferous limestone are as awe inspiring as ever.

In chapter 28, Job reflects on Wisdom, and the where it might be obtained:

“Surely there is a mine for silver,

And a place where gold is refined.

Iron is taken from the earth,

And copper is smelted from ore.

Man puts an end to darkness,

And searches every recess

For ore in the darkness and the shadow of death.

He breaks open a shaft away from people;

In places forgotten by feet

They hang far away from men;

They swing to and fro.


Having reflected on humans’ skill at procuring metals from the earth, he ponders their mining prowess:

That path no bird knows,

Nor has the falcon’s eye seen it.

The proud lions have not trodden it,

Nor has the fierce lion passed over it.

He puts his hand on the flint;

He overturns the mountains [c]at the roots.

He cuts out channels in the rocks,

And his eye sees every precious thing.

He dams up the streams from trickling;

What is hidden he brings forth to light.

Having successfully sourced crystals and metals, Job then asks the killer question:

“But where can wisdom be found?

And where is the place of understanding?

Yet he laments:

Man does not know its value,

Nor is it found in the land of the living.


Nowhere, it would seem, can yield wisdom to those who come searching or bartering:

The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;

And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

It cannot be purchased for gold,

Nor can silver be weighed for its price.

It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,

In precious onyx or sapphire.

Neither gold nor crystal can equal it,

Nor can it be exchanged for jewellery of fine gold.

In desperation, he asks:

 “From where then does wisdom come?

And where is the place of understanding?

It is hidden from the eyes of all living,

And concealed from the birds of the air.


And concludes:

God understands its way,

And He knows its place.

‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,

And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”

Whatever beauty, treasure and inspiration lie buried in the great cellars of those Yorkshire mountains, that rarest and undervalued commodity can only be found in God's word. Living without Him is to be poor, foolish, weak and blind.

New King James Version used.