“Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind?”
– Job 38:36
This question comes in the middle of a whole list of questions that basically God is asking Job at the end of his journey in this book, and all the questions around this one are basically saying, “Job, see that I am God. I am the one who causes the rain to fall, not you. I’m the one who commands the snow and the hail and the light and the darkness to come like they all obey me,” God says, “Not you.”
Then you come to Job 38:36 about wisdom, who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind. Job is actually considered in the Bible part of wisdom literature. This is a book in a sense about wisdom. You think about it, it makes sense, particularly light of all that Job goes through in his suffering. He lacks wisdom.
While we lack wisdom, knowledge, and perspective, we can always trust God and His perfect wisdom.
Job 38:36 Reminds Us That Sometimes We Lack Wisdom
Think about wisdom. How do we have wisdom? How do we make wise decisions? Well, the more knowledge we have, the more wise decisions we make. How many times to do we say, “If I had known this, I wouldn’t have done that,” and a decision might seem foolish because we lack knowledge. Sometimes, we lack wisdom because we lack experience, like once we’ve been through certain things, we have more wisdom for the next time. We’re often prone to make more foolish decisions if we are in something for the first time, so we lack knowledge, we lack experience, and we lack perspective.
Sometimes, we’ll make a decision that turns out to be foolish because we didn’t realize how it was going to affect this person or that person. We just didn’t see it from their perspective, but that’s where we look to God, and we realize, He is indeed all-wise. He has all knowledge. God never says, “I didn’t know that. If I would’ve known that, I wouldn’t have done this.” He has all knowledge. He has all experience. He is infinite from eternity past to eternity future. Nothing is new to God. Then He has all perspective. God sees everything at every moment and how it relates to everything in all moments and all of eternity. He has infinite perspective.
This Verse Reminds Us That We Are Not All-Wise
When we walk through suffering, it is good for us to realize we are not all-wise. We don’t know everything. We don’t have all perspective on how God is using this in that way and that in this way, and we lack experience, like so many things, especially when we’re walking through suffering or new to us. Part of the point of the Book of Job is to cause us to see that God is all-wise, He possesses all wisdom, He’s the author of all wisdom, and we can trust His wisdom as we lack knowledge, experience, and perspective.
Job 38:36 Praises God For His Wisdom
God, we praise You for Your wisdom. We praise You that You have all knowledge, that You have infinite experience, You have eternal perspective, and God doesn’t make our suffering any easier in one sense. We don’t understand why this or that is happening or has happened in our lives or will happen in our lives. And we don’t understand why, but we look to You, oh, God, and we trust that You have all wisdom. You are working together for our good. You’re always working all things together for the good of Your people.
You promised us in Romans 8:28, we cling to this promise, that you have all wisdom and all power to work all things together for our good, so help us, we pray, amidst all the questions we have in this world, particularly in the middle of suffering, God, help us to trust Your wisdom. You put wisdom in the inward parts. And You give understanding to the minds, so we pray. We pray for Your wisdom. We pray for grace to trust Your wisdom in the middle of whatever life brings us. And we pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.