July 3 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“And he said to the human race, ‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.’” ~Job 28:28

In chapter 28, Job draws as near to the answer to suffering as he ever has. Only God knows all the reasons behind the things He does and the things He allows. (Job is so near accurate, although he doesn’t realize it, that some scholars think portions of today’s reading are the words of an editor.)

In a poetic interlude, Job praises the ingenuity of mankind. If the man were living in modern times, he would likely have even more to say about human accomplishments, but the caveat he offers to his ancient audience stands the test of time. With all of our advancements—ancient and modern—we are still unable to find answers to some of our deepest, most troubling questions. Only God has these answers (Job 28:23). Job, then, is pointing to mystery. Life yields some perplexing questions, like Why do righteous people suffer?, but God tells the human race that having those answers isn’t wisdom. Wisdom is to reverence God and avoid evil (Job 28:28).

There are times God does not give us immediate answers to the questions we are asking. Sometimes there is mystery. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have answers, but that He doesn’t always give us those answers according to our timetable. Job will have to learn (as we all must) to be patient and faithful when God doesn’t answer his questions and to trust that He is both wise and good.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.