We’ve been talking of a certain Way which the redeemed of the Lord can walk in through the wilderness of this world. Isaiah tells us they’re safe as they walk therein, for it’s a path that lions and other ravenous beasts cannot walk in. They know nothing of this pathway.
No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there… (Isa. 35.9).
Job talked of this same Pathway.
There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen:
The lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it (that is, along it)” (Job 28.7,8).
Job has been talking of the great lengths men will go to as they explore the natural creation (I urge you to read that whole chapter); they stop at nothing to mine out its hidden riches. In our day we see this same unquenchable quest in the field of technology. From day to day you wonder what will be next, where it will stop; man has such a voracious appetite for knowledge, he continues to search out things to the utter limit.
But, as Job says, with all this there is a certain Something that man simply cannot find.
But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.
And so it’s wisdom that Job is seeking to disclose to us—the way of wisdom, the place of understanding.
But what does he mean by the land of the living? He is not referring to the land of those alive in Christ, but the “land” confined to the life and earthly boundaries of the natural man. The things of God are foolishness to this man, “neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2.14).
Job continues to ask this question; I am sure he does so to stir us to begin probing and asking the same question.
Whence then cometh wisdom? And where is the place of understanding?
Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air (Job 28.20,21).
There is a Way that the “fowls” of the heaven, and the vultures—those principalities and powers in the heavenlies—have not seen. Apparently the vulture has such a keen eye that it can see its carrion from so high in the air that it would look like no more than a speck to you and me. But even with that piercing eye it cannot see this Pathway. This Pathway is “kept close” from the fowls of the air. Maybe we think that the Devil and his princes in the heavenly realm have great insight, and can see a lot. But they know nothing of this pathway.
For if they had known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2.8).
It’s the Way of Wisdom—the wisdom of the Cross—that Jesus walked in to the ultimate dismay of the Princes of this world. This must be why Job says,
Destruction and death say, we have heard the fame thereof with our ears.
For, Christ brought destruction and death to naught by walking in the Way of this wisdom. He destroyed them with their own devices.
There are also some very frightening beasts spoken of in Scripture, beasts with many heads and horns, beasts like bears and leopards and lions, beasts that look like lambs but speak like dragons. The “beasts” also know nothing of this pathway. They cannot go up thereon, cannot touch anyone who is walking in this Pathway.
And so Job brings us to his conclusion. There is One who knows this Pathway, and the Place it leads to.
God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof.
For He looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
To make the weight for the winds; and He weigheth the waters by measure.
When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
Then did He see it, and declare it; He prepared it, and searched it out.
And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.
Those words echo often in my ears. Behold… Behold…. the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding…
Do I see? Do I yet understand? Do I yet behold this wondrous Way, this hidden Way, this prepared Way God has for me? Am I searching it out with Him—this Way of Wisdom? Do I know the Place thereof?
It’s all so wondrous, so awesome, and who am I? I don’t think I’m all that wise. How am I to discover this Way? How am I to walk in it? Paul the apostle calls it “the hidden wisdom” (1 Cor. 2.7), and it’s the same Pathway Job says is hidden from the fowls of the air. Those are very intelligent beings. If it’s hidden from them, who am I? But Jesus said these things were hidden “from the wise and prudent.” And “revealed unto babes” (Mt. 11.25). Here then is our answer. It’s not found in seeking to be wise in our own eyes, but in seeking to get into a certain Yoke and learn from Him who is meek and lowly of heart.