Job 28 / Zechariah 4-5 / Revelation 1-2
Then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested
For us, wisdom and understanding come via the growth of the life which was planted in us, who is telling us the truth about the reality of the only true God amidst the thousands upon thousands of gods in the world now. Because that life is wisdom and it is understanding, it will become increasingly ours as it takes us over. Before the Teacher came to us all we could do was to live by the animal identity. We could only theorize about how things were, and what the life of God was like—sort of like spectators looking at a show, which was the Lord coming to us, giving us birth.
As we get further along in the new way, we change our mode of thinking so that we aren't merely spectators, but are actually involved in this relationship with the life that has been planted in us. We can help nurture the life that is planted, or we can hurt it by listening to the chaos, giving in to it and being its slave—allowing it to guide and lead us, to actually rule us as our master. It's a difficult thing because even now, after a few years, the flesh still wants to not believe—that's all it can do—and the cravings and lusts that well up inside us don't just stop either.
The best thing we can do is calm down and understand who we are, because we can easily get blown over by the chaos it always wants to bring into our bodies, and more importantly the greater body which gets affected by what we do—think of the Son of God's actions and the consequences it had on the fate of all of God's sons. God doesn't live amongst the chaos of the flesh. He dwells in peace, in the body of one who is being led by Him and His peace, away from all that chaos of the flesh. The only way for that to happen is if we actively choose Him while saying no to the things that are so alluring and seem to be beneficial. We find that if we choose to indulge the cravings that well up, what belongs purely in the animal domain, the life we have been interacting with will go away from us and we will be left with that which we chose, which not surprisingly won't give us the comfort we seek—to be in a knowledge of the fellowship with the life that is calling us is what gives us hope and satisfies something much deeper in us than our persistent yet temporary cravings and lusts, which when followed define us as the wild fearful animal we've chosen to be by allowing it to rule our body, which is an extension of the larger body.
Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
The wisdom spoken of here, along with Solomon's descriptions of wisdom and knowledge, are not things that men attain to. Their only desire for wisdom and knowledge is that which they can use to get more wealth or a better name. The wisdom and knowledge that Jesus heard being spoken of as he grew up in the synagogues was that secret kind, which only he seemed to have. The wisdom and knowledge that was being given to him in the secret places of his heart was specific to him, because it was about him—that the Father was alive inside him telling him that he was His Son, the one He had been waiting for, was an incredible thing for this very plain child who looked like all the other kids.
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.
It was a subtle thing, not like anything that it could be compared to, yet not outright or conspicuous at all because it's not a thing like the humans readily can be able to just comprehend. It's something so different than they're used to because it originates from another place altogether removed from the seeable, touchable, hearable, tasteable and knowable creation all around us, what we ourselves are an integral part of so it cannot be separated from our reality.
God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells,
The wisdom and knowledge that the Son of God began to comprehend was a thing that was born into him when he was first born, and which slowly grew in him. When he heard the words of his brothers being read at the synagogue, he heard on another level than all the other humans did, because of that slow-growing seed of life planted in him to enlighten him on that level. He heard that information about the treasure that was hidden and he searched for it, and kept searching.
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
The printed words of the prophets (the true brothers of Jesus) that got preserved over time, when read and studied, can do nothing more for a man than can any story written down and readable. The sons of the Father hear the words differently than do the humans, because they are by and about their true brothers, whose relationship with them is secret, because it's special and particular, not in any way generic like a public thing. When God is publicly available, then that's all God can ever be—just another thing to be able to (or not) attain to, like becoming head cashier at Ralph's or getting your diploma. When a son of God knows he has been specifically chosen to know what the others don't know—about him or themselves—that is the wisdom and understanding that Job and Solomon speak about.
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you.
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
In the beginning, when the Lord first comes to us, it is all about our lives, our nature and consciousness, reacting to the miracle of his presence in us. That is all we have at first—our own life and being, our selves, the personal identity which makes us an individual, like all the other individuals living and who have lived and died with their unique, animal identity. The life of the Lord is only a seed that is planted in us at that time, as the Lord already told us it would be.
The animals live and die with their singular animal identity, perhaps it also extends out to the others who share the same fundamental physical characteristic (DNA). To that extent all they can do is excel in whatever area they have chosen in order to enhance their identity and be as much as they can in that. Intellectualism, financial growth, beauty, good respectable name and position among the humans—whatever it is that brings them the things that their culture deems valuable. Oftentimes they overlap. There is no condemnation for them in this regard, as we would expect them to do that since that's what animals do. The animals can't understand what I'm saying because there is no way to just go outside of that identity and observe themselves if it isn't offered to them. One can't just go and get the wisdom that Solomon wrote about and Jesus understood when he heard it. That's why these writings will only appeal, or apply, to those who have had the seed planted in them. To everyone else it will all just seem like worthless nonsense. That's the way it's supposed to go, because what I'm saying doesn't appeal to their ability to enhance their animal identity or their ability to refine their identity or survive better. It is about recognizing wisdom, if it's planted in one's heart, because that's the voice of the Father telling the sons they have been chosen to be in the secret family that the humans aren't aware of.
In those born of God, two identities emerge. At first the old identity remains intact, and everything is pretty much the same at first, except for the spectator part. That is still the old man, but the part of him who wants the truth about God. There is a part of those who have been called, who look at things the way they exist and aren't satisfied. They want more—more truth, more love, more life, more sense, more devotion to God that they just can't seem to produce. It is that part which welcomes the life, but is for the most part still just observing. Sure we are excited at the prospect of the truth and sheer beauty of what is happening in us, but our old identity is still so strong that that is all we can still be—more like spectators rather than participators. Most of what is there is a hope of finding something that has been planted in us, but what we haven't been able to identify any more than on a very basic level.
Then we get opportunities to choose which life we want, whether to keep the old one (the overriding tendency) or to let it go (that which welcomes God). Our everyday existence will be full of these opportunities to do that, taking on many different forms. It may be not understanding it, or it may be trouble or persecution coming our way because of the seed which was planted. It may be the worries of the tangible identity, and perhaps the possibility of being deceived into thinking that money can dissipate any of those worries. In any case, we are given many opportunities to hang on to the old life or to choose the new one. It is the struggle and fight Paul compared it to—the race that we must participate in.
As we get further along, there will be small shifts of reality, when we have to move out of the old identity—much like growth spurts in the natural child. That will be difficult because we love to live there; it's the life we grew up with, and by which we learned the many ways to comfort and indulge ourselves in the things we did. External situations often trigger them, which make us want to choose the old way and disregard the new way.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
It is faith that allows us to choose God's way for us, faith and belief that what has happened to us did happen first of all, and that the life is growing in us, so our choices do matter because we learn that by them we can either make the new life stronger in us, or weaken it. It is faith that He knows what's best for us and has already condemned sin, the old way which leads to death, in us. When we have faith enough to lose what everyone else thinks is so valuable, we condemn the world and bless our Father.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the spirit.