Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Fear of God is the Beginning of Wisdom...

The book of Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible. It is located in the books of wisdom. In the book of Job, there is a verse, "The Fear of God is the BEGINNING of WISDOM".

I used to read this verse as, " The Fear of God is the Beginning of wisdom"..

The emphasis on the former is that one has to fear God to even begin to understand. Such are the supernaturalists in their understanding of text and tradition and life, itself!

But, now, I understand that it means fearing "God" is Just the Beginning of Wisdom. Wisdom is practical knowledge about life throught experience, not knowledge about "God" and the supernatural.

This latter understanding is more in line with the original Jewish understanding. Wasn't it Job who suffered under the hands of those who thought they know what "God" wanted, and knew what God was doing in Job's life?

What did Job learn? Didn't Job learn that the whole creation was a mystery and that life was a gift to be lived in the present and be grasped by an awe inspiring worship?

Job's "answer" was not about a "how to", or answers the text has to offer, but life itself.

Life is hard, at times. It behooves all of us to understand that we shouldn't lay undue burdens upon others backs by being like Job's comforters.

(But, for the sake of balance, one cannot live without understanding what they will value, as this is the "stuff" where one's commitments will be. The Supernaturalists just believe that "God" should be their life commitment.)

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