The 1662 Book of Common Prayer readings for this morning are Job 28 & Acts 16:16-40.
Job 28:1-11 are a description of the valuable items found in the earth: silver, gold, iron, copper, precious stones, food and fire.
Job 28:12-28: Job asks the question but where can wisdom and understanding be found? In other words in the midst of the valuables the earth brings forth where is wisdom and understanding?
Job give many illustrations describing the inability of man to find them or purchase them:
- Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living. (vs 13)
- The deep says, “It is not in me’; and the sea says, ‘It is not with me’. (vs 14)
- Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, Nor can silver be weighed at its price. (vs 15)
- It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx or sapphire. (vs 16)
God, however, has it and knows where they are located:
- He saw it and declared it; He established it and also searched it out. (vs. 27)
- And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding. (vs. 28)
Thus, the valuable items for this earth man can find but wisdom and understanding come from God’s hand.
The point of the story is God’s power is greater than all and His ways higher or unknown to man’s ways.
God’s power is shown as Paul casts the demon out of the slave girl and as He guides Paul and Silas through the immediate trial, beating and imprisonment and the salvation of the jailer and his household.
God’s ways are shown in Paul’s witness of God before the chief magistrates, the Philippi people , the prisoners including the jailer.
God concludes His power and ways as Paul and Silas return to Lydia’s house where they report how God worked in the city including bringing salvation to the jailer. He and his household would ultimately have to join with the Christians at Lydia’s house.
Jesus said He would build His church (Matt 16:18) and this is the way He does it: with His power and wisdom.