I am once again struck by how poorly (if at all) the protectors of the Christian faith in Congress grasp a book which it seems likely they have never read.
Today’s text again is from Job:
As for wisdom —where can she be found? Where is the place of understanding? Mortals do not know her path, nor is she to be found in the land of the living. The Deep says, “She is not in me”; and the Sea says, “She is not with me.” Solid gold cannot purchase her, nor can her price be paid with silver. She cannot be bought with gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli, Gold or crystal cannot equal her, nor can golden vessels be exchanged for her. Neither coral nor crystal should be thought of; the value of wisdom surpasses pearls. Ethiopian topaz does not equal her, nor can she be weighed out for pure gold. As for wisdom, where does she come from? Where is the place of understanding?
Where is wisdom to be found? Not in things at all, but in the fear of God.
Wisdom is not a thing, not even an greatly valued thing. Wisdom is a relationship. But it is a relationship that I might not wish to pursue. It is a relationship I might avoid. A relationship I should fear. Why?
The standard answer to this question — God should be feared because God holds life and death in God’s hands, because God is powerful — is also the least relevant in this context. Lots of things are powerful. Gold and crystal and silver are powerful. But I am not invited to fear them. Rather am I inclined to feel that I should fear God precisely because God knows that I am inclined to fear and to seek and find wisdom in these things, valuable things, things that exercise power over me.
Fearing God in this context means depriving these things of the status and power they might otherwise enjoy. But the truth is that they do not even come close. So why is the Congressional leadership, the so-called defenders of the faith, so eager to defend these things?