• William T. Howe Ph.D.

June 5, 2021

Daily Reading: Job 14-16

Job 15:9

What knowest thou, that we know not? what understandest thou, which is not in us?

It was a great day for me. A wonderful day. I can almost remember the exact day, time, and place where it happened. I trust you too have experienced it. It was a release. It was like a load lightened from my mind and soul. It was such a refreshing thought that it has helped me every day since. What was it? It was the moment that I realized that others knew more than I did about some things.

You see, as a young man I was somewhat like, or very much like Eliphaz. His entire philosophy of life is communicated by the above verse. He thought that no one else could know things that he did not know. He did not believe that Job could understand more than he and his friends. Basically he was asking Job, "Do you think you possess knowledge or understanding that we do not have?" Frankly, the answer to this man's question was Yes. Yes, Job knew things these three so-called friends did not know. Yes, he understood more about what he was going through than they understood. Yes, he had something in him that was not in them. This drove them mad!

They thought, through their words and accusations, that they knew all that Job knew. In fact, they thought that they knew more than he knew hence the accusations. But they didn't. It was not a matter of "smarts", it was not a matter of intelligence, it was not even a matter of learning. It was a matter of varying perspectives. Eliphaz and his friends were outside looking in, Job was inside looking out. Therefore, Job had a different perspective. The friends thought they knew, Job knew.

Back to my good day. It was a tremendous day when I realized it was okay for others to have more knowledge and understanding than I. I was not the weaker, and they were not the better. They, meaning every other person, possessed something that I did not, and I possessed things that they did not. Therefore I began to embrace every person as a teacher. If I could learn that which they knew, add it to my brain, then I would benefit from knowing them. This has helped me in so many ways that it is frankly impossible to explain in such a short devotion. One way it has helped is that I engage with all others as equal, not better than, or lesser than, simply different. Different experiences, different biases, different conclusions, simply different. This means that I can learn something from them that I did not previously know. Well, anyway, this has helped me.

When I meet someone new I always wonder, "What can I learn from this person that will help me?"

Unlike Eliphaz who must have had the thought that no-one could possibly know something that he didn't know, or understand something that he did not understand, or have anything that he did not possess. He was wrong, for Job knew, understood and had much more than Eliphaz and the other friends could possibly imagine.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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