Ask the former generations

Posted on April 24, 2012 by


In the midst of the conversation between Job and his friends, we see some genuine nuggets of wisdom. Bildad shares great wisdom with Job, and with us for that matter, in Job 8:8-22. He calls Job to listen to the wisdom of those that have gone before him.


“Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?
Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh?
While still growing and uncut, it withers more quickly than grass.
Such is the destiny of those who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.
What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies upon is a spider’s web.
He leans on his web, but it does not hold.
He is like a well watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden;
it entwines itself around a pile of rocks and looks for a place among the stones.
But when it is torn from its spot, that place disowns it and says, ‘I never saw you.’
Surely its life withers away and from the soil other plants grow.”


As we seek to apply the scripture to our lives and desire to grow in wisdom, we need to heed Bildad’s advice. We should value and learn from the former generations. Our culture today minimizes or even negates the wisdom and experience of those that have gone before us. We live in a culture that craves the new and hip rather than the tried and true. I fear that we often are attracted to slick styles rather than true substance.  As leaders we need to major in substance and not be distracted by the temptation to be hip and flashy.  There are older people around you with great wisdom and life experience. They have faithfully walked with Jesus for a long time.  Do not ignore them just because they may not be technologically savvy or flashy. Let them speak into your life.  They may be able to see spiders webs and dry soil much better that you can.  All of us need some older mentors to walk with us in our faith. Who is walking with you?

Principle: Improve your leadership by learning from those that have gone before you.