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The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. It is thought that the Book of Job was written during this period, making it the first and oldest biblical writing. This would place the events of Job before the time of Moses, possibly during the era of the Bible’s Patriarchs. The Book of Job is written differently from all the other books in the Bible. It does not refer to any other books or events in the Bible. This suggests that the story of Job took place long before those in the rest of the Bible. Job uses Arabic words and describes Arabic customs, opinions, and manners. While the storyline of Job is about a man suffering from what seems to be an unjust God, it offers us a unique opportunity to learn more about our Creator.

The Book of Job records one of humanity’s early discussions with God. To read the entire conversation, go to (Job 38-42). Due to the length of the Scripture, we will look at just some highlights.

(Job 38:1-11) 1 – Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: ‘Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together, and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?

The human mind may find it hard to comprehend but before the universe was created, God existed. We also know that Jesus existed before creation:

(John 1:1) – “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

The pre-incarnate Christ was already with His Father, to partake of His glory and to be appropriately called God. Jesus, Himself explains this:

(John 17:5) – “And now Father, glorify Me with Yourself with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

We also know that the Holy Spirit was present before the universe was created. Genesis 1:2 describes the Spirit “hovering over the face” of the dark and formless earth. Therefore, even before our universe and earth was created, God existed in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity existed in perfect harmony. One might conclude that the “Big Bang,” the actual creation of our universe, and the concept of time itself were done solely for the needs of humanity!

(Job 38:12-15) – “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment. The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken. “

God states to Job that the concept of wickedness also existed before Creation. You can find a conversation between God and Satan at the beginning of the book (Job 1:6-22). The most important point is that God, not Satan, is and has always been in charge. While we may not know the exact nature of why wickedness even exists, wickedness (evil) remains subservient to our God. God then asks Job a set of piercing questions:

(Job 38:17-18) – “Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.”

God asks Job if he knows what death is like? God is pointing out that He existed before humanity was created and He will exist after death consumes our human lives. Jesus came to our world, the incarnate God, to show us “the gates through which death can lead us to God.” Our human mind is programmed to learn through observation and repetition. No one is born with any knowledge. In the comparative space of eternity, we have but a flash of existence to learn all we can learn. Our God is simply pointing out GOD IS who He IS!

(Exodus 3:14) – “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Our galaxy has been uniquely positioned in the universe to allow us the privilege to observe and learn. You can find more about this amazing fact in the book, entitled “The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery – February 1, 2004, by Guillermo Gonzalez (Author), Jay Richards (Author).” Yet, there are still some that cling to the idea of random creationism. However, unbiased observation will only find purposeful design.

In his book, “Why the Universe is the Way it is,” Caltech astrophysicist Hugh Ross states that the gravitational and magnetic forces that hold our universe together are also part of purposeful design. Ross uses this analogy. 

“Cover North American with dimes, then make the pile reach the moon. Now find one billion more continents like North America and build similar piles of dimes, reaching 240,000 miles each (to the moon). The number of dimes represents ‘ten to the fortieth power.’ Ross then states that the maximum deviation or ratio between the gravitational and electromagnetic forces must be no greater that one dime (one part in ten to the fortieth power) in order for life to exist on our planet.”

The astrophysical balance of our universe is simply astounding. This tight relationship exists among all planetary and stellar bodies within the universe. Our heavens, formed billions of years ago, have been so carefully laid out that three reflective bodies aligned to welcome our Savior as a Christmas Star over 2,000 years ago! That is not luck, not circumstance, that is perfect design!

(Job 38:31-33) “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

God then goes on in the remaining chapters to ask Job questions about life, living things. God is asking Job do you know the details of all the living diversity on our planet?

(Job 39:1-4) – “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn? Do you count the months till they bear? Do you know the time they give birth? They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.”

God is just trying to get Job’s attention. If today you were writing to Job, you might tell him that there are 6,495 species of mammals, some 900 thousand different kinds of living insects. Our oceans are home to 20,000 species of fish. Plants, yes, we have plants, estimates are over 390,000 types. We haven’t even started to list the microorganisms and other life forms that exist. God is simply stating to Job that he knows nothing about his world.

(Job 4:1-5) – “The Lord said to Job: ‘Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!’ Then Job answered the Lord: ‘I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more.”

Job finally comes to his senses.

(Job 40:6-14) – “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm: ‘Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I will admit to you that your right hand can save you.’ “

Job shuts up and finally LISTENS! Job sees his sin and repents. These are God’s answers not only to Job’s problems but to the problems of all of humankind. Tired of our world being screwed up? Tired of governments seeking unjust powers? Tired of crime, pandemics, and wars? God lays out the solution for peace! Be quiet, listen for His Truth, repent, seek Him! We live in a noisy, distractive world. Government, sports, entertainment, social media, to name a few, all compete for your time. The noise of the world drowns out God’s voice. In what may be the 1st written advice to humanity, God simply says I will show you and tell you what is necessary for eternal peace and happiness. HE IS, remember!

Job 42:1-6) – “Then Job replied to the Lord: ‘I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge? Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.’ ‘You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ ‘My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.’”

Contemplations

  • How do you personally handle the differences between the scientific community and religious community regarding God?
    • Ideas to Explore: Science and faith, creationism and evolution can and do co-exist.  Do you take time to search for their common beliefs? What are the areas of each that give you comfort in knowing we have a world under God’s direction? 
  • Why do you think people have issues with the legitimacy of the Bible?
    • Ideas to Explore: Archeology supports Scripture, have you taken the time to explore history’s findings? Do people spend enough time thinking about God and who He really is?
  • Why is there pain and suffering in the world?
    • Ideas to Explore: Suffering is always personal. Our Bible tells us it will occur. Do you think suffering proves there is a God? What about suffering helps you learn about God?
  • Everything hinges on one’s belief in Jesus and whether you believe He is who he claims to be.
    • Ideas to Explore: Every Christian must sort out whether they believe in the incarnation. Do you believe Jesus is God? Do you believe Jesus proved there is life after death?
  • God shows Job, God is not only the master planner of all things, but God is in control of everything.
    • Ideas to Explore: How does that make you feel? Do you believe there is purpose in all life’s experiences, good and bad?
  • Do people need to understand God to know He exists?
    • Ideas to Explore: God tells Job he will never understand God. Is understanding necessary for a faithful life?
  • Why is life so full of “noise?”
    • Ideas to Explore: What do we do that makes it hard to hear God? Do we hear Him but don’t like what He is telling us? What would you have to give up leading a humble life?

 

 

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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