Reading through the Bible together

Monday, July 22, 2013

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Job answers his friends with dismay. “What help are you to one without power, have you brought salvation to an arm without strength?” (v. 2). “What advice have you given to one without wisdom?  How many have you made knowledgeable?” (v. 3) “To whom have you spoken and what spirit came out of your mouth?” (v. 4).


The next verse seems to be a mocking by Job of their Egyptian theological approach and asks: “Why do you keep thinking about the gods and the sacred bark that takes men away from under the waters?  When men hear this, they tremble” (v. 4). Job wants to know the specifics of the source of this Egyptian theology of what the dead go through after death. There are no evil monsters lurking on the heavenly Nile trying to grab the deceased souls from the bark of the [sungod] Ra as he makes his trip at midnight through the twelve gates to the judgment hall of Osiris, the judge of the dead.


“The underworld is open before God and the place of destruction is not covered” (v. 6).  It is not true that Satan lives cozy and protected from God’s power. Revelation 9:11 indicates that Satan [in Hebrew Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon meaning Destruction and Destroyer] is already “king” over all evil and the final future that will become “Hell.”


Job reminds his friends that “God stretched out the skies and stars at Creation and suspended the earth on nothing (Genesis 1:1-2). Since God is over the mighty waters, Job’s friends should not go around with culturalfables of haunting situations of men who have died and are waiting under the waters for the [sungod] Ra to get them. Then Job uses a sentence that is the most remarkable and shows that he did not believe the earth stands on pillars as some did. “God suspends the earth upon nothing” (v. 7).  Moses believe that the earth is square, nor flat, nor standing on pillars. Job continues and says that God found a way to bind the rain in a cloud and it stays there for a while before it comes back to the earth (v. 8). God covers His glory at His throne (v. 9). “He encircles upon the face of the waters with a horizon and there is a boundary between light and darkness (v. 10). “The structures of the heavens are astonished at His rebuke” (v. 11). “By His power He stills the waters and pierces the monster in the sea.  By His power He adorns the sky (vv. 12-13).  


In heaven, the angels were astonished at His creative acts and His spoken words at creation: “Let there be.” In the end God will manifest the same power He did at creation. “Behold, these are the ends of His ways [with Hell the final eradication of all evil and a new earth as the last act of this world’s history], and who can fully understand His mighty deeds” (v. 14). Moses and Job had a biblical view of the final events.  Scholars who believe in a late origin of the teachings of final events can shelve their ideas.


Dear God,

We also understand with Job and Moses the final eradication of Satan and his angels. Standing at the door of great events concluding this world’s history, help us to stand firm. Amen.


Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea