Reading through the Bible together

Saturday, August 3, 2013

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By the end of chapter 37 we discover that Elihu and his friends are not just friends of Job but instruments of a higher power. The mask is off and Satan stands fully exposed in the “Rebellion in Heaven” by the last words of Elihu. With Satan in the arena, God steps forward, as always and take him on. Yes, He has something to say for His own, part of His remnant, the believers: perfectly remaining in Christ.


“The Lord answered Job with the word minhaseorah, from the heart of a tempest (verse 1). There are not just clouds or storms in which He appears and an imaginary voice is heard. God speaks in a way for Him to be understood and He answers both the friends as well as Job  The friends fall short of the glory of God, Job does not. From the friends God asked: “Who is this who from darkness advises words without knowledge?” (verse 2). The answer is the friends of Job. Then God addresses Job: “Gird your loins and I will ask you and tell Me if you know” (verse 3).


Where were you when? (A series of questions follows). The answer is: You were not there so how do you know? If you want to speak to Me like a man face to face, do it now but first know Who it is you are talking to. Where was Job when God founded the earth?  (verse 4). Who measured it? On what were its bases sunk [on what foundation]? God is using architectural building practices to simplify the unknown complexity of the creation process. And where were you when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (verse 7). The creation of this world was done with the angels watching in astonishment the process as an audience. When there were torrents “out of the womb” [the depth] of the sea who shut the “doors” of the sea? Today we know about Tsunamis, which come when the sea is out of control.  This is Satan’s work, since God set the doors for control (verses 4-8).


God then moves into the kitchen of females to explain meteorological aspects: clouds are clothed and wrapped (verse 9). The physical laws are the clothes and wrapping of clouds, but these laws were set by God. The balancing act of all aspects and elements is God’s creation decree. The physical laws of God put limits, a bar and doors to the clouds [using again male architectural thinking]. Nature is limited by God. The Creation morning was commanded by God and so was the length of the day until evening. In the evening the sun is “to grasp the corners of the earth, meaning that evening has set times to begin. God continues to talk about the changes in day and night: “The seal changes [sets times for day and night] and at night light is withheld from the wicked.” (verses 9-13). God continues: “Day and night take on the form of clay to the seal and their light [sun and
moon and stars] shall be withheld from the joyous ones and the high proud arm shall be broken” (verses 14-15).


The Hebrew manuscript that we get from the Masoretes from which the KJV is also translated, is the reliable Word of God.  All Ancient versions are secondary and subject to this Hebrew standard.


Then God asks: “Have you gone into the swimming-end of the sea, and have you walked in the searching of the deep?” “Have the gates of death been revealed to you as well as the shadow of death?” (verses 16-17). Do you know the vast stretches of the earth where light and darkness dwell, its borders and its house? Do you know it because you were born there? (verses 18-21). “Have you visited the house of the snow and hail which I have saved for the Time of Trouble and the day of battle and war?” (verses 22-23). One wonders if the poles are the treasure-houses of snow and hail, and whether the Time of Trouble is shortly ahead. Which way the sun comes and goes is set by God (verse 24).


“Who divides the flood?” Meaning who provides rain in a season and happy birds singing. Who makes it rain on the earth where no man is to satisfy a desolate land and to cause grass to grow. Rain does not have a father and dew a mother. Does ice and frost have a mother? Waters are kept under and the surface freezes and hardens like stone (verses 25-30).


In verses 31 and 32 God asks questions about astronomy. How did Moses know about the Pleiades and Orion to understand what God was saying as the Spirit directed him to write the book of Job? Moses had studied astronomy in Egypt and shortly before his time the Babylonians were able to talk about Jupiter. Also a lense, presumably a telescope, was found by Archeologist at Nineveh in 1972.  How did Moses know that only a set number of stars in this constellation are connected which scholars can only see with a modern telescope?


Then God asks Job,“Do you know the ordinances of Heaven and can you place God’s dominion on earth? Can you control the clouds with your voice? Are lightnings at your service? Who placed wisdom inside a human and given him understanding? Who can tilt water from the clouds when the clods of earth are dry and cling together?” (verses 33-38). Who fills the lion’s stomach? When they lie down in their space and wait for prey, who gave them this instinct? (verses 39-40). The raven searches for a prey and comes back to the hungry chicks (verse 41). We might ask: “Who set the food-chain for the animals in a post-Fall hostile environment?”


Dear God,

Now that You speak, we can relax and know that the whole world is created by You with great complexity and with harmonious rules of checks and balances. Any distortion is not from You. Keep us safe in your Hand. We need You. Amen.


Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea