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My thoughts on the Book of Job: First let me start out by saying that I have really been blessed through this study of Job. It has never been one of my favorite books of the Bible because I have always had trouble understanding how God would allow Satan to attack Job in such horrible ways. This time though the Lord opened new windows of understanding that have touched me deeply.

Satan did not pick out Job to test – God did! Satan said that he could make ANY man curse the Lord and the Lord said that Job would not curse him, and God was right! However, Job’s weakness, his flaw, surfaced during this testing. Job saw himself as being pious. He loved the Lord, he obeyed the laws of the Lord, and he loved the respect he received from others because of it. When his possessions, his family and his health were stripped from him, and when he lost the respect of others, he didn’t curse the Lord but instead wanted to present his case before God. In other words, he wanted to argue the case of his piousness with God – he wanted to convince God that he was unworthy of the trials because of his own goodness.

Only God is truly pious – only He is perfect and without flaw! Only God has the right to present His case of goodness to mankind. Mankind is so inferior to God that our goodness is only a flicker in the light of God’s greatness. We have no case to present before God. Job recognized the greatness and goodness of God, but Job also recognized what he perceived as his own greatness and goodness. He wanted to stand before God and tell God that he was too good to have to endure the trials he was facing. It was not until Job finally saw himself as being truly unworthy before God that he started repenting – and only after repenting did God restore all that he had lost and more!

It is easy for us today to see ourselves as being pious. We love Christ, we read the Bible, we pray, we attend church, we tithe in our own way, we tell others about Christ, we help others, we do what we consider is right for us to do as Christians. The danger is that we may start depending on our own piousness instead of God’s piousness for our salvation. We start thinking about what we are doing for God instead of realizing that it is really what God doing for us! We don’t need to present before God our case of what we are doing that is right because He knows what we are doing. What we need to present before God is our weaknesses, our flaws, our sinful nature, and beg for His forgiveness and strength to work through these.

God Bless!
Pat

Job 40 (NKJV)
1
Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said:
2
“Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”
6
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
7
“Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me:
8
“ Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

3
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
4
“ Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.
5
Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”

Job 42 (NKJV)
1
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
2
“I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
3
You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4
Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
5
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.
6
Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

NOTE:
There are mysteries in life that—from a human perspective—will never be answered this side of heaven or hell.

Yet, God is good and God is in control. He is rich and abundant is Mercy and He greatly desires to pour out His abundant Mercy on those who will trust Him and obey Him through Grace. Yet, He will not leave the guilty unpunished—those who persist in doing wrong.

Exodus 34 (NKJV)
5
Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
6
And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,
7
keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Isaiah 30 (NIV)
18
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

Isaiah 30 (NKJV)
18
Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.

BECAUSE WE CAN KNOW AND TRUST GOD’S CHARACTER, we can trust the Loving Father when we don’t understand what the gracious Lord allows. Even when God “doesn’t seem to make sense”, we CAN AND NEED TO TRUST HIS CHARACTER!

We can trust God's Love!

2 Corinthians 5 (NKJV)
14
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
15
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
19
that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
~~~

Job had legitimate questions, as do you and I. We can choose and allow anger and pride to gain a foothold in us so that we question God—but He is not accountable to us! We are accountable to Him!

Hebrews 1 (NKJV)
8
But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
9
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” [Psalm 45:6, 7]

This is why it is ALWAYS GOOD TO PRAISE GOD REGARDLESS OF circumstances and even if we do not have full and complete understanding.

It is not about us. God is always worthy. Consistent and persistent praise keeps our eyes on God. Praise places us in the position to be in submission to God and to receive from God so we are able to learn through difficult times when God is ready to teach us.

Isaiah 30 (NKJV)
15
For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “ In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

Praise and worship is the way that the Lord keeps our hearts pure in the midst of difficulties and when life is perplexing.

Psalm 50 (NKJV)
23
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”

What a truly awesome privilege it is to place ourselves before God and allow Him to teach us His wisdom in all stages of our lives—when life “makes sense to us and is all that it should be” or when we are perplexed about questions for which we do not have answers.

As we praise, we learn to love goodness and righteousness in all things, and we participate in the character of God the Father and God the Son.

In doing so, we learn to be like the Son of God, and God can anoint us with His Spirit of Holiness and Joy!

Hebrews 1 (NKJV)
9
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” [Psalm 45:7]

Vance

Check out this website.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i4/bishop.asp

Pat,

You hit a home-run with your comments today... You are right on track... Helps explain JOB to me and is some of the same conclusions I have drawn from the book!

Glory
jb

Pat,

Excellant comment and I believe you are "spot on". I agree with your thoughts, and am appreciative that you can express them in such a succint manner - something I have trouble with :)

Job 40-42:17

I took a while to post my thoughts today (9/2) because there were some things I saw in the Book of Job I was seeing being played out in front of me and I wanted to get not only come to grips with what I was seeing but I wanted to get some kind of understanding.

What I saw and experienced was not the “trials” of Job but the same type of character Job had in his three “friends.” When we first began reading this book, I questened the use of the word “friend” to describe Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, and Zophar from Naamath (Job 2:11). Were they calling themselves friends of Job because they knew everything about him and still liked him, or where they just acquaintances? Job considered himself “tight” with God because of all his success and his wealth, he considered himself “righteous” but the righteousness he perceived he had was based on his “works” not on his relationship with the Righteous God.

Job said,
I have heard of thee (God) by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. (Job 42:5 KJV)

Job’s relationship with God was based on what he had heard not what he had experienced with God. Job’s three friends had a relationship with an image they had in their heads, they really didn’t know the man. When God speaks to Eliphaz after speaking to Job he tells Eliphaz that 1) he is angry with him and his “two friends,” He doesn’t say three friends which would include Job. Job may see these three guys as his friends, Job may call them friends but to God they are only friends amongst themselves. Why? Could a clue be found in the writing of Paul,

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV)

Could the key be really knowing the difference between a “believer” and an “unbeliever?’ Just some things for me to think about. We may call our group of people friends but does God see us as being friends?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

I was reading from the NKJV & it doesn't call those animals hippopotamus & crocodile, in fact the animals described seem bigger & fiercer than those two. Now, I don't get into arguing about translations because I know so little - the NKJV is just what I happen to read - but as I was reading I was thinking "I'm glad I wasn't around to see those creatures!" In any case, it's awesome to think that God created them, as well as the spinning planets - Pluto now excluded (lol) - with his "fingers" and his word.

I believe that the behemoth and leviathan were actual dinosaurs talked about in Job. I take the bible literally and believe that the dinosaurs once roamed with humans, but died in the flood of Noah's time. There is no way that dinosaurs could have lived before God created man. Sin and death did not enter the world before Adam and Eve, it entered after them when they ate the forbidden fruit. Also, the word "dinosaur" didn't exist until it was coined in 1842 by British anatomist Sir Richard Owen.

I have read and studied the book of Job for a long time, but that is not to say I know all the answers, because I do not. I do believe,however, that, the behemoth is something similar to the big dinosaur. It is described far too large to be a hippo. The liviathan seems to be a "Dragon" type creature. After all, couldn't God have created a fire breathing creature, gone extinct because of the flood. Yes! That would have placed Job before the flood. Why not? That is as good as any other answer.
In Christ,
Tim A. Blankenship

Do those of you who believe the Bible is to be always taken literally also believe that Christ stating John the Baptist was Elijah meant that a dead man’s soul literally returned in a new born infant (and thus that the Bible proves the theory of reincarnation)? Since Jesus says In John 14:12-14, “In solemn truth I tell you, anyone believing in me shall do the same miracles I have done” and in Mark 16:17 that, “those who believe, in my name will cast out demons,” can I likewise assume that you also literally cast out daemons and walk on water before calling yourself Christian? Can I also assume that you’ve cut off any sinning limbs and stoned to death any disobedient children? That Paul told the American Indians his testimony since literally commanded to in Acts 22:15. Not to mention that you believe Jacob to have literally bested God (the wimp)?!?

The basis of all science is that only God knows and the best one can do is statistically provide sufficient evidence for a hypothesis (or hunch) in order to call it a theory. A theory is not just a wild guess, of course, but represents a well established body of knowledge that has undergone significant testing and peer review. Even Newton's Law of Gravitation, however, is unable to explain certain anomalous behaviors associated with planetary motion in strong gravity fields (notably, Mercury) and completely fails at the atomic level (which is why we have relativity, and after that unified field theory, and today string theory, etc). The idea that any scientific premise is open to debate is one of the hallmarks of science. But is it a principal tenet that must separate science from religion?

Why is theology so seemingly beyond such debate? For example, a boy in a biology class in Baltimore, MD last year declared, “There’s one less rib in boys!” The teacher pulled out a male and female skeleton from the closet and had the boy count the ribs to demonstrate that men and women had, in fact, the same number of ribs. The next day the boy claimed he told his priest what happened and that his priest had called the teacher a heretic. Is science and critical thinking heresy? Does knowing where babies come from diminish the hand of God making it a miracle? Why does the religious acceptance of evolutionary biology and geology need to be fundamentally different from the acceptance of other sciences, such as astronomy?

Can both evolution and the Bible be true?

Even creationist sites (http://www.answersingenesis.org/) are often forced to argue for evolution (which literally only means change) within classes, “When you realize that horses, zebras, and donkeys are probably descended from the horse-like ‘kind.’” In 2001, Michael Behe admitted his work on irreducible complexity in support of intelligent design in his 1996 book Darwin’s Black Box had a “defect” and does not address “the task facing natural selection” (see http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/klu/biph/2001/00000016/00000005/00353967). Evolution theory is likely to see some serious corrections, but it will NEVER be disproved. Of all the “creation myths,” most believe that the Bible story is the one most validated by science. For example, DNA research has demonstrated a single Eve (a single Adam is harder to do and yet to be done). Thus, any rational person must believe that Cain married his sister.

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” – Albert Einstein

3.6 million years ago, a volcano now called Sadiman puffed out a cloud of ash that blanketed the area surrounding the famous Laetoli hominid footprints. A light rain then turned the ash into a sort of cement that recorded thousands of tracks of antelopes, rhinos, guinea fowl, and monkeys, as well as the footprints of prehistoric humanoids. Volcanic rock can be dated by a method called potassium-argon dating. Hot, newly erupted lava and ash contain the radioactive chemical element potassium-40 that, over time, decays into a different material called argon-40. By comparing the ratio of potassium to argon, scientists can gauge how long this natural clock has been ticking. The age of volcanic rock and ash can be pinpointed to within roughly twenty thousand years – a mere moment in Earth's 4-billion-plus year history. Likewise, we know that “Lucy” (discovered in 1974) and other members of her species, Australopithecus afarensis, lived between 3.9 and 3.0 million years ago (3.2 million years specifically for Lucy). Australopithecus afarensis were muscular, heavy-browed humanoids that walked upright but with small, chimp-like brains where males were almost two feet larger than females (Lucy was only 3.5 feet tall). The Hader skull was discovered in 1992 (3.0 million years old) and a family of 13 individuals was found in 1975 (3.2 million years old).

Such dating comes from several methods. Potassium-Argon dating is generally provided with a plus and minus 12% 1-sigma error but can be used on samples from the beginning of the earth (4.6 billion years) to less than 100,000 years ago. Argon-40 to argon-39 ratios has recently been shown to provide even more accurate dating information but confirms these previous estimates. Other Chronometric techniques include written records (as far back as 3,000 BC), tree (living and dead) ring analysis (data goes back 8,000 years in Europe, 3,000 years in the American Southwest, and 10,000 years for a few other places), Amino Acid dating (for bones, fossilized feces, shells, and calcium rich soil for as much as 200,000 years), geomagnetic reversal time scale: magnetic north moves about 25 miles per year and has often reversed (good for dating recent events up to 8,000 BC and relative to reversals that occurred at .69, .89, .95, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, and 2.43 million years ago – this is the time frame that our genus Homo has evolved), radiocarbon dating (based on carbon-14 radioactivity decay in all living tissue after death, accurate to less than 1 out of 1,000 years after certain small corrections are applied, but only good up to about 40,000 years), urnium-238 dating for crystalline minerals (for a few decades old to the formation of the earth), thermoluminescence dating (good to about 300,000 years ago, but with higher error rates), electron spin resonance dating (new technique good back roughly half a billion years), uranium / horium dating, oxidizable carbon ratio, optically stimulated luminescence, varve analysis, and obsidian hydration dating. Relative dating techniques (to simply determine which of two items is older) include stratigraphy, index fossils, fluorine analysis, geochronology, artifact time markers, seriation, and pollen analysis. Most items can be dated accurately using several of these techniques as confirmation of the results. It is unlikely that all are outright wrong.

Moreover, the overwhelming evidence for evolution has come from four sources: 1) the fossil record of changes in earlier species, 2) the chemical and anatomical similarities of related life forms, 3) the geographic distribution of related species, and 4) the recorded genetic changes in living organisms over many generations. Much has been added to our understanding of evolution since Darwin – six different processes can operate independently or in concert to bring about evolution (recontextualization, pruning, chunking, merging, appropriation, and mutation). The current theory is called the synthetic theory of evolution since it combines the concept of Darwin’s natural selection, Mendel’s basic understanding of genetic inheritance, and a variety of evolutionary theories from population genetics and molecular biology. The biological sciences now generally define evolution as being “the sum total of the genetically inherited changes in the individuals who are the members of a population's gene pool.” Evolution is the change in frequencies of alleles in the gene pool for a population. For example, recent research has shown that a woman making poor nutritional choices during pregnancy will not only produce a child of low birth weight but a grandchild of low birth weight as well due to measurable changes in her child’s alleles. While natural selection is the most powerful evolutionary process, it only selects among the existing variation already in a population. The ultimate sources of the new variation are the recombination of existing genes and mutation. Dr. Stephen O’Brien has discovered some Europeans carry a genetic mutation that prevents HIV. We also have DNA samples from four Neanderthals, though, that show that we are not decedents. Thus, the “missing link” for humans continues to be missing. But, in the eight million years since the earliest ancestors of humans diverged from the apes, more than a dozen hominids have lived on the Earth (see http://www.becominghuman.org/ and http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/index.htm). See “Is evolution just a theory?” at http://video.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/evolution/educators/students/e_s_1.smil and “Why is evolution controversial?” at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/11/2/real/e_s_7.html on the brutality of honest reasoning. There are 480,000 research biologists and geologists in the world and about 160,000 of them are Christian. Of these, only about 700 believe in new earth creationism and yet most churches actively work to minimize such widely held beliefs.

The U.S. Supreme Court has judged that “Creation Science” is not a science because it refuses to subject itself to objective review. This intolerance is not a Biblical canon, however, but only the unfortunate state of a church effectively unchanged since the lack of such review got it into so much trouble over insisting that the Sun revolved around the Earth (as recently as 1966, Muslim leaders were still trying to suppress the Copernican “heresy”). Never has a single creationist ever received a doctorate in anthropology, spent decades in the field doing core research, or published in major scientific publications with critical review. Creationists often make the assertion that evolutionists only take the data and force it into their personal atheistic views. The reality, however, is that this actually describes ALL creationists because not a single one is actually acquiring any data (no need in their eyes). Instead they only babble on about some great conspiracy where everyone is out to get them and they refuse to discus the issues with real scientists (http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_dialog.htm). I would personally appreciate being shown the data from the “research” into global changes from the vapor canopy left by the global flood. This is not even biblical as Psalm 104:5-9 states that the global flood during creation (which IS supported by science in the creation of Pangaea) would never happen again. Moreover, when 1 Kings 10:24 states that “the whole world” sought audience with Solomon no one really thinks that this included the Native American Indians or that when Paul writes in Romans 1:8 about reports “all over the world” that he included them as well, so why expand the “global” flood. See a discussion by an U of A Christian student at http://www.saintjoe.edu/~dept14/environment/rogero/ppt/creationism_cmsharp.ppt.

It is more likely that one of you walks on water (or that Terri Schiavo could talk with an empty skull - http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101050404/scvegetative.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Schiavo#Controversy) than dinosaurs ever lived with men.

Footsteps of God,

Early in your comment you stated, "The idea that any scientific premise is open to debate is one of the hallmarks of science." Later, you said, "Evolution theory is likely to see some serious corrections, but it will NEVER be disproved." The latter statement is quite strong if we are leaving all hypotheses open to debate; if willing to openly evaluate all theories supported by evidence, it is reasonable (though arguably not likely in light of the current evidence) that even evolution could be misfounded.

Greetings and Blessings Mike! This is my "first-ever" post! I have been enjoying your "blogs" for a couple months now, having discovered it after being a "One Year Bible" (Tyndale) reader for the past 3-4 years. I am continually blessed by the harmony of the readings - so often a common thread runs through the readings, as unplanned as they are - God's "word spoken in due season" - how good and pleasant they are.
I was going to respond early on to the question about Behemoth and Leviathan being dinosaurs, but I'm glad to see someone already had responded. I'll offer these links to particular articles about them on the Answers in Genesis website...
http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v15/i2/behemoth.asp
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i4/seamonsters.asp

I'll also admonish our friend "Footsteps of God" to spend more time on the Answers in Genesis site to find answers for the questions he posts. The short answer to the question he struggles with "Can evolution and the Bible both be true" is an emphatic "No". The "evolution" that he claims Answers in Genesis is "forced to argue for" is sometimes called "microevolution" - or the adaptation over time in a species due to the LOSS of genetic information. This "natural selection" is not disputed by proponents of Biblical, young earth creationism rather is consistent with the "according to its kind" phrases in the 1st chapter of Genesis. Evolution by definition is the GAIN of genetic information which doesn't happen in nature. This is consistent with the 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics, which states that order is lost in a closed system. (hmmm - sounds a lot like what sin did to the perfect world God created!).
Lastly, I would encourage everyone to consider Darwin's Theory of Evolution in light of some not-so-well-known quotes of Darwin himself as he neared the end of his life - you may be shocked (and pleasantly surprised?!) by what you read!

Blessings Mike on your continued "ministry" through OYB!
Alan

Darwin, Charles Robert (February 12, 1809-April 19, 1882), was a British naturalist. He propounded the evolutionary theory of origins. In his work, Origin of Species, 1859, Charles Darwin wrote:

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for
the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
May we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed as superior to one of glass, as the works of the Creator are to those of man?
Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely
graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.
For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions
directly opposite to those at which I arrived.

There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one.

Reflecting on his work near the end of his life, Charles Darwin confessed:
I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas
took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.

Being bedridden many months before his death, Darwin was often found reading. When one visitor asked what it was he was studying, he replied:
Hebrews, still Hebrews. "The Royal Book," I call it.

After speaking on "the holiness of God" and "the grandeur of this Book," Darwin is reported to have stated:
Christ Jesus and his salvation. Is not that the best theme?

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