So I read the entire book of Job today and came across some interesting insights when reading the creation accounts contained within it today. Here are the notes I took in the red notebook I use to take notes on the topic of apologetics. Hugh Ross wrote a book called “Hidden Treasures In The Book Of Job” where he cites various passages that give some amazing insight with regards to Creation and what this ancient book of The Bible has to say on the matter. Job 38-41 are considered to be creation accounts because they talk about God laying the foundations of the Earth. As such, they can supplement our knowledge of creation that we initially got by reading Genesis 1-2 at the very beginning of The Bible. I’m not going to list anything that Ross put in his book, I’m just going to list some the interesting hidden treasures I myself found while reading my Bible today.
Job 38:7 says the stars "sang" together and that all the angels shouted for joy. This is obviously poetic language since stars can't literally "sing" like John Cooper of Skillet or Kari Jobe. What could God mean when He says the stars "sang"? I think this could be when the stars ignited nuclear fusion and produced the elements essential for life chemistry. The white dwarf binaries were responsible of producing the fluorine needed for life. Could it be that God was referring to the numerous stars' activity in making the universe and Earth a suitable place for life?
Job 38:22-23 -- “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of hail? (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war.)"
It appears that God is saying that much of the so-called “natural evil” in the world is for the purpose of punishing sinful humanity after the fall (although the so-called “natural evil” existed before the fall”. He says that He has reserved the snow and ice for “weapons in the day of battle and war”. When was the day of battle and war? Obviously after the fall of Adam and Eve! This agrees with what David Snoke said in “A Biblical Case For An Old Earth”. He said in “A Biblical Case For An Old Earth” that the so-called “natural evil” could have been made by God as “judgments held in readiness”. God would protect Adam and Eve as well as their descendents from the natural evil (not allowing anything to kill them since they hadn’t sinned yet and therefore, did not deserve to die, but there would be no such promise that God would prevent the natural forces like tornadoes, hurricanes, diseases, etc. from causing their fatality if they had sinned, because the wages of sin is death, both spiritually and physically). However, God knew in advanced that Adam and Eve would sin. That could be why He made the world the way it is. I once heard William Dembski, a member of the Intelligent Design movement and fellow Old Earth Creationist, once say that he believed the fall of Adam and Eve had “a retroactive effect” on nature. That is to say, he believed like young earth creationists do that The Fall did radically effect nature, but it worked backwards in time in a similar fashion that the crucifixion of Christ had a retroactive effect on people who submitted themselves to God even before Jesus was even born and lived to be crucified for their sins. At the time I read those comments from him, I had no idea what he meant or how that could possibly be so. I mean, if Adam and Eve’s sin caused God to curse nature, how could this possibly work BACKWARD in time? That would require the law of causality to work backwards wouldn’t it? Well, God knew in advance that His creatures would disobey His orders not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (the forbidden fruit) and so could have acted according to how He knew Adam and Eve would act. What I mean by that is that God could have “cursed creation” at the very moment of creation due to the fact He knew His creatures would rebel against Him.
This notion of natural disasters being “judgments in readiness” as David Snoke put it, seems consistent with what God said in Job 38:22-23. God knew human beings would turn towards sin and evil…and…so, He made the dangerous natural forces for “weapons in the day of battle and war”. Perhaps this is what Bill Dembski meant when he said he believed the fall had a retroactive effect.
Of course, this isn’t to say that creating the universe with “judgments held in readiness” (a sword waiting to strike to punish humans for the inevitable sin) is the only reason why God created the world with animal death and pre-fall natural disasters. God could have many other morally sufficient reasons for allowing things like animals dying pre-fall. Clink on the link below to see an earlier blog I wrote on possible reasons why God allowed millions of years of animal death.
“Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth?” -- Job 38:33
God appears to have hinted at the universe being fine tuned for life. He asks Job if he knows the laws of the universe. He also asks Job if he could “regulate” those laws for the Earth. Wait, so the laws of the universe are “regulated” for the Earth? Sounds like fine tuning to me!
"Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct?" – Job 38:35
Although Lightning is produced by natural causes and fired at random, God, in this passage, clearly tells us that sometimes, on occasion, He actually directs the lightning to strike specific targets. Lightning can be thought of as a Star Trek space ship flying on auto pilot. It acts on its own most of the time, but the one who made the ship can take the ship off auto pilot and direct it wherever He wishes in order to achieve His intended goals. One such example is when Elijah had a showdown with the prophets of Baal. Whoever struck the alter first was the one true God. The prophets of Baal danced around, trying to summon Baal and have him strike the alter that they had prepared for him, but it was to no avail. Then, after hours of watching the prophets of Baal make fools of themselves, Elijah called upon God and asked Him to strike the alter that Elijah had made for him in order to show the Israelites that He was the one true God. God did this by striking the alter with lightning and setting it on fire. God took over the laws of nature and directed the lightning at the alter in order to display His power and bring the Israelites to repentance and back to a worship of Himself.
By the way, for those Christians who advocate blind faith (belief without a reason to believe) this passage is really problematic for them. God did not demand the Israelites to believe in Him without evidence of His existence. In fact, He provided such evidence by striking the alter with lightning after Elijah had requested Him to. I wonder how that showdown would have went down if God did nothing and Elijah simply turned to the Israelites and said “Look, I know God didn’t do anything when I asked Him to. But you’ve got to believe that He is the one true God! You just gotta have faith brothers!” Please. As C.S Lewis once said, “God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than any other slackers” and as Galileo put it “I do not believe that the God who endowed us with reason and intellect would intend for us to forgo their use”. But this is a different subject altogether.
“Can you stalk prey for a lioness and satisfy the young lions’ appetites as they lie in their dens or crouch in the thicket?” - Job 38:39-40
These 2 verses talk about lions hunting for their prey. Given that Job 38-41 is a creation account, this causes problems for young earth creationists who insist that there was no carnivorous activity before the fall.
And of course, last but not least, there's Job 9:8 which talks about the expansion of the universe. Job says that God alone "stretches out the heavens". Ok, I said I wasn't going to talk about any of the scientific insights from the book of Job that Dr. Hugh Ross mentions in his book "Hidden Treasures In The Book Of Job" but I just thought I'd bring that up because it's really amazing how such a scientific concept can show up in a book written thousands of years before scientists discovered it. That's just one of many Bible verses which speak about God "stretching out the heavens" (one of the fundamental aspects of Big Bang cosmology). Other such verses include Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 45:12, Isaiah 48:13, Isaiah 51:13 and Jeremiah 10:12.
*Addendum: The author of this post has moved away from Concordism. This article should be used for research purposes only.