Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 5, 2019

Job Gets a Dose of Apologetics

(3 Minute Read)

After Eden 20070205-JobBehemoth

Around 2000 BC the Old Testament patriarch Job was sick with doubt and questions. But the Great Creator cured him with a medicinal dose of apologetics (defending faith in God).

Job suffered tremendously as a result of physical ailments and tragedies that Yahweh permitted Satan to inflict upon Job. He lost livestock, servants, sons, and daughters to tragic deaths. He was smitten with sore boils from head to toe. Even his wife urged him, “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9)

Throughout the book Job proclaimed his innocence, saying he had done nothing to deserve such a traumatic and painful fate.

But the Great Creator was not impressed by Job’s protestations of innocence and complaints of an unfair lot in life. He essentially told Job that he didn’t know what he was talking about when He said to Job,
Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2)

Then the Great Creator proceeded to floor Job and silence him with a series of 80 mind-blowing questions about His awesome work of creation, questions which are humanly unanswerable. (Job 38-41)

The Great Creator plied Job with questions about geology, oceanography, astronomy, biology, and climatology. Job couldn’t answer a single one, and they are still unanswerable today.

For example, Yahweh questioned Job about the processes He used in creating the earth:
“Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,
Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the line on it?
On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone?”
(Job 38:3-6)

Among the complexities of creation which Yahweh cited to humble Job were questions about two terrifying dinosaurs, Behemoth (Job 40:15-24) and Leviathan (Job 41:1-34).

Behemoth was a huge beast. He had a tail like a cedar tree, bones like bronze, and limbs like bars of iron. No living creatures today match the Biblical description of Behemoth. It sounds very much like a large sauropod dinosaur such as the huge Brachiosaurus — or even the far larger Titanosaurus which dwarfed Brachiosaurus. The other creature, Leviathan, was a fire-breathing armored dinosaur. Leviathan was probably the actual, living, historical source of the legends of fire-breathing dragons of antiquity.

What was the point of God’s dozens of questions to Job? God’s purpose was to highlight the astonishing awesomeness of all of creation — heavens, earth, and creatures — all of which Yahweh created and Yahweh controls. His purpose was to demonstrate to Job that His surpassing greatness, wisdom, and power are far beyond comprehension (Job 40:7-14). Job is not to question his lot from God, for by doing so he is questioning God’s judgments (Job 40:8). He can only “entrust his soul to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” (1 Peter 4:19)

Did Job get the point of Yahweh’s apologetics lesson? Listen to his answer! After the questions, Job answered the Lord and said,
“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.
I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”
(Job 42:1-6)

Do You Get the Point?

The very first two questions that God asked Job are remarkably instructive in our day of worldview conflicts and confusion.
1. “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2)
2. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4)

God’s first question essentially asks Job, “Who is confusing people with false teachings and philosophies?”

The answer to that question today is this: anyone who offers “answers to life” which are not based on Scripture. What is the secret to not being deceived by any of today’s false worldviews? The secret to not being deceived is to relentlessly measure everything by the Bible! Constantly ask yourself, “Is that Biblical?” Cleave to what is true; reject what is false.

God’s second question to Job is particularly relevant in today’s struggle against the evolutionary worldview.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4)
Job has no answer of course. He was not there! The silence powerfully emphasizes God’s point. The thrust of the question is, “Were you there?”

When people spin stories about origins or the ancient past, you can target the central issue by asking, “How do you know? Were you there?” Insist that the “story” be either solidly grounded or acknowledged as speculation.

Bible believers can answer the questions, “How do you know? Were you there?” The answer is, “No, I was not there, but I have the eyewitness testimony of Someone Who was there and Who knows everything.” That is so much better than the ungrounded speculations of fallible men who were not there and who do not know everything!

“Is that Biblical?”
“How do you know?”
“Were you there?”

These are the questions that haunt the thoughts and conversations of thinking Christians. They are in essence the same questions that God asked Job. They are powerful questions that help us stay focused with a Biblical worldview in a day filled with foolishness and confusion.

Questions to Ponder

1. Which of the questions posed to Job (Job 38-41) is the most gripping for you?
2. What do you tell yourself about God’s nature when like Job you are dealing with heartache, suffering, or great loss?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the sixth post in the series on Apologists in the Bible. An apologist is one who gives a logical argument in defense of faith in God.
Read the prequels:
1. Elijah Does Apologetics
2. Peter Does Apologetics
3. Paul Does Apologetics
4. John Does Apologetics
5. Jesus Does Apologetics

Read the sequel:
7. Matthew Does Apologetics with a Sword

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 5, 2019 A.D.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4)

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