The Book Of Job is about so Much More than Suffering — There is Wonder!!!!
The book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible. Some experts say it was written as much as 500 years before Moses penned Genesis. We think of Job as the book of suffering, pain, and ultimately, patience. But, when you stop and consider that the words of Job were written 500 years before Genesis, then if Job talks about the creation of the universe and the creation of the world, it has some significant information we are ignoring. In fact, what if Job contained descriptions of nature that matched what we have subsequently discovered through science? When we look at the words of God in Job, what if God’s proclamations match the record of nature? Wouldn’t that be something? Creation accounts that predate the account in Genesis. God’s words describing how He constructed nature matching what we have since found out about the universe. Amazing, if true.
Well, it is!
In Dr. Hugh Ross’ latest book releasing on October 1, 2011, Job is dissected and reveals some amazing truths about the world around us. The title says it all, “Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job”. As Dr. Ross says in the title to one of the chapters in this book and from the book of Job we find “Answers to Timeless Questions”. Let me just list a few of the amazing conclusions Dr. Ross draws from this in depth study of Job.
- The Creation-Day Controversies: One of the hottest topics among apologists (defenders of the truth of the Christian worldview) revolves around the length of the creation day in Genesis 1 and 2. Dr. Ross makes the point that the reason Moses gives us a rather spare description of the creation of the universe and the earth in Genesis 1, particularly between verse one and two is because “Moses made no mention of God’s activity during that era because Job had already done so.” He then discusses the details of God’s words to Job about His creation in Job 36 and 38. His conclusion, and this is rather convincing, is that “Moses uses the literary device of creation ‘days’ as tableaus, snapshots of divine creative activity.” In fact, Dr. Ross lists a table of twelve creation miracles described in Job 37-39. In summary, no matter where you fall on the controversy of the length of the creation days in Genesis 1 and 2, Dr. Ross has made a compelling case that Job can help clear up this issue with a careful analysis of the book of Job. I suggest you read the book for yourself.
- Two more Genesis controversies are tackled and Dr. Ross does not retreat from the problems of a global versus a local flood and death before the fall of man. Again, he makes a very sensible and logical argument that passages in Job indicate the flood was a local flood that killed all of humanity living in one geographical region as opposed to a global flood that covered the entire planet. Also, he makes a compelling case that there was physical death before the fall of Adam and that the “death” referred to Genesis is spiritual death. In Job chapter 38, Ross points out the reference to predatory activity, deemed good by God, takes place on the fifth creation day and therefore, physical death had to have occurred before sin entered the world. Again, these are two controversial interpretations of Genesis and I suggest the readers study the compelling evidence offered by Dr. Ross and draw their own conclusions.
- Less controversial for Christians is Dr. Ross’ contention that Job describes humanity as special and made in the image of God. In today’s postmodern, naturalistic culture the value of human life as something special and unique is denied. Ross points to key scriptures in Job that illustrate “Humans alone, among all Earth’s creatures, carry a certain reverence for the divine, an awareness of God and the sacred.”
- Ross has a very nice discussion on the origin of life and the underlying random processes of evolution. He draws the conclusion: “Without access to propositional revelation, or sacred writings, they [Job and his friends] deduced from nature that God, not nature itself, must be the causal agent behind all three origins of life: physical, soulish, and spiritual.”
- So what is soulish? Dr. Ross has dedicated several chapters to the nephesh, creatures created by God that have the capacity for a relationship with humanity. These creatures are discussed in great detail in these chapters and Ross shows how these creatures “can teach us innumerable, invaluable lessons about life and the Creator of all life. Animals show us how richly the Creator has provided not only for our basic survival but also for our pleasure, joy, and quality of life. Animals allow us to see, by comparison, the unique glories of humanity and what it means to bear the image of God . . .” A powerful rebuttal to the current trend to make humans equal to or less than animals!
- Many other topics are covered such as global warming and, of course, the issue of pain and suffering, an area Job is well known for.
In all, “Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job” is one of the most through provoking and insightful books to come out in recent years on the growing controversies, not only among apologists, but between Christians and scientists and skeptics. Dr. Ross has done a monumental job of using the words of the oldest book in the Bible to illuminate the truths of the rest of the Bible. His words and conclusions are very convincing and non-believing skeptics and those apologists disagreeing with his “testable creation model” should read this book and consider the words very carefully. We tend to read through Job for the Biblical truths about suffering. But, there are indeed many “hidden treasures” to be mined in Job that will illuminate the truth of God as the Creator and Maintainer of our universe. I highly recommend this book.s