Sunday, November 02, 2008

Revelation: what the Bible writers didn't know

Okay, so Job is the oldest book of the Bible. (Genesis notwithstanding.)

I was pondering the idea of spiritual revelation of truth, as it occurs in the Bible.
What are we to make of this? We can be simplistic and say that if we take the books chronologically, then each book of the Bible adds some new revelation that the ones previous to it (in chronological order) did not add. In this way we would be assuming that if the author doesn't mention something then he doesn't know about it. I'm not sure if this is true or is even the right way to go about it. But hey, I'm lazy. I can't argue from omission pro or con anything.

After all, the writer of Job (some say the writer is Moses but that's neither here nor there) doesn't mention that the universe was made in six days or that God rested on the seventh day, but he does go on a great description about the imagination, uniqueness, and strangeness of creation. (Did you give the tail to the peacock?, etc) And Job -- (the first book, mind you ... a book about an Edomite (descendant or Esau, descendant of Isaac, descendant of Abraham but not a descendant of Israel) mentions the need for a God-man who will be able to put one hand on God and one hand on man and be equal friends to both. So who knows, what the writer of Job knew?

Well, let's guess. He apparently knew about Satan. And he also knew that Satan was once a son of God who also came to the court whenever he wished. He knew that Satan was an adversary and judge and trier of man. Note: The writer of Job knew this. By REVELATION. But I don't think Job knew this. Job and his wife thought all the bad stuff that happened to them came directly from God. In all Job's weeping, he pretty much thought it was God who gave good and brought evil. Which, come to think of it, is what many Christians and many Muslims and many Hindus (although they call it karmic debt) believe. When something bad happens to a Christian, we often say, "Nothing happens except God allows it." Or "He wouldn't have been born this way (or died this way) if God hadn't planned it." So we still have that idea, the same idea Job has.

Tomorrow, let's see what revelation we find in Genesis.


Anonymous said...

Some writers in my Philosophy Text would argue that, if God allowed evil, then maybe we serve an evil God, or perhaps one that isn't all Good and All Perfect. Before I became a Christian, I had a problem similar to the doubters, I thought "Yeah, well, why would a Good God do this to Job or us?" I suppose we heard this all so much and have received the answer that God is intelligent and we know not His thoughts. I just wonder, how can we help those who don't understand Job's language of God? Perhaps more bible study for myself.

Carole McDonnell said...

Hi there, Erica

The folks I know who think that we serve an evil God don't really believe in evil in my opinion, from what I've seen. They can say that God might be evil but they say it as a kind of tease to show how deep they are. And they can call God evil but they don't really go all the way to call any speific person evil or to call humans evil.

One thing I always think about is that evil tends to be well-choreographed. If people really ponder it, evil seems to have a plan. Once they see that evil comes in a way to really make everything in a person's life even worse, or in a way to make certain people suffer more, then they will have to decide that there Is an evil purpose..from something evil. But that there is also this kindness at the core of the universe. Because of the lovely things we see. So they will have to accept evil first before they say that there is an evil God. Why would the evil God also do good? and why would the good God do evil?

Anonymous said...

Exactly. I believe if we live in a constant state of no friction, we would never know grace, or pure joy.


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