The oldest book in the Bible teaches a much more fundamental lesson than how to respond to suffering – the lesson usually drawn from it.
Job is the archetype of every individual who questions the nature of God and his relationship to humanity. He asks the questions every single individual needs to find out. “Are you there? What are you like? Do I matter to you? Can you get me out of this mess I’m in from breaking fundamental laws of human nature (AKA sin)? Is there a purpose to my existence? Is there life after death?”
“What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment? How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle? I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.” (Job 7:17-21)
Significantly – most significantly – God responds by directing Job’s attention to Creation. If we are going to get acquainted with God and enter into a relationship with him, we have to start at the beginning.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?…And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (Job 38:1-13)
Read God’s entire answer to Job beginning in chapter 38 and notice how it parallels the account of creation in Genesis 1. We can only begin to know God’s character and interest in us by accepting him as an Omnipotent and Omniscient Creator of ourselves and a world that was made for us that is not only Being but Becoming.
This is the fundamental biblical Flat/Enclosed Earth argument, which is beyond the scope of this post. You can explore that topic or not as you choose. More on this topic as its significance comes into play with the narrative.
“Then Job answered the LORD and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be right-(eous)?…Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.“ (Job 38:1-4) 40:1-8, 42:1-6)
It is often taught that God never answered Job’s question “Why?”. I disagree. Ever work in an organization where there are office politics and rivals and pitfalls and back room maneuverings to climb the ladder? There is no orientation manual we can read to educate us beyond policies and procedures to the relational aspects of our job. It is only through shared experiences that we develop a more knowledgeable and effective working and personal relationship with our boss and his enemies. As we come to understand his motives, objectives and boundaries we no longer have to have every detail of our assigned tasks spelled out. We are entrusted with responsibility to handle problems by applying his thoughts and his ways to our responses. And we often have to take a hit as we cover his back during a strategic move by power-seeking adversaries. Yes, sometimes it feels like we have been abandoned, but when you think about how much trust our boss / God is putting in us, it’s very uplifting.
The book of Job, like any book, begins with, then wraps up with, a thesis. At the beginning we are informed that God and Satan begin a game of Risk. Then consider the last piece of information God gives Job as he replies to his questions, at the end of an entire chapter devoted to his adversary. “…he is a king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:34) Hint, hint! We’re in a battle for total domination!
And Job gets it. Genesis hasn’t been compiled by Moses yet, but the accounts recorded there had been passed down the generations, as Job’s faith in the promised destruction of the seed of the serpent by the seed of the woman proves.
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand [stance of victory] at the latter day upon the earth:” (Job 19:25)
When God pointedly draws Job’s attention to Leviathan/ crooked serpent/ dragon/ Satan, Job’s response is, “I know [now] that thou canst do every thing” even deliver me from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory (Matthew 6:13) and keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 1:24)…”I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee [in action]. (Job 42:2,5)
Job had previously “known about” God, but now he “knows God.” Job’s personal experience brought him into a personal relationship with “the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1:25)
So it must be with every person who would be on good terms with God. Our faith in God starts with accepting that he is the Creator and Lord of all, develops through listening to his messengers like Eli-hu / My God-he is], but must progress beyond that to a personal repentance of our resistance to, and a conversion to submission to his authority, which is the only possible right-eous relationship we can have with him.
“…I [Job] abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.“ (Job 42:6-7)
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 8:18-22)
Of all the religious documents, only the monotheistic reveals how to engage in a relationship with Creator God to permanently benefit from his creative power. Other religions’ writings express knowing about this Creator, but the Bible documents the process by which we can know him.
- “we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding,
- that we may know him that is true
- and we are in him that is true
- …This is the true God, and eternal life.” (I John 5:19-20)
Eternity is not longer time, it is the opposite of time. It is time-less-ness,
A common problem with simplistic religions is promoting the idea that life after death begins at death and lasts for uncountable numbers of years.
Eternity is a dimension that can’t be understood by four dimensional beings more than colors can be described to someone who is colorblind or music to someone who has been deaf from birth. It is sometimes described in religious as cycles of time, like infinity which has neither beginning nor end. Eternity is, by definition, immortality.
“…eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world / chronos / times began / aionios / a very long time ago.” (Titus 1:2)
This verse is an example of both the benefits and the confusion that comes from having different translations of the Bible. In this instance, the different translations of the phrase chronos aionios should help clarify the meaning – “the beginning of time, the world began, ages began.” The common denominator to the different translations is that there was a beginning to time.
n the beginning there precipitated out of the void matter that was finer and more subtle than light. Then came an exceptionally fine gas…a vast cosmic mist.
This gas or mist was the Mother of All Living, carrying everything needed for the creation of life. The Mother Goddess, as she was sometimes also called, will…assume many different forms, many different names, but in the beginning ‘the earth was without form and void…’
The Bible narrative continues: ‘Darkness was upon the face of the earth.’
Actually it says ‘darkness was on the (sur)face of the deep / waters‘ but only people who fact check with the source would know that the biblical narrative is being skewed here.
Interestingly, “waters” is consistent with the mystery religions’ conception of this stage of creation as being “a vast cosmic mist,” so why misrepresent the Bible as saying “earth”? Especially since the universe is what is being created?
Because, as the account proceeds, we will see that the Mother Goddess assumes the form and name / function of Mother Earth. At this point the ancient religions’ account of creation split between Monotheism and Polytheism.
Which tasks the truth-seeker with evaluating which is 1) validated by the outside record of science and 2) reliably reported internally throughout the differing accounts.
According to biblical commentators working within the esoteric tradition, this [darkness] is the Bible’s way of saying that the Mother Goddess was attacked by a searing dry wind that almost extinguished the potential for life altogether…There was a violent storm…that filled the entire universe.
So this it what it would have looked like to a physical eye, but to the eye of the imagination this great cloud of mist and the terrible storm that attacked it can be seen to cloak two gigantic phantoms…It is important to let these images work on our imaginations in the same way that initiate priests intended them to work on the imagination of the candidate for initiation… (Emphasis added.)
According to biblical commentators working within the ancient Hebrew monotheistic tradition of revelation from the mind of God himself:
“the weapons of our warfare are…Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” (II Corinthians 10:4-5)
the first emanation from the mind of God would metamorphose into the goddess of the earth, the second emanation [darkness] would become the god of Saturn.
Saturn would trace the limits of the solar system. In fact he was the very principle of limitation. What Saturn’s intervention introduced into creation was the potential for individual objects to exist – and therefore the transition from formlessness to form.
This is the antithesis of the biblical account of Creator God being in all as reported thousands of years later by the Jewish religious expert commentator of the initial report, demonstrating reliability of this account,
- “his dear Son…is the image [visible mass] of the invisible God,
- the firstborn of every creature:
- For by him [not the Mother Goddess and the god of Saturn] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things,
- and buy him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:13-17)
In other words, because of Saturn there is a law of identity in the universe by which something exists and is nothing else and neither is anything else it. Because of Saturn an object occupies a certain space at a certain time and no other object can occupy that space, and neither can that object be in more than one place at one time…in many mythologies Saturn’s title is Rex Mundi, King of the World, or ‘Prince of this world‘, because of his control of our material lives [AKA mortality].
And now we see the fundamental antagonism of the mystery religions against the Hebrew religion. The multiple forced references to limitations on time and space inherent to our current four dimensional existence is key to shaking off imagination and focusing on reality / truth.
Time is a function of entropy, degeneration, decay, loss and death. What the mystery religions are admitting is that, after the god Saturn came into being by the emanation – exhalation – breath – spirit of a timeless, immortal being, AKA Creator God, this god Saturn introduced destruction and the loss of a permanent connection to the source of life.
The state of being independent of the Creator and a free spirit is always presented as A Good Thing. But as Sellar and Yeatman allude so subtly in their historic text 1066 And All That, this may not in fact be such a good thing.
Who wants to be free when the Titanic is sinking?
“God…judgeth among the gods…They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness…I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men.” (Psalm 82)
“in the Promised Son shall all be made alive…when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all [opposing] rule and all authority and power…The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death…And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (I Corinthians 15:22-28)
At this point in the narrative it is important that this writer state explicitly that references to the Bible are NOT references to Christianity. As noted above, various schools of interpretation of the Bible have developed over time, including Higher Criticism rejecting the credibility of the Bible, mainstream Christianity accepting historical and scientific errors while clinging to mystical spiritual truths, and the recent offshoot calling itself Fundamentalism perversely trumpeting belief in total inerrancy of the scriptures while imposing contradictory revelations into the account.
The opposite of faith is determined blindness against a Creator’s evident power and authority. The known world proves the existence, power and nature of a Creator, in whom we then choose, or not, to place our faith for the unknowable and uncontrollable aspects of our own lives.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3)
What we discover is that only monotheism documents a specific individual and clearly describes his actions at the beginning and continuing throughout human history, with multiple means of validating the reports from a variety of scientific disciplines.
“Thus saith God the LORD / YHVH, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein…I am the LORD / YHVH: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:5-8)
A geological earth calendar based on measurements of things like radioactive decay is not documented in the Bible. What is documented is the doleful tolling of the deaths of men.
“And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died….And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died…” (Genesis 5:3-8)
This did not occur until the 7th day of creation, as a result of the Adams’ sin / violating a law of physics, as we shall see as we proceed.
“by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)
This timekeeping is consistent with the theme of the Bible being the history of humanity – not the physical universe which is simply the setting for humanity. Human time had a beginning – when death began – and an end – when death is destroyed.
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there sould be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished...And the seventh angel sounded.(Revelation 10:5-7, 11:15)
“So when…this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15:53-54)