Questions that God asked Job

How many questions did God ask Job?

The Bible tells of a man named Job, who suffered the loss of his family, his possessions, and his health. When he questioned God about why this had happened, God responded…but, in His response, God did not answer Job’s question. Instead, God asked Job a series of questions. Essentially, God’s response was, “Who are you to question me?”. The idea is that we know very little about how God operates, and why He does what He does.

I find that reading this part of the book of Job to be an awe-inspiring and humbling experience. We too wonder why we suffer. For those who know little of God, the question is troubling. Those who know how God has revealed Himself to humanity over time can cite His character, and His track record of faithfulness, as evidence that He can be trusted even though we may suffer. Christians read in the New Testament that suffering produces character, which leads, in the end, to hope (Romans 5). It seems strange that suffering would lead to hope but, in my experience, suffering makes us ask important questions…questions that should, eventually, lead us to the same conclusion that Job himself came to: that God knows what He’s doing, and that we can trust Him.

Recently, someone asked me if I knew how many questions God asked Job. I wasn’t sure, and couldn’t find a definitive answer…so I did a little homework. We find the questions that God asked Job in the book of Job, chapters 38 through 42. I counted 66 question marks, so there are at least 66 questions. Some questions, however, have more than one question in them. For example, in verse 24 we find these two questions:

  • Where is the way that the light is divided,
  • Or the east wind scattered on the earth?

Here are the questions that God asked Job, taken from Job chapters 38-42. I do not offer them to you to answer the question, “How many?”, but as food for thought. As you read, consider the implications of who God is, and how vast is the difference between the Creator and mankind, His greatest creation.

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,

Who is this that darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?

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,
When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Or who enclosed the sea with doors
When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;
When I made a cloud its garment
And thick darkness its swaddling band,
And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?

Have you ever in your life commanded the morning,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?

Have you entered into the springs of the sea
Or walked in the recesses of the deep?

Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?

Have you understood the expanse of the earth?

Tell Me, if you know all this.
Where is the way to the dwelling of light?

And darkness, where is its place,
That you may take it to its territory
And that you may discern the paths to its home?

Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
Which I have reserved for the time of distress,
For the day of war and battle?

Where is the way that the light is divided,
Or the east wind scattered on the earth?

Who has cleft a channel for the flood,
Or a way for the thunderbolt,
To bring rain on a land without people,
On a desert without a man in it,
To satisfy the waste and desolate land
And to make the seeds of grass to sprout?

Has the rain a father?

Or who has begotten the drops of dew?

From whose womb has come the ice?

And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?

Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
Or loose the cords of Orion?

Can you lead forth a constellation in its season,
And guide the Bear with her satellites?

Do you know the ordinances of the heavens,
Or fix their rule over the earth?

Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
So that an abundance of water will cover you?

Can you send forth lightnings that they may go
And say to you, ‘Here we are’?

Who has put wisdom in the innermost being
Or given understanding to the mind?

Who can count the clouds by wisdom,
Or tip the water jars of the heavens,
When the dust hardens into a mass
And the clods stick together?

Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
When they crouch in their dens
And lie in wait in their lair?

Who prepares for the raven its nourishment
When its young cry to God
And wander about without food?

Do you know the time the mountain goats give birth?

Do you observe the calving of the deer?

Can you count the months they fulfill,
Or do you know the time they give birth?

Who sent out the wild donkey free?

And who loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
To whom I gave the wilderness for a home
And the salt land for his dwelling place?

Will the wild ox consent to serve you,
Or will he spend the night at your manger?

Can you bind the wild ox in a furrow with ropes,
Or will he harrow the valleys after you?

Will you trust him because his strength is great
And leave your labor to him?

Will you have faith in him that he will return your grain
And gather it from your threshing floor?

Do you give the horse his might?

Do you clothe his neck with a mane?

Do you make him leap like the locust?

Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars,
Stretching his wings toward the south?

Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
And makes his nest on high?

Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who reproves God answer it.”

Now gird up your loins like a man;
I will ask you, and you instruct Me.
Will you really annul My judgment?

Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?

Or do you have an arm like God,
And can you thunder with a voice like His?

The following questions are related to “behemoth.” The identity of behemoth is unknown, but the text clearly suggests a large beast. Some commentators suggest that this is an elephant, a hippopotamus, or possibly a dinosaur.

Behold now, Behemoth, which I made as well as you…
Can anyone capture him when he is on watch,
With barbs can anyone pierce his nose?

The following questions are related to “leviathan.” The identity of leviathan is unknown. Some commentators suggest that this may be a crocodile, a whale, a shark, a dragon, or a dinosaur.

Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?

Or press down his tongue with a cord?

Can you put a rope in his nose
Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

Will he make many supplications to you,
Or will he speak to you soft words?

Will he make a covenant with you?

Will you take him for a servant forever?

Will you play with him as with a bird,
Or will you bind him for your maidens?

Will the traders bargain over him?

Will they divide him among the merchants?

Can you fill his skin with harpoons,
Or his head with fishing spears?

Behold, your expectation is false;
Will you be laid low even at the sight of him?

No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him;
Who then is he that can stand before Me?

Who has given to Me that I should repay him?

I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
Or his mighty strength, or his orderly frame.
Who can strip off his outer armor?

Who can come within his double mail?

Who can open the doors of his face?

Do We Have Useless Vestigial Organs?

Do we have useless vestigial organs?

A common claim among those who believe that Darwinian evolution adequately explains life as we know it is that humans have a lot of leftover parts from our primitive ancestors. Whether it’s ‘junk DNA’ or vestigial organs, the idea is that our ancestors needed these parts for survival, but that we no longer need them. A list of such no-longer-needed body parts might include the following:

  • Appendix
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Tailbone (coccyx)
  • Body hair

…and so on. Below is a video by Answers in Genesis contributor Dr. David Menton, who is an anatomist. If one is going to believe that certain body parts have no function in modern humans, it makes sense to check that idea with people who specialize in anatomy. This video was made in response to a Vox video that says we have body parts that we don’t need. I post the video not because it answers all of the questions about such body parts, but because it shows that it’s easy to claim that we don’t need things like tailbones and much harder to back up the claim. Before you uncritically accept any claim (including my own), do a little homework. You might be surprised to find that there’s more to it than you first realized.

GodWords in Your Language

Thanks to the magic (technology) of Google Translate, readers can now see GodWords in many different languages! It’s fun to play around with it…look at the sidebar and choose a language. No automatic translator is perfect, but I hope that adding this feature to GodWords will help a lot more people than just the English version. I’m (sadly) monolingual, and I know that many GodWords visitors would be more comfortable reading in their native tongue. Please contact me if you have any questions. google-translate

A Quiz on the Trinity

Do you understand the doctrine of the Trinity?

You might, and you might not. Tim Challies, a well-known blogger and thought leader, has created a nifty interactive online quiz for you. If any part of this quiz confuses you, or if you need clarification, leave a comment below.

challies-trinity-quiz

Try the Quiz now!

Molinism vs Calvinism: William Lane Craig and Paul Helm

Calvinism is a system of Christian thought known for a specific view of the predestination of believers. Molinism is a lesser-known system with a different view. If you’ve ever wondered about soteriology – that is, the doctrine of salvation – this podcast might be helpful to you.

The operative question in this debate is whether we make the choice to be saved, or whether God chooses whether we will be saved. Neither side of the debate accepts the idea that we can save ourselves, of course…but the two sides differ on whether free will is involved in salvation.

The King James Only Controversy

What is it?

The KJVO controversy is about whether Christians should consider only the King James Version of the Bible to be reliable and trustworthy. While there are a variety of views within the KJVO movement, the basic idea is simple: no other Bible will do.

The King James Only movement is largely built on the claim that modern Bibles are doctrinally corrupt…that they have strayed from responsible and accurate translation of the Greek texts. There are a variety of other claims in the movement. Here are a few:

  • The KJV is the only true word of God.
  • The KJV is the only English translation that can be trusted.
  • The KJV contains no errors.
  • The KJV was supernaturally translated by God.
  • The KJV is more perfect than the manuscripts from which it was translated.
  • The KJV contains no errors or problems with translation.
  • To understand God’s Word, everyone on earth should learn English…so they can read the KJV.
  • Any deviation from the KJV is wrong, and may create doctrinal errors.
  • Translators (and possibly readers) of modern Bibles have a sinister ulterior motive.
  • Modern Bibles are a perversion of God’s Word.
  • Modern Bibles like the NASB and NIV are part of a satanic conspiracy to lead the world astray.
  • People who use other Bibles are not Christians.

Which KJV?

There are a number of different versions of the King James Version. Most KJVO advocates do not use the version finished in 1611, but the Blayney version from 1769. Between the two are revisions from 1613, 1629, 1638, and 1762. After many years of discussing this issue, no KJVO person has suggested to me that one is better than the other. This is a serious problem for their point of view, as each differs from the others.

Errors in the KJV

Most KJVO advocates claim that the KJV is better than all other Bibles because it alone is without error. This is absurd, and demonstrably false. The errors in the KJV are too numerous to list here, but it only takes one error to prove them wrong. I’ve made note of a few that should be persuasive for anyone willing to consider the evidence. Unfortunately, I’ve never met a KJVO advocate that was willing to consider the evidence…they usually run away from it. If you’re a KJVO person who wants to discuss the evidence, please leave a comment!

Unicorns

Most adults realize that unicorns don’t really exist. KJVO advocates must overlook the nine times that the word “unicorn” appears in the KJV: in Numbers 23:22, Numbers 24:8, Deuteronomy 33:17, Job 39:9, Psalm 22:21, Psalm 29:6, Psalm 92:10, and Isaiah 34:7 (read on Biblegateway). The Hebrew word is RE-EM, and probably means an auroch or other, now extinct, wild bull.

Easter / Passover

In Acts 12:4, the KJV mistranslates Pascha as Easter, rather than Passover. I’ve written more about this in Easter in the KJV.

Jupiter/Zeus, Mercury/Hermes

In Acts 14:12, the KJV says that the people in Lystra called Paul “Mercury” and Barnabas “Jupiter”. This is in spite of the fact that the Greek uses the words “Zeus” and “Hermes”. (read on Blue Letter Bible)

Don’t trust the demons

In Acts 16 we read about a young lady, possessed by a demon, who followed Paul and Silas. The demon – according to the KJV – said that they were servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. Unfortunately, this is simply wrong. The Greek (the original language of the New Testament) doesn’t say “the way of salvation.” It says “a way of salvation.” The Greek word is Hodos, which means “a way” (see the definition in context). The demon wasn’t agreeing that Paul and Silas taught the only way to be saved…it suggested that they taught one of many ways. The King James is simply inaccurate here.

Listen to the KJV translators

Most Bibles have a preface, in which the translation team explains their motives and methodology. The KJV is no different. The 1611 version of the KVJ had an extensive preface, removed from later versions. Read the full preface. In it, the translators themselves demolish the KJVO controversy:

  • They didn’t intend to make a new translation, but to improve on previous ones
  • They acknowledged that previous Bibles were “the word of God” despite containing “imperfections and blemishes”
  • They wrote that translations will never be infallible.
  • They noted the supremacy of the original manuscripts over any translation
  • They wrote that one should not object to the continual process of correcting and improving English translations of the Bible
  • They were often unsure how to translate specific words or phrases
  • They did not always translate the same Greek or Hebrew words into the same English words

Questions and Objections

But the NIV takes out stuff

The primary target of KJVO folks is the New International Version (NIV). Their claim is that the NIV translators have removed crucial words and phrases from the Bible, undermining God’s word and leading unwitting people astray. There is a very serious flaw in this argument: they invariably use the KJV as the standard. Any word or phrase that differs from the King James is then suspect.

Is this logical? Of course not. The KJV translators themselves would object to this method. They would never consider the KJV to be the standard by which all future Bibles should be judged. Instead, they would recommend exactly what the NIV translators have done: go back to the manuscripts, in their original languages, and try to improve on the Bibles that already exist.

Trickery: comparing the KJV and NIV

The KJVO folks like to compare verses side by side, to show how the NIV (or other Bible) differs from the “right Bible” – that is, the KJV. That seems reasonable, on the surface. It’s a serious problem, however. It presumes that the KJV is always right, and that other Bibles are corrupt because, well, they’re not the KJV. The proper approach is not to compare one translation or version with another, but to compare all of them with all available ancient manuscripts.

There are more scholarly ways to describe this controversy, involving more complex considerations like different manuscript families, formal vs dynamic equivalence, and so on. This article is meant as an overview…a summary of the controversy and why I believe the KJVO folks have no real argument. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask them.

What I am NOT saying

I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with the King James Version of the Bible. In fact, I recommend it. One could read the KJV and learn all they need to know about being in a right relationship with God. I’m not criticizing the KJV here…only the idea that the KJV is in any way superior to every other quality Bible. I agree with the KJV translators: it’s good, but not perfect. Those who claim that the KJV is better than any other Bible must not only claim it, but also demonstrate it. Simply put: they cannot.

Porn: Human Trafficking at Your Finger Tips

Would you protest a politician and then donate to their campaign? Of course you wouldn’t. When so many who are involved in porn are doing so against their will, why would you protest human trafficking and continue to watch porn?

Get involved. Take a stand. Make a change.