Job’s friends- Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar- claimed to know all about God. But they actually knew very little. The words they offered Job were cutting, angry and accusatory. In their opinion, his great and terrible sins had caused God to punish him and make him suffer- if only he would repent!
An aside: Warren Wiersbe, in his book Be Patient, writes of how shocked the people of Job’s community must have been to hear the long list of heinous sins that Job had committed, according to his buddies. Poor Job was slandered in front of his neighbors and business associates. I had never thought of that aspect. I had always assumed this was a private war of words between Job and his friends.
Yet Job continued to protest his innocence. Yes, he knew he was a sinner, but not a great and terrible sinner with unconfessed sins. He knew that God does not always punish the wicked and prosper the righteous, as his friends insisted. Job knew there was so much more to this God he served. This man, who lived thousands of years ago, knew that God was the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
“‘He stretches out the north over empty space, and hangs the earth on nothing. He wraps up the waters in His clouds; and the cloud does not burst under them. He obscures the face of the full moon, and spreads His cloud over it. He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters, at the boudary of light and darkness. The pillars of heaven tremble, and are amazed at His rebuke. He quieted the sea with His power, and by His understanding He shattered Rahab. By His breath the heavens are cleared; His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent. Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; and how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?'” ~ Job 26:7-14
We now know that the earth is suspended on nothing, yet it spins on its axis and does not move dangerously out of place. The waters of heaven are wrapped up and held in the clouds, ready to pour out the rain or snow when it is time. The face of the moon is obscured, because remember, it is always full, just not always fully visible. There is a clear line between heaven and earth, viewed perfectly on the horizon over the water. God causes trembling and stillness, clouding and clearing. He controls the mighty sea creatures (water dinosaurs!).
As mere men, how can we truly understand God and His ways? How can we possibly think we can explain how exactly earth came into being? And how can we claim to know all about God?
We are given glimpses of God’s character, His very nature, in the Bible. He has revealed Himself to us, if only we are willing to study and learn. But we can never understand and know in full about God- He is God, too big and awesome for our finite brains. And here is where our faith enters the picture- believing that “‘Thy word is truth'” ~ John 17:17b and trustworthy.
The Bible tells us, “Thy word [is] true [from] the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments [endureth] for ever.” ~ Psalm 119:160 (KJV). God’s word is true, from the beginning: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:1. God created the world. Jesus is our eyewitness at this event! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” ~ John 1:1-4
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty'” ~ Revelation 1:8. “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.'” ~ Revelation 22:13. God is the beginning AND the end, and everything in-between, “who is and who was and who is to come”.
“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him,” ~ Revelation 1:7a
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” ~ Revelation 22:20-21
From the very first verse, “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1), to the last (Revelation 22:20-21, above), in this book we call the Bible, we are told God is and was and is to come. He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. He is with us right now, He was there in the beginning, and He is coming. Amen!