When God Speaks Science
Teddy L. Desta
In the Bible there are several places speaking that God, only God, created the universe. (Gen. 1; Job 38; Ps. 33:6-7, 119:90-91; Prov. 8; Is. 40; Jer. 10:11). The Bible also declares about the infinite wisdom and knowledge of God (Da. 2:19-22; Prov. 8; Rom. 11:33-35). God invites us to the storehouse of his wisdom and knowledge (Prov. 2:1-7, 4:1-13, 9:1-6; 1 Cor 2; Col. 2:3). And He teaches how to access His knowledge and wisdom. It starts with accepting Jesus as Lord (Col. 2:3). It requires us to be filled with the Spirit of God, who can search (explore) all things related to God (1 Cor. 2). It requires a holy walk with God and diligence in studying the Bible (Job 28:12-28; Prov. 2:3-5, 8:34-35).
One place we notice God declaring His wisdom and knowledge is in the closing chapters of the Book of Job. These chapters come as a surprise to many readers. God seems to miss the question Job has been crying out for an answer for several chapters. God chose not to address Job’s question: “God, why I am made to suffer like this?” Instead God does a strange thing. He overwhelmed Job with a lecture on cosmology. Some Bible commentators take God’s lecture as a form of His rebuke to Job’s relentless questioning. If Job cannot understand any part of God’s creative powers and wisdom, how can he understand God’s ways in his life? God can allow the most awful calamities to work out His splendid will. As this might silence Job’s restless questioning, as I show here, God’s words carry deeper “scientific” messages to future generations.
I argue God’s statements on cosmology and related matters are divine challenges to humanity to go on a journey of exploration and investigation. God’s questions posed to Job, in today’s terms, are scientific. Starting with the scientific works of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton man has embarked on a long scientific journey, which all clear reasons, are addressing the questions God poses in the closing chapters of Job.
There are a few assumptions and premises I follow in interpreting God’s words in the Book of Job.
Assumption 1: God’s speech to Job (chapters 38 through 41) are challenges issued to mankind to investigate the wisdom God manifested in the created world.
Assumption 2: God’s speech contains challenges to mankind to do certain things to prove man’s capabilities and inventiveness.
Premise 1: To understand God’s speech in Job chapters 38 through 41 and man’s subsequent scientific and technological response, first we must accept a certain form of Biblical hermeneutics. This is an interpretative mode that God spoke in a veiled form that requires working with analogy, imagery, and figure of speech to reveal the message. Literal interpretation fills the commentaries. But, this time, we must go beyond the familiar. We should let the Holy Spirit remove the veil to disclose God’s words’ true and meaning and purpose.
My presentation will be non-conventional as I rely on decoding analogy, imagery, and figurative speech (and as I make a futuristic reading of the Bible) as the basis of my interpretation. My line of interpretation on the reader’s part demands some familiarity with non-literal (symbolic) interpretation of the Bible and the history of scientific and technological discoveries.
The aim of this paper are two related objectives: (i) To show how the Bible expects and expresses modern science and technology using terms ancient in form, and
(ii) To show how humanity met God’s expectations and challenges through a series of scientific investigations and technological breakthroughs.
Here I will present just a few selected examples taken from the Book of Job and the Book of Proverbs.
[to be continued.]
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