Thursday, January 1, 2015

Job 37:1-5 comments: Elihu speaks of God's voice

1 ¶  At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place. 2  Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. 3  He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. 4  After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. 5  God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

Elihu is awed and shaken by what he perceives as the power of God. He implores Job to listen to the sound of thunder which Elihu likens to God’s voice. Elsewhere, when God the Father spoke directly to man, in the era before there was the direct revelation of God found in a complete Bible, His voice was expressed as having great power.

Psalm 29:1 ¶  « A Psalm of David. » Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 3  The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. 4  The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5  The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. 6  He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. 7  The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. 8  The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. 9  The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. 10  The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. 11  The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

John 12:28  Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29  The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.

The voice of God is important to consider. Remember, that all things were created by His merely speaking them into existence. In that first chapter of Genesis, “And God said,” is written ten times in regards to creation. There is a strain of thought among Physicists called String Theory that postulates that all matter and energy is composed of strings of vibrations. Vibrating energy is essential to understanding sound waves. God’s word is powerful sound and sound passing through water produces light.

Genesis 1:1 ¶  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 ¶  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Sonoluminescence is light produced by sound passing through water. There is an unproven theory that sound passing through water can produce nuclear fusion, the characteristic of stars according to modern theories, in a process called Sonofusion.

And Jesus Christ is the Word, capital W, the Logos to the ancient Greeks as it is translated in the following verse, by which all things were created.

John 1:1 ¶  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  The same was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

We, in this age of Grace, would do well to listen to God speaking to us through His Bible. Even avid Bible readers will mistakenly read the Bible out of discipline and a sense of duty and habit, as they would any other book. What we must do is to read it expecting God to speak to us in many ways through it. For the Bible, not our oft-seared consciences, or a voice like thunder speaking from the heavens, is the way that God speaks to His people today.

The Bible is an awesome powerful voice that delivers us from sin and changes our habits and preferences if we come to it expecting to be changed by it. If you come to the Bible as if it was Emily Post’s Etiquette and say to yourself, “I need to stop gossiping because the Bible says so,” then you will only stop gossiping as long as you have a will to do so. But, if you come to the Bible and turn your sin over to the Lord God and ask for deliverance from Him, then He can remove any desire to gossip from your heart or make you feel awful when you catch yourself doing it, His Spirit piercing even your seared conscience which permits you to sin, making even that conscience alive to convict you of sin. He will also remove the roadblocks to sanctification, setting you apart for His service, that you weren’t even aware were problems, particularly if you have a heart willing to submit to Him.

Psalm 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

John 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

God’s word is not only powerful. It is important to Him.

Psalm 138:2  I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

God has placed His word, small w, above His name. Think about that, Christian, when you understand the next verse.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Does God’s word thunder in your life so that you must hear it? Does it speak to you like the still, small voice spoke to Elijah to comfort and strengthen him?

The fundamentalist Christian, who believes that God can intervene for him or her every day, and who believes that God can affect the world, who believes in the Great Flood of Noah’s time, in the parting of the Red Sea of Moses’ time, and in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, only believes that God spoke His words through men on one occasion, at their first writing, and the God they worship cannot even preserve His own words, the words He wants us to have by giving wisdom to copyists and translators. The fundamentalist insists that he stands on the word of God with conviction and without doubt and yet he doesn’t have the word of God. All he has is a, “reliable and trustworthy translation, but with errors.”

Does anyone realize how foolish it sounds when a preacher stands up in his pulpit and proclaims that he is now going to read from God’s error-free word, referring to a Bible that neither he nor anyone that he knows in the flesh has ever seen? How do you stand undeniably and without hesitation on something you don’t have? Is the emperor wearing any clothes, truthfully?

Regarding the Bible you prefer, what was the translating methodology? Was it word for word, syntax for syntax, in what modern Bible translator, Eugene Nida, called Formal Equivalence, or was it what he called Dynamic Equivalence where the translator simply gave us what he thought God meant by what he said? How did the translators view the Bible’s language, as a special tool used by God in ways perhaps not used outside of the Bible, as in John’s interpretation of Logos and Paul’s interpretation of Logikos, or was it just Koine’, or commonly used Greek of the time? Did the translators of your Bible go from manuscripts used by Christians who believed the Bible was of the highest importance and true for a millennium and a half or did they give precedence to manuscripts found in a garbage dump in Egypt, unused on a shelf in the Vatican library, or being burnt as trash in a monastery in the Sinai?

These are things that you would do well to consider. When another Christian says, “that verse wasn’t in the original Greek,” you should ask them, “which Greek?” as there are dozens of Greek texts from which Bibles are translated that contain many manuscripts that contain fragments of books and verses. He or she will probably say only that that is what their Pastor told them, a Pastor who went to a “conservative, fundamentalist” seminary full of faith and trust in the Bible through which he became a believer but was taught out of that faith by an unbelieving scholar who had more faith in his own intellect that in God’s powerful voice.

God’s voice is powerful. Can you hear it? Please pardon my digression onto the subject of the Bible, the word that God speaks to us through. Literally, in this set of verses Elihu, though, is referring to God speaking through the natural processes He controls, not set up to run on their own, but manipulated by God every moment either through His permissive will or by His direction. Job has experienced this personally in a heart-breaking way.

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