Flat Earth Believers Then and Now, Part 2
“Who is this,” asks God, “who darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2)
So far from endorsing Job’s, ignorance, God at great length exposes and reproves it; till Job humbly confesses he had uttered what he understood not, things to wonderful for him which he knew not. (Job 42:3) God’s action then, instead of being confirmatory of men’s mistakes, seems at this most important juncture, when men were as yet without a Bible, a supernatural condescension to human ignorance to lift men out of it.
“Very true,” say those we esteem, our Christian philosophers, “where it was, as here, a religious question, God did so act; but never where the ignorance was merely scientific.” A most reckless assertion, and completely falsified by this very record. How does God deal with Job’s moral misapprehensions of his Maker? By directing attention to, and very minutely particularising, the visible works of His hand. He corrects his too yard scholar by means of a series of object lessons; a principle later Scriptures describe Him always afterwards to have acted upon. Say that right views in respect to the universe are from first to last put foremost by God as indispensable to right views of Himself. So far from these having nothing to do with our faith, God expressly establishes them at the very outset as the surest rock for faith to stand on. And obviously they are; for whenever men depart from God’s principle, they invariably end by departing from Him.
Themselves inventing a universe, as the Bible’s God will not suit with it, their only alternative is to further invent a substitute that will. Instead of its personal Creator, they fill His place with idle speculations as to a not impossible First Cause. (Their “impossible First Cause” is the Sun!) “ The centre of the movements of all the celestial bodies of the system…is to us THE SOURCE of light, heat, and The Heavens.
(Modern Astronomical Teaching is here shown to be a specious form of Materialism! Ed. E.R.)
Not alone does God claim in the Book of Job to be the sole Creator of all visible things; but He propounds doctrines with respect to several which should make our Christian philosophers a little more doubtful than they are wont to be of the correctness of their opposing conclusions. Amongst the statements God Himself is credited with, are the following: “I laid the foundations of the earth; ” the earth’s foundations are “ fastened;” and the earth, like other buildings, has “a corner stone.” (Job 38:4-6)
“Oh, but that is all allegorical, and of a piece with the whole book, which is nothing but a beautiful allegory!” That, or a modification of it, is I know the modern suggestion; but it doesn’t go far enough, God, Ezekiel, James, and Paul— these should be allegorical too!
Ezekiel declares, concerning the land of Israel, “ Though these three men”— not these three myths— but, “ Through these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” (Ezek. 14:14,20.)
The apostle James would have done small service by instancing the “suffering affliction” of an imaginary individual: naming therefore the patience of Job he spoke of one historically and indisputably real. The apostle Paul too, confirms the authority of the Book of Job, by quoting from it as a part of sacred Scripture, prefacing his extract with the usual, “It is written.” (Job v. 13; 1 Cor. 3:19)
To pronounce Job and the Book of Job metaphorical is, therefore, to fly in the face of authenticated history. Again, there is a further reason for knowing that the statements read from the Book of Job are not metaphorical. Those precise statements are elsewhere repeated in terms as literal as any the Bible contains ; and not merely once or twice, but many, many times : for instance; “Who art thou,’’ asks God of His chosen nation, by His prophet Isaiah; “Who art thou that for forgettest the Lord thy Maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth?” (Isaiah 51:12, 13)
So you see that the earth’s foundations, twenty-two times officially mentioned by God and His prophets, are not given as eastern fancy, but as literal sober, undeniable fact. We are told that the amount of Eastern imagery in the Bible altogether beyond easy comprehension is perfectly incalculable; and so it is; the amount is so exceedingly small! Eastern imagery! Why what is the earth, according to modern science? A monstrous balloon without a car, rushing through space and twirling as it goes.