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Modern Science in an Ancient Book
By Brian Pepper
Job 38:4 says, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” Many centuries have gone by since God asked that question of Job yet today man cannot answer that question any better. Despite all the theories and speculation one fact stands out very clearly that modern man does not have an answer either.
When the Morning Stars Sang Together
When the Morning Stars Sang TogetherLet us pass on to the second question. Job 38:7 says, "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” I am sure Job would not have known the answer to this one either if the LORD had not told him. There was a time when the learned men tried to avoid this question. They suggested that it was purely poetic imagination. They said "of course the stars do not sing. It is ridiculous to even imagine that this statement is anything else than poetic imagination." That is what they said but that answer does not hold today.
Light and Sound Fundamentally the Same
Light and Sound Fundamentally the SameThrough the marvels of modern physics we have learned that light and sound are fundamentally the same. There are rays of colour so slow and so long that the eye cannot see them, such as for instance the infra-red and others. Then there are rays of colour so fast and so short that the eye cannot see them. But both of these groups can be caught by the super speed camera and the supersensitive film. Just as there are colour rays that cannot reach the eye so there are sound waves which do not reach the ear.
Light Rays have Phonetic Values
Light Rays have Phonetic ValuesExperiments have convinced the physicist that every ray of light as well as every shade of colour has a definite phonetic value. The light of the sun or of the stars speeding through space carries with it a note of sound. Of course Job was scientifically correct when he said that the morning stars sang together at creation; for where light is, sound always accompanies it.
Sound Track of Talking Film
Sound Track of Talking Film
Birth of the Sea
Birth of the SeaAnd now the next scientific question that God asked our friend Job. Job 38:8 says, “Or who shut up the sea with doors when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?” The Almighty is pictured here as a midwife who officiated at the birth of the sea. In one hand He grasps the thick darkness to make nighties to cover its little form.
What holds the Sea in Place?
What holds the Sea in Place?Now notice Job 38:11. "And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?” And what is it that holds the sea in place? That is a question that man cannot answer. Men speak learnedly of the effect the sun, the moon, and the stars have upon the tides of the sea. They speak of gravity and it is surprising how much ignorance this word covers. But no matter what men may say the force that controls the sea is still beyond the understanding of man.
Flat Earth Belief in Job's Day
Flat Earth Belief in Job's Day
Who Regulates the Clock of God?
Who Regulates the Clock of God?Job 38:12 poses this question, “Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place.” Have you ever waited for the dawn and wished that you could hurry it up? I remember one occasion coming back from a trip up country the car began to falter and eventually it stopped dead. The night was very dark and I did not have a torch with me. So I decided to spend the night in the car; it grew cold and the car was most uncomfortable to sleep in. How I longed for the dawn to break and the day to come. The hour of dawn changes from day to day. The very second of daybreak changes each succeeding day. How is this kept in order? Who regulates the clock of God? How is it that the daylight appears exactly on time each individual day? God’s great clock never loses a second.
Coming of the Dawn
Coming of the DawnNow notice Job 38:14. “It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment." In the time of Job men did not carry around biros (pens), they used seals. These were usually made of hard stone, the signature being engraved upon them. To make the inscription the seal was pressed against the face of the damp clay. Then the clay was baked and it became a permanent record.
Earth and Sun like Seal and Clay
Earth and Sun like Seal and ClayThere is another aspect of this question. Out in space the sun is shining. Its light flows forth without interruption day and night. Our earth is circling the sun and at the same time is spinning on its axis turning in the face of the sun like the seal in the face of the clay. Did Job know this? The question is too fantastic even to consider. Only the Hand which started the globe in motion could have directed the pen that wrote these lines.
The Springs of the Sea
The Springs of the SeaOne would scarcely expect to find the modern science of oceanography introduced into a Book 4000 years old. Well here it is verse 16. "Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?" Did you know that in some parts of the ocean fresh water may be found? Some authorities state that these springs of fresh water are river streams that have never lost their identity.
The Breadth of the Earth
The Breadth of the EarthWe can all answer the next question God asked our friend Job. Verse 18 says, “Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.” It is merely a matter of travel and experience. But Job was unable to answer when God asked him "Hast thou comprehended the breadth of the earth.” To many of us today we know that it is about 8000 miles in diameter. Yes we have progressed. Job had never been around the world to survey it but modern man has. So with pride we can answer this question.
Treasures of Snow and Hail
Treasures of Snow and HailIn verse 22 God enquires of Job, ''Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail?" The word ‘treasures’ has a very exact significance. The word 'treasure’ suggests gold or precious stones or fabulous wealth. Men have given their lives in desperate attempts to find gold or other treasures. But the question is what treasure can there be in snow or hail? I would be inclined to doubt if they have any value other than destructive value.
Parting of Light
Parting of LightIt is absolutely impossible that Job could have known the answer to the question in the 24th verse. ''By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?” The student today can answer “by passing it through the prism of the spectroscope.” But who could have known that in Job’s day? Why none other than the One who is greater than man. When we heat a metal red hot or heat any substance until it is incandescent it gives forth rays of light. These rays after passing through the prism divide themselves on the graph according to the content of the matter that sent them forth. Thus when a ray of light reaches us from some far away star we need only to pass that light ray through the spectroscope to see the composition of the star. This division of light rays is always constant and does not vary in the least particular. Spectroscopic analysis is an exact science and is the manner by which "the light is apportioned.” There is no question that supernatural wisdom is revealed here.
Role of Lightning and Thunder
Role of Lightning and ThunderNow listen to this. Verse 25 says, "Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;” Although the heavens might be dark and overcast with big black clouds, heavy with life giving fluid, not one drop would fall from the skies if it were not for the tremendous forces set in operation by the lightning and thunder. Lightning is essential to the orderly production of precipitation. It is only a comparatively recent discovery but here we have the prophet Job anticipating the wisdom of this age by some 4000 years for he plainly says that some unknown power, force, or person prepares the way for lightning and thunder which cause the rain to fall upon the wilderness. The heaviest rain falls where the verdant bush grows or the giant trees tower to lofty heights. In this remarkable chapter with its astounding modern science questions written away back at a time when men were supposed to be ignorant and unlearned we have a question on Meteorology.
Strange nature of Water
Strange nature of WaterHere it is. Verse 30 says, "The waters are hid as with a stone and the face of the deep is frozen." This is a remarkable thing. Water is a very strange substance indeed. Nothing in this world could live without water in some form or other. We do know that it is composed of two gasses, oxygen and hydrogen. Oxygen is essential to all combustion. Hydrogen is ignited more easily than any other gas. You would naturally suppose that by combining these two inflammable substances the result would be a highly explosive force. But strangely enough the opposite is true. When these inflammable substances are combined they put the fire out. It would be dangerous to try that method with any other inflammable substance such as kerosene and petrol. The experimenter would probably go out before the fire.
Why does Ice float?
Why does Ice float?This mysterious substance can be expanded 1200 times and called steam. We can then turn this vapour into stone and call it ice. Once more we can reduce it to fluid and never lose a drop of the amount we started with. Job is raising the question here, "What is the scientific reason for the strange conduct of ice? Why does it hide the face of the water, when it ought to sink like a stone?" If it did the seas, lakes, and streams would all be frozen from the top to the bottom. All the fish would perish. But instead ice floats and in winter season life is preserved under this strange mantle of stone. The law of physics says, "Heat expands objects and cold contracts them." But water seems to have its own law. When it starts to freeze, it at first follows this law and begins to contract. The water loses bulk as the water freezes, the molecules huddle together for warmth. But within a few degrees of the point where the water will be ice and would sink like a stone, the water goes on a rampage and violates what might be called known law. A miracle happens. Suddenly the contraction ceases and in the next few degrees of lowered temperature the freezing water gains back all the bulk it has previously lost, plus almost one-third more. Thus it is that the ice floats on the top and the life that God made is preserved by this ingenious manner from year to year contrary to what might be called established law. Not only to Job but to modern man this is highly intriguing.
Harnessing LightningOf course we do recognize the fact that there are some things we can do that were beyond the power of Job. In the days of Job, no man had ever dreamed of harnessing lightning to the will of a human driver. So when Job was asked in verse 35, "Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?" You could well imagine the astonishment of the ancient patriarch, who ever dreamed of harnessing lightning to the will of man and who ever thought of making it a 'messenger'. Yet in our day we see in the lightning a common convenience. Sometimes we step into the telegraph office and command lightnings to carry our words across the continent, and they obey. Electricity is lightning and vice versa, and it has become the willing and obedient slave and messenger of man. If we want to send an important message from coast to coast, then we pay for a reply paid telegram, command the lightnings and after they have taken our message come back with "Here we are, and we have told your message."
Pleiades and Orion
Pleiades and OrionAnd now the final question for consideration today. And it is one of the most suggestive of all these questions. Verse 31 says, "Canst thou bind the sweet (cluster or chain) influences of Pleiades or loose the bands of Orion?"
Sweet influences of Pleiades
Sweet influences of PleiadesNow then let us examine this question carefully, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?" That is to say, when the sap has begun to flow, when the leaf has appeared on the bough and the tree has put forth her blossom, when the grass springs forth from the earth; is there any human influences that can lock them again in the still bands of winter? In other words when God begins to make a spring, no man can hinder or retard.
Bands of Orion
Bands of OrionAnd now "Canst thou loose the bands of Orion?” It is only recently with the introduction of the giant telescope that they have discovered that Orion has great bands going out and around which testify to the extraordinary accuracy of this ancient book.