Introduction: Job, his friends, and Elihu, had all struggled in vain to explain Job’s suffering. Here, God finally appeared to Job. But He never answered Job’s questions or explained the reasons for Job’s suffering. Instead, He asked Job a series of questions about creation that Job could not answer. The questions showed that His thoughts and reasons are beyond our ability to fully understand. His questions also showed that He is not a cold and distant God. Instead, His appearance to Job and the revelations about His creation show seven signs of His incredible love for us. These include His: (1) discipline, (2) His creation of our universe and our Earth, (3) His creation of our atmosphere, (4) His creation of our life-sustaining water cycle, (5) His creation of the physical laws that make life possible, (6) His management of creation, and (7) His provision.
First, to show His love for Job, God appeared to correct Job in order to restore him. Out of love, God also corrects believers in order to restore them. Second, God then asked Job if he could explain how God created the universe, the Earth, and the oceans. Out of love, God created the perfect universe and Earth for us. Third, God also asked Job if he could explain how God created an atmosphere that is perfectly balanced to allow the Earth to receive light from the sun during the day and light from the stars at night. Out of love, God also created our life-sustaining atmosphere. Fourth, God further asked Job to explain how He created the system of clouds that delivers life-sustaining water throughout the Earth. Out of love, God also created the water cycle for life. Fifth, God also asked Job if he could explain “the ordinances of the heavens.” Out of love, God created the physical laws for life to exist. Sixth, God further asked if Job could explain God’s active control over nature. Our God is not a God who would just set the universe in motion and then retreat to some heavenly realm. Instead, out of love, God stays actively involved in sustaining His creation. This includes our lives as well. Finally, God asked Job how He provides for the needs of creation. Out of love, God also provides for all our needs as well.
God appeared to correct Job. After observing the misguided laments of His servant Job, God intervened to correct Job and then to restore him through revelations about Himself: “1 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind and said, 2 ‘Who is this who darkens the divine plan by words without knowledge? 3 Now tighten the belt on your waist like a man, and I shall ask you, and you inform Me!”’ (Job 38:1-3). The whirlwind was a symbol of God’s power (E.g., 2 Kgs. 2:1-11; Ps. 77:18; Nahum 1:3; Is. 66:15; Jer. 4:13; 23:19; Ezek. 1:14). God’s presence in the storm also caused Elihu to became filled with fear (Job 37:1-2, 24). God rebuked Elihu for his self-righteous and presumptuous claim to speak for Him (Job 36:1-4; 38:2). He would also later condemn Job’s friends and direct them to help Job (Job 42:7-8). But God only answered Job because he was falsely accused and the only one to cry out. God first corrected Job for his misguided comments before restoring him: “It is very noticeable that God entirely ignores the reasonings of Elihu, and addresses Himself, in the first instance, wholly to Job, with whom He begins by remonstrating. Job has not been without fault. He has spoken many ‘words without knowledge’ or with insufficient knowledge, and has thus trenched on irreverence, and given the enemies of God occasion to blaspheme. Moreover, he has ‘darkened counsel.’ Instead of making the ways of God clear to his friends and companions, he has cast doubts upon God’s moral government (Job 21:7-26), upon his mercy and loving-kindness (Job 16:7-14), almost upon his justice (Job 19:7; Job 31:1-35). He is thus open to censure, and receives censure, and owns himself ‘vile’ (Job 40:4), before peace and reconciliation can be established.” (Pulpit Commentary on Job 38:2).1
God questioned Job from the whirlwind2
While the others condemned Job, God would restore him. God declared that Job had ‘“darken[ed] the divine plan by words without knowledge.”’ (Job 38:1-3). Elihu also claimed that Job spoke out of ignorance: “Job speaks without knowledge, and his words are without wisdom.” (Job 34:35; 35:36). Zophar had also dismissed Job’s statements as meaningless words: “Shall a multitude of words go unanswered, and a talkative man be acquitted?” (Job 11:2). Eliphaz had further dismissed Job’s words as worthless wind: “Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge, and fill himself with the east wind?” (Job 15:2). Bildad also attacked Job with utter contempt: “2 How long will you hunt for words? Show understanding, and then we can talk. 3 Why are we regarded as animals, as stupid in your eyes?” (Job 18:2-3). What was the difference between God’s Word and the comments of Job’s friends and Elihu? God spoke out of love to correct Job. In contrast, the others had no love for Job. Because God’s Word first humbles and then restores, Job would soon repent to God that he had in fact spoken in ignorance: ‘“Who is this who conceals advice without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I do not know.” (Job 42:3).
Prepare yourself in humility for correction and restoration through God’s Word. Job had blamed God for treating him like an enemy and inflicting blows against him when Satan had actually caused Job’s misery: “His anger has torn me and hunted me down, He has gnashed at me with His teeth; my enemy glares at me . . . His arrows surround me. He splits my kidneys open without mercy; He pours out my bile on the ground. He breaks through me with breach after breach; He runs at me like a warrior.” (Job 16:9, 13-14). “Why do You hide Your face and consider me Your enemy?” (Job 13:24). “He has also kindled His anger against me and considered me as His enemy.” (Job 19:11). Job had also demanded an audience with God to receive answers to his questions and to vindicate himself from what he presumed were false charges of sin against him: “I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me.” (Job 30:20). “Oh that I had one to hear me! Here is my signature; let the Almighty answer me! And the indictment which my adversary has written,” (Job 31:35; 19:7). Yet, Job admitted that he could not contend with God or dispute the reasons for God’s actions: “If one wished to dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.” (Job 9:3). God responded by telling Job to prepare himself to answer God’s questions: “Now tighten the belt on your waist like a man, and I shall ask you, and you inform Me!”’ (Job 38:3). But God would not answer Job’s questions directly about the reasons for his trials and his suffering. Instead, God would first humble and correct Job before restoring him. Elihu was partially correct when he rebuked Job for demanding an answer: “Why do you complain to Him that He does not give an account of all His doings?” (Job 33:13). Isaiah later stated that mankind does not have a right to demand an answer from God: “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— A piece of pottery among the other earthenware pottery pieces! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?” (Is. 45:9). Paul made a similar claim: “On the contrary, who are you, you foolish person, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does the potter not have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one object for honorable use, and another for common use?” (Ro. 9:20-21). A central lesson of the book is to trust God when the reasons for your suffering are unknown.
God disciplines those whom He loves. God’s willingness to correct and rehabilitate His servant Job (instead of punishing him) was a sign of God’s love for him: “So you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” (Dt. 8:5). As part of His covenant with David, God stated: “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and with strokes of sons of mankind,” (1 Sam. 7:14). God’s discipline of believers is also a sign of His love for them as well: “For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He punishes every son whom He accepts. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Heb. 12:6-7; 1 Cor. 11:32). God’s discipline is frequently painful. But you can give thanks that He only disciplines you out of love to build up your faith in Him.
God’s rebuke of Job was mild and filled with mercy and grace. God could have inflicted more pain on Job for questioning God. As a man of faith, Job’s bitter words could have repulsed people from turning to God during their problems. But God was instead gentle with Job. He gave Job questions that would help Job come to the self-realization that he could not possibly understand God’s complex mind and plans for humanity: “The questions God had for Job were simply unanswerable and were meant to show Job that he really had no place to demand answers from God. Yet to see this appearance of God to Job only as a rebuke is a grave mistake. . . Job’s greatest agony was that he felt God had abandoned him, and now he knew he was not abandoned. Like any true revelation of God there were plenty of elements that would make Job feel small before the greatness of God; yet it could not take away from the massive comfort Job felt in simply being once again consciously in the presence of God . . . We might imagine a small smile on the face of Job throughout this questioning, though it did appropriately humble him and bring him to repentance. Yet he smiled as a child who longs for his long-gone father might smile upon his father’s return, even while being corrected - the child smiles because his father is here again.” (David Guzik on Job 38) (italics in original).3
God questioned Job as whether he understood how God created the Earth and the oceans. God began by asking Job if he was present when He created the Earth and seas and if Job could understand how God created a planet that was perfectly suited for life to even exist: “4 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, 5 Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the measuring line over it? 6 On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? 8 Or who enclosed the sea with doors when it went out from the womb, bursting forth; 9 when I made a cloud its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling bands, 10 And I placed boundaries on it and set a bolt and doors, 11 and I said, ‘As far as this point you shall come, but no farther; and here your proud waves shall stop’?” (Job 38:4-11). When God stated “since you know” (Job 38:5), it was a gentle rebuke to Job’s presumptuous claim to understand God’s plan and to demand a chance to contend with Him. Although mankind was not yet in existence, God created “the sons of God” (angelic beings), who “shouted for joy” as an example of worship for mankind to follow (Job 38:7). God’s ways were simply beyond anything that Job could fathom. The same is true with mankind today. Technology has advanced our understanding. But we still cannot fully explain how God created the universe and a planet perfectly suited for life.
God created the heavens and the Earth. God’s description of the sequence of creation matches that in Genesis: “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” (Gen 1:1). Moses used the Hebrew word “bara” to declare that God created the universe from nothing. The author of Hebrews and David also both proclaimed: “the universe was formed at God’s command” for “he spoke and it came to be.” (Heb. 11:3; Ps. 33:9). The rabbi Nahmanides wrote that God first created the universe the size of a mere “grain of mustard.”4 Before Moses wrote the book of Genesis, Job revealed that God’s creation of gravity and how God then “stretched out” the heavens: “He stretches out the north over empty space and hangs the Earth on nothing.” (Job 26:7). It was not until the 20th Century when the writings of Job and Moses were proven true. God first created the universe out of nothing. He then “stretched” out the heavens, a description of the Big Bang and our expanding universe. God then carefully created a life-habitable Earth out of love for us (Job 38:4-6) It will further last until the end of time: “He established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will not totter forever and ever.” (Ps. 104:5).
Mankind is in no position to question the perfect mind of the Creator of the universe5
Modern science confirms the near impossibility of a randomly formed, habitable Earth. Some believe that there is nothing special about our planet. Many assume that life-habitable planets must exist everywhere. But science shows that is not the case. In order for complex life to exist, it must be carbon-based. If not, it will rapidly break down.6 But this in turn limits the type of galaxy, solar system, and planet where complex life can even exist. The astronomer and theologian Hugh Ross gives several examples to show why most of the universe is not habitable for advanced carbon-based life.
(1) The right kind of galaxy. First, any carbon-based life can only exist in the right type of galaxy -- a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way. Elliptical and irregular galaxies contain active nuclei that spew out life-destroying radiation. An estimated five percent of the galaxies within the universe are spiral like ours. According to Ross, the remaining 95 percent of all other galaxies could not, under any circumstances, support advanced life.7
(2) The right location in a spiral galaxy. In addition to being within the right type of galaxy, life can only exist in the right part of a galaxy. Even in a spiral galaxy, like the Milky Way, life cannot exist in locations where the stars are densely packed together.8 In contrast, in a location far away from other stars, in an elliptical galaxy, life-essential heavy elements are too thinly distributed for advanced life to exist.9 Our solar system is in a limited habitable zone of the Milky Way, neither too far or too close from other densely packed solar systems within the galaxy.10 Life in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy also could not exist. The close proximity of the surrounding stars from intense competing gravity would destroy the regular orbit of any planet around any given star.11
(3) The right solar system within the right galaxy. In addition to requiring the right kind of galaxy and the right location within a galaxy, advanced life requires a single star system. In systems with more than one sun, planetary rotation becomes erratic. With erratic orbits, life destroying climatic changes occur. Ross observes that only a fourth of the stars within our galaxy meet this criteria of being bachelor stars.12
(4) The right size sun. In addition to requiring the right kind of galaxy and the right kind of solar system, life requires the right size sun. Ross notes that a star larger than our own would burn too quickly and too erratically for life on a surrounding planet to be sustained.13 In contrast, if a star is any less massive, the planet must be closer to the star to maintain a temperature suitable for life chemistry. However, when a planet is drawn too close to a star, its rotation period slows from hours to months. This is the case for both Mercury and Venus. With slow rotation periods, life again becomes impossible. Extreme climatic changes eliminate the possibility of advanced life on such planets.14
(5) The planet’s distance from a sun. The Earth is also perfectly positioned for the existence of life. A change in the distance from the Sun by as little as 2 percent would rid the entire planet of all of its advanced life.15 If we were just slightly closer to the Sun, the “increased solar heat would prevent water vapor from condensing.”16
(6) The right planetary companions. Without a Jupiter-sized planet positioned just where it is, Earth would be struck about a thousand times more frequently than it is already by comets and comet debris.17 Without Jupiter, life-destroying impacts would be common.18
(7) The right magnetic field. A planet’s magnetic field, a product of the exact heavy metal content in the planet’s inner core, also has to be perfectly balanced to sustain any advanced life. If the Earth’s magnetic field were stronger, advanced life would be killed through electromagnetic storms. Without a magnetic field, an atmosphere and liquid water would disappear. This is exactly when the oceans on Mars disappeared. Speaking of the devastating effects of a magnetic field any weaker, another astronomer observes: “This magnetic field does more than merely allow us to set a compass. Its force diverts much more of the potentially lethal cosmic radiation that reaches the vicinity of Earth. We live under a literal magnetic umbrella. Were this cosmic radiation not deflected, it would bathe the surface of the Earth with a continual shower of life-devastating ionization.”19 Ross provides dozens of other criteria necessary to find a planet capable of supporting carbon-based life.20 The maximum possible number of planets in the universe is estimated to be ten billion trillion. (1022) Even with that large of a number, Ross concludes after assigning a variable to each factor that the chance of meeting all of the necessary conditions for a planet to support life is statistically impossible: “[R]esearch finds less than 1 chance in a hundred thousand trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion [=10-99] that even one life-supporting planet would occur anywhere in the universe.”21 Even secular astronomers concede that humans will likely never find another Earth-like planet, capable of sustaining advanced life.22 The Bible justifiably proclaims, “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Ps. 19:1). God is therefore worthy of your gratitude, praise, and worship.
God also created the oceans and then the contents. God then declared to Job how He created the oceans after He created the Earth (Job 38:8-11). Moses also stated that the Earth was first covered in water before God created the continents: “‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’” (Gen. 1:6). The psalmist, Solomon, and Isaiah also made similar claims: “You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters were standing above the mountains.” (Ps. 104:6). “When He set a boundary for the sea so that the water would not violate His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth;” (Ps. 8:29). “He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He puts the depths in storehouses.” (Ps. 33:7). “Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His Son’s name? Surely you know!” (Prov. 30:4). Out of love, God carefully prepared the Earth for mankind: “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and measured the heavens with a span, and calculated the dust of the earth with a measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales?” (Is. 40:12). The Bible records these praises for God as an example for you to follow.
Modern science also confirms the Bible’s sequence of events. Until recently, believers had no way to prove the Bible’s statements that the early Earth was initially covered with oceans before the contents appeared. At the time the Old Testament was drafted, people assumed that the mountains had always existed. Yet, discoveries in the 20th Century have again shown the writings in the Bible to have been accurate: “Initially all the land in the Earth’s rocky crust lay below the surface of the deep. Islands and continents arose gradually – think hundreds of years – as a result of volcanism (volcanic activity) and plate tectonics (movement and collisions of large crustal sections). Volcanism and plate tectonics, driven primarily by heat from radioisotope decay in Earth’s mantle, generated the wrinkling of the Earth’s surface. This wrinkling, which eventually pushed land upward above the ocean’s surface, continues to this day, but at a much lower rate. Tectonic and volcanic activity superseded erosion (the wearing down process) until landmasses rose up above the oceans to cover about 29 percent of the Earth’s surface.”23
God questioned Job as whether he understood how God created the day and night lights. God then asked Job if he knew how He created a planet that had the perfect balance of visible light from the sun during the day and light at night to guide and protect people: “12 Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, and made the dawn know its place, 13 so that it would take hold of the ends of the earth, and the wicked would be shaken off from it? 14 It is changed like clay under the seal; and they stand out like a garment. 15 Their light is withheld from the wicked, and the uplifted arm is broken. 16 Have you entered the springs of the sea, and walked in the depth of the ocean? 17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you, and have you seen the gates of deep darkness? 18 Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. 19 Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, 20 that you would take it to its territory, and discern the paths to its home? 21 You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!” (Job 38:12-21). God again gently rebuked Job for his presumption. These questions also showed God’s sovereignty over nature. By His spoken Word He can create and control light, the seas, and nature (Job 38:12,16).
God question Job if he could explain how God created a life-giving atmosphere24
God cleared the skies to make the light from the sun and stars visible on Earth. Although it might have seemed more logical to describe the creation of the lights from the sun and the stars before the Earth, they appear after the Earth for two reasons. First, unlike other religions, God did not want people to worship the sun and stars. Second, God’s creation account is told from the frame of reference of the Holy Spirit on the Earth’s dark surface: “And the earth was a formless and desolate emptiness, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2). Initially, clouds covered the Earth in darkness. God then cleared the atmosphere to allow for the light from the sun and from the far away stars to reach the Earth’s surface for the first time (Gen. 1:3-5, 14-15). God’s clearing of the earthly Earth atmosphere is also repeated in Job: “By His breath the heavens are cleared.” (Job 26:13).
Modern science confirms that the early Earth was initially obscured in darkness. Scientific discoveries have now also verified that the Bible correctly reveals that Earth’s atmosphere was initially shrouded. Ross outlines three factors which caused the early Earth’s atmosphere to darken and subsequently clear. First, at the time, the Earth was approximately 40 million years old, a mars-sized object hit the Earth and blasted all of Earth’s original atmosphere into outer space.25 The shell, or cloud of debris, arising from the collision, would orbit the Earth and eventually coalesce to form our Moon.26 According to Ross, the rules for planetary formation dictate that the greater a planet’s surface gravity and the greater a planet’s distance from its star, the heavier and thicker its atmosphere. Theoretically, the Earth should have an atmosphere heavier and thicker than that of Venus where humans could not exist. Based upon data learned from the study of 2,300 planets, Ross concludes that “planets as massive as Earth and as distant from their host star (their “sun”) typically start with a thick, opaque (light-blocking) atmosphere have a measurement of the planet’s atmospheric mass is 6.5 times more massive than Earth and has an atmosphere at least 4,000 times ‘heavier’ than Earth’s atmosphere today. Venus, which measures 19 percent less massive than the Earth (implying that its weaker gravity will be less able to accrete an atmosphere) and 28 percent closer to the sun (implying that its greater planetary surface temperature will cause more of its atmosphere to dissipate to outer space) nevertheless possesses an atmosphere 91 times more massive than Earth’s. Thus, astronomers estimate that Earth’s primordial atmosphere was at least 200 times more massive [heavier] than our current atmosphere. So light from the Sun (or stars and other heavenly objects) would have been unable to penetrate to the early Earth’s surface.”27 However, due to a miraculous collision with a massive object against the Earth at just the right time, the Earth’s atmosphere is light and thin enough to support life as we know it.28 Second, the gravity from the moon slowed the Earth’s rotation rate. When single-celled life first appeared, the Earth had only an 8-hour daily rotation. With such a rapid rotation period, the Earth’s winds would have been driven to constant hurricane-like speeds. Jupiter, for example, with a 10-hour rotation rate has average wind velocities exceeding one thousand miles per hour. As the rotation rate slowed over millions of years, the Earth’s wind speeds slowed as well. Slower wind speeds in turn decreased the production of salt aerosols which are produced as winds whip up ocean waves. The sea-salt aerosols make up the largest fraction of a cloud’s nuclei. According to Ross, the slowing of the Earth’s rotation rate dramatically reduced the early Earth’s cloud cover.29 Third, the collision of a mars-sized object with the early Earth set in motion the plate tectonic forces which drive the movement of the Earth’s coastal plates today. Ross describes the slow-decaying radioisotopes from this early collision embedded within the crust of the Earth as the driving force behind the Earth’s level of plate tectonic and volcanic activity.30 Over time, the amount of heat released from these radioisotopes has decreased. This decrease has reduced the amount of tectonic and volcanic activity to a level today which is estimated to be approximately 1/5th of their original level.31 With the decreased volcanic activity in particular, fewer clouds of darkened smoke would have covered the Earth’s atmosphere. The clearing of the Earth’s atmosphere would have made the stars visible for the first time, just as revealed in Genesis. Long ago, Paul warned against those who ignore the clear evidence of God’s hand in creation: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Ro. 1:20).
God questioned Job as whether he understood how God created the water cycle for life. God further created a complex water cycle that allows for life to exist across the Earth: “22 Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, and have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 which I have reserved for a time of distress, for a day of war and battle? 24 Where is the way that the light is divided, and the east wind scattered on the earth? 25 Who has split open a channel for the flood, and a way for the thunderbolt, 26 to bring rain on a land without people, on a desert without a person in it, 27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the seeds of grass to sprout? 28 Does the rain have a father? Or who has fathered the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb has come the ice? And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth? 30 Water becomes hard like stone, and the surface of the deep is imprisoned.” (Job 38:22-30). Elihu also cited God’s creation of the life-giving water cycle as a reason to praise Him (Job 36:22-37:24).
God, who created the life-giving water cycle, deserves your trust32
God created a life-habitable atmosphere and water cycle to sustain life. God’s description of the water cycle that He created also matches Genesis. “God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it.” (Gen. 1:7). He also created the expanse of the “sky”. (Gen. 1:8). The Hebrew words for expanse and sky are raqia and shamayin. The latter is used more for the portion of the Earth’s atmosphere where clouds form and move.33 The Hebrew verb asa is also used (meaning “make,” “manufacture,” “fabricate,” or “construct”). This implies that God Himself “designed and built” the Earth’s atmosphere.34 For His creation of our life-sustaining atmosphere, God is worthy of praise, worship, and gratitude: “He turns a wilderness into a pool of water, and a dry land into springs of water;” (Ps. 107:35). “He causes the mist to ascend from the ends of the earth, He makes lightning for the rain; He brings forth the wind from His treasuries.” (Ps. 135:7). “Who covers the heavens with clouds, who provides rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains.” (Ps.147:8).
Science also confirms the appearance of the water cycle after the atmosphere cleared. Scientific discoveries have now also verified that the Bible correctly reveals the water cycle, which is necessary for advanced life, appeared after the Earth formed. The impact from the mars-shaped object (described above) played a significant role infusing the Earth’s crust with a huge abundance of radioisotopes. The heat from this impact catalyzed the Earth’s then high rates of tectonic and volcanic activity, which in turn allowed the continental plates to separate to their current locations.35 The formation of the Moon also “stabilized Earth’s rotation axis tilt, protecting the planet from life-extinguishing climatic extremes.” 36 According to Ross, the collision of this object with the Earth also played an important role in slowing the Earth’s rotation rate to allow advanced life to live on the planet. Astronomers have concluded that the Moon was much closer to the Earth billions of years ago. This is based upon observations that the Moon is slowly spiraling away as the Earth’s rotation rate slows gradually down.37 Initially, the Earth had a faster rotation rate which caused high winds to exist on the planet. Under these conditions, only lower-life organisms can survive. The formation of the Moon created as a result of the collision over time slowed the Earth’s rotation rate. This served the important role of protecting the planet from life-extinguishing climatic extremes.38 Ross notes that the collision of this object with the Earth occurred at just the right time to transform the Earth from a “formless and empty” place (verse two) to a site where life could one day survive and thrive. Ross concludes that the collision of this object with the Earth at just the right time and just the right place cannot alone be explained by mere chance: “Even if the universe contains as many as ten billion trillion (10²²) planets, we would not expect even one, by natural processes alone, to end up with the surface gravity, surface temperature, atmospheric composition, atmospheric pressure, crustal iron abundance, tectonics, vulcanism, rotation rate, rate of decline of rotation rate, and stable rotation axis tilt necessary for the support of life.”39 Again, God is worthy of our praise and our trust: “Are there any among the idols of the nations who give rain? Or can the heavens grant showers? Is it not You, LORD our God? Therefore we wait for You, for You are the one who has done all these things.” (Jer. 14:22).
God questioned Job whether he understood God’s laws of celestial physics. God also set the laws of physics in place that allow our universe to function and sustain life on Earth: “31 Can you tie up the chains of the Pleiades, or untie the cords of Orion? 32 Can you bring out a constellation in its season, and guide the Bear with her satellites? 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, or do you establish their rule over the earth?” (Job 38:31-33). God did not reference constellations as an endorsement of astrology. Instead, He used language that Job would have understood to show His sovereignty over nature.
God set the laws of physics that are necessary to sustain all life. Paul also claims that Christ holds everything in the universe together: “in Him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:16-17). God further declares that He “fixed” the laws that control the heavens and the Earth, what we call physics today (Jer. 33:25). He is again worthy of our praise.
The laws of physics defy any natural explanation. Ross gives several examples of laws of physics that must be precariously balanced for stars, planets, or any life forms to exist.
(1) The fine tuning of the strong nuclear force constant. The strong nuclear force is the force governing the degree to which protons and neutrons stick together at the atomic nuclei. This force must balance perfectly for atoms to exist. If this force were any weaker, protons and neutrons would not stick together. In such a world, hydrogen would be the only element in existence. If the strong nuclear force were slightly greater in strength, protons and neutrons would have such an affinity for one another that each would bond tightly and permanently to one another. In such a universe, there would be no hydrogen, only heavy elements. Ross notes that the strong nuclear force must be so precariously balanced that if it were just 2 percent weaker, or .3 percent stronger than it actually is, “life would be impossible at any time and any place within the universe.”40
(2) The fine tuning of the electromagnetic force constant. Ross also explains that more than forty different elements must be able to bond together to form molecules.41 Molecular bonding further depends upon two factors: the strength of the force of electromagnetism and the ratio of the mass of the electron to the mass of the proton. Focusing on only the electromagnetic force, if it were significantly stronger, atoms would hang on to electrons so tightly that no sharing of electrons with other atoms would be possible. In contrast, if the electromagnetic force were significantly weaker, atoms would not hang on to electrons at all and the formation of molecules would not take place.42
(3) The fine tuning of the weak nuclear force constant. Also according to Ross, if this force were stronger, too much hydrogen would be converted to helium in the Big Bang. As a result, there would be too much heavy element material made by star burning. There would then be no expulsion of heavy elements from stars, which are necessary for life. In contrast, if the weak nuclear force constant were smaller, there would be too little helium produced from the Big Bang. This also would preclude life of any kind from forming.
(4) The fine tuning of the gravitational force constant. If this force were stronger, stars would be too hot and would burn up quickly and unevenly. In contrast, if this force were weaker, stars would remain so cool that nuclear fusion would never ignite. As a result, no heavy element production would ever take place. This again would preclude any life.
(5) The fine tuning of the ratio of number of protons to number of electrons. Also according to Ross, if the ratio were stronger, electromagnetism would have dominated gravity, preventing galaxy, star, and planet formation. Likewise, if the ratio were weaker, electromagnetism would have dominated gravity, which would have also prevented galaxy, star, and planet formation.
(6) The fine tuning of the expansion rate of the universe. According to Ross, if the expansion rate were faster, there would be no galaxy formation. In contrast, if the expansion rate were slower, the universe would have collapsed prior to star formation.
(7) The fine tuning of the ratio of electromagnetic and gravitational force constants. Ross also explains that the precise ratio of the electromagnetic force constant to the gravitational force constant must be maintained for life to exist. If the electromagnetic force relative to gravity were decreased by just one part in 10-40 power, only small stars would form. However, if this force was increased by just one part to the 10-40 power, only large stars would form. Nevertheless, for life to be possible, both large and small stars must exist.43 The large stars must exist because only in their thermal-nuclear furnaces are most of the life-essential elements produced. The small stars, like the sun, must also exist because only small stars burn long enough and are stable enough to sustain a planet with life.44 To explain the complete impossibility of the chance formation of a particle force precisely set at 10-40, which would allow for the existence of life, Ross offers the following analogy: “Consider [a] pile of dimes, one part to the 10-40 power is equivalent to a blind-folded person rummaging through a trillion piles of dimes the size of North America that reached the Moon and picking one, on the first try, which is painted red.”45 These facts again show that God loved mankind so much that He patiently created the ideal universe and planet for mankind to inhabit. When mankind rejected their Creator, He again showed His love for us by sending Jesus to die on the cross so that we could share in the perfect heaven that He will create for us. (Jo. 3:16).
You can trust God, with the power to create the universe, to protect you. We can never understand how God created the laws of nature: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:9). But we can look to the inscribable heavens as proof of God’s love for us: “For Your goodness is great to the heavens and Your truth to the clouds.” (Ps. 57:10; 103:11). When you face a trial, do you place your trust in God’s power to deliver you?
God questioned Job as to whether he understood God’s control over the laws of nature. God is also sovereign over the forces of nature on Earth and uses them to sustain life: “34 Can you raise your voice to the clouds, so that an abundance of water will cover you? 35 Can you send flashes of lightning, so that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 Who has put wisdom in the innermost being, or given understanding to the mind? 37 Who can count the clouds by wisdom, and pour out the water jars of the heavens, 38 when the dust hardens into a mass and the clods stick together?” (Job 38:34-38). Elihu also praised God for His control over nature (Job 36:32; 37:11-12). God stays actively involved in all of His creation. This includes your life as well.
God is actively involved in sustaining all creation. Many believe that God is distant and uninvolved. Job also believed that God would not hear him. God’s point was to show that He is intimately involved in everything in the natural world. Thus, Job could trust that God was actively involved in his life as well: “It was important for Job to know that God was not his enemy as he had imagined. This encounter with the Lord to learn the lesson that God is God was Job’s assurance that all is well. Job did not learn why he was suffering: but he did learn to accept God by faith as his Creator, Sustainer, and Friend. [For example] . . . Yahweh is the one who orders the clouds to release their moisture (v. 34). Job and all of mankind can only raise their voices in prayer . . .” (Frank Gaebelein, Elmer Smick, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1, 2 Kings, 1, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Zondervan Publishing House 1988) p. 1035, 1037).
God has given us wisdom to understand Him. God also stated that He has given us wisdom (Job 38:36). God reveals His glory when you use your God-given wisdom to examine His hand in creation (Prov. 25:2). God is again worthy of your praise.
God questioned Job whether he understood God’s provision for His creation. God has further placed all of His creation, down to the smallest animals under His provision: “39 Can you hunt the prey for the lioness, or satisfy the appetite of young lions, 40 when they crouch in their hiding places, and lie in wait in their lair? 41 Who prepares feed for the raven when its young cry to God, and wander about without food?” (Job 38:39-41). “Beginning with v. 39 God took Job on a guided tour of His menagerie, pointing out to him those species that were especially wild, rare, or remote. The questions continue, not to demean Job, but to glorify God. The first stanza, unlike the others, deals with two animals who search for food has occasioned this grouping. Lions may do their own hunting, but there is a sense in which God provides for them, giving them the necessary skills of stealth and strength to ‘hunt the prey’ and to ‘satisfy their hunger’ or literally to ‘fill their life’ (Ps. 104:21).” (Robert Alden, The New American Commentary, Vol. 11, Job (B&H Publishing Group 1993) p. 381). God ensures that even the smallest of animals have their needs met. Out of love, He also provides for you.
God loves and provides for all of His creation46
Praise God for His provision. As an example for us, the psalms praise God for providing for all creation: “The young lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God . . . They all wait for You to give them their food in due season.” (Ps. 104:21; 147:9).
Because He also loves you, you can also trust God to provide for your needs. Jesus later quoted from this chapter of Job to highlight that God provides for all of creation: “Consider the ravens, that they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!” (Lk. 12:24). His point was that you can trust Him to provide for you. Thus, He is worthy of praise.
Nahmanides, Commentary on the Torah, Genesis 1:1, quoted by, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, Genesis And The Big Bang: The Discovery Between Harmony And The Bible (Bantam Books 1990), pp. 64-65.↩︎
Robert H. Dicke “Dirac’s Cosmology in March’s Principal Nature” (1961) p.440; Gerald Schroeder, Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible (Bantam Books 1991) pp.121-122.↩︎
Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos (RTB Press 2018) p.132.↩︎
Id. at 133-134.↩︎
Id. at 134.↩︎
Ross. at 135, citing, Michael Hart, Habitable Zones About Main Sequence Stars, Icarus 37 (1979), pp. 351-357.↩︎
Shroeder at p. 124.↩︎
Id. at 137, citing, “Our Friend Jupiter” Discoverer (1993) p. 15.↩︎
Id., citing, Hugh Ross, Dinosaurs’ Disappearance No Longer A Mystery, Facts & Faith, Vol. 5 No. 3 (1991) pp.1-36.↩︎
Gerald Schroeder, Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible, p. 125. Ross further notes ancient rocks reveal that our magnetic field has followed a “sinusoidal” pattern every ten thousand years. This means that the field has fluctuated precisely within the narrow bounds necessary for life to exist. Hugh Ross, Creation and Time (NavPress 1994) p.106 citing, (Jacobs, J.A.; Russell, R.D.; and Tuzo Wilson, J., Physics and Geology (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959) p. 135.↩︎
(See, Hugh Ross, Big Bang Refined by Fire (Reasons to Believe 1998) pp. 18-29)↩︎
Emphasis added. Id. at 29.↩︎
Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee, The Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe (Springer-Verlag: New York, Inc. 2000.↩︎
Hugh Ross, Navigating Genesis (rtb press 2014) p. 35-6, citing, P. Jonathan Patchett, “Scum of the Earth After All,” Nature 382 (August 29, 1996): 758.↩︎
Hugh Ross, Navigating Genesis (rtb press 2014) p. 39-40; citing Thorsten Kleine et al., “Hf-W Chronometry of Lunar Metals and the Age and Early Differentiation of the Moon,” Science 310 (December 9, 2005):1671-74; Joel Baker at al., “Early Planetesimal Melting from an Age of 4.5662 Gyr for Differentiated Meteorites,” Nature 436 (August 25, 2005): 1127-31.↩︎
Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, p. at 32.↩︎
Hugh Ross, Navigating Genesis, p. 35, citing Eliza Miller-Ricci and Jonathan J. Fortney, “The Nature of the Atmosphere of the Transiting Super-Earth GJ 1214b,” Astrophysical Journal Letters 716 (June 10, 2010): L74-L79.↩︎
Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, p. 32.↩︎
Id. at p. 43, citing D. M. Murphy, et al. “Influence of Sea-Salt on Aerosol Radiative Properties in the Southern Ocean Marine Boundary Layer,” Nature 392 (1998), pp. 62-65.↩︎
Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, Jonathan Patchett, “Scum of the Earth After All” Nature 382 (1996) p. at 758.↩︎
Id. at 43.↩︎
Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, citing Harris, Archer, and Waltke, Theological Workbook, Vol. II, pp. 862, 935.↩︎
Id., citing pp. 701-702; William Gesenius, Gesenius, Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament) (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1979 (p. 657).↩︎
Hugh Ross, Navigating Genesis, p. 40-41; citing, William R. Ward, “Comments on the Long-Term Stability of the Earth’s Obliquity,” Icarus 50 (1982): 444-48; Carl. D. Murray, “Seasoned Travelers,” Nature 361 (February 18, 1993): 615-17.↩︎
Hugh Ross, Navigating Genesis, p. 39-40; citing Neil F. Comins, What If the Moon Didn’t Exist? Voyages to Earths That Might Have Been (New York: Harper Collins, 1993), pp. 53-65; Comins, What If The Moon Didn’t Exist? 4-5, 58; W.R. Kuhn, J. C. G. Walker, and H.G. Marsshall, “The Effect on Earth’s Surface Temperature from Variations in Rotation Rate, Continent Formation, Solar Luminosity, and Carbon Dioxide,” Journal of Geophysical Research 94 (August 20, 1989): 11, 129-31, 136.↩︎
Hugh Ross, The Genesis Question, p. 32, William R. Ward, "Comments on the Long-Term Stability of the Earth’s Obliquity," Icarus 50 (1982), pp. 444-448; Carl D. Murray, "Seasoned Travelers," Nature 361 (1993), pp. 586-587; Jacques Laskar and P. Robutel, "The Chaotic Obliquity of the Planets," Nature 361 (1993), pp. 602-612.↩︎
The Genesis Question, p. 33, citing, Jeffrey L. Bada, "Origins of Homochirality," Nature 374 (1995), pp. 594-95; Michael P. Robertson and Stanley L. Miller, "An Efficient Prebiotic Synthesis of Cytosine and Uracil," Nature 375 (1995), pp. 772-73.↩︎
Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, at 112 - 113 citing Iosef Shaklovskii and Carl Sagan, Intelligent Life in the Universe, pp. 343-350.↩︎
Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, p. 112.↩︎
Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, p.117.↩︎
Id. at 117. Citing John P. Cox and R. Thomas Giuli, Principles of Stellar Structure, Vol. II: Applications to Stars (1968) pp.944-1028.↩︎
Id. at 117.↩︎