“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?”
Job 38:31-33 (NIV)
God finally weighs in on the debate between Job and his friends, and He immediately puts Job on the witness stand for questioning. He tells Job, “Brace yourself like a man,” and then the cross-examination begins. God starts a long litany of questions. Today’s chapter is a cosmic tour of creation, astronomy, geology, meteorology, and physics as God asks Job to verify where he was when it all began and what power or authority he has over any of it.
Last week there was a fascinating article on the pages of the Wall Street Journal by Eric Metaxas regarding ways in which science is beginning to understand just how miraculous our existence in the universe really is. When I was young, Carl Sagan and his documentary Cosmos were all the rage. Sagan argued that there were only two simple things needed for life to exist on another planet: The right kind of star and a planet that is a certain distance from that star. Fast forward 40 years and scientists now realize that you need more than two things, and the list now stands at 200 parameters which must be perfectly met. In fact, the parameters must be so perfectly met that the odds of our existence on this Earth defy common sense. Metaxas writes:
Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology . . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator . . . gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”
For the record, I despise the evolution versus creation debate that seems to incessantly rage in our country. Thirty-five years of wandering through and studying God’s Message has led me to conclude that it is an epic story. In fact, I believe it to be the Great Story which spawns all great stories. God’s message, I have personally come to discover, is not a science text book. I think it silly to confuse the two.
This does not mean that the Great Story is a work of fiction. Quite the opposite. It is fascinating to me that genetic science has proven that we all came from the same woman whom the scientists appropriately dubbed Eve, and that scientists are now beginning to realize that our very existence so defies the odds as to be miraculous. God’s Message points us to these basic truths in beautiful, literary form without explaining the science or intricacies of them. I have concluded that God’s Message is not about answering the minute details of how we came to be, but about leading us to answer the most important, eternal questions of why we came to be.
Which leads us all back to Job’s side, bracing ourselves to answer the Creator’s questions.