God Speaks To All - Discovery from Book of Job

The Bible Book of Job shows us that God revealed Himself to all nations and races throughout history. No one nation or race can claim exclusivity on God. God seek out and response to whoever will seek Him. God is a God of love and justice and play no favorite to exclude anyone.
It is interesting that the Bible includes the Book of Job. While we may not be absolutely sure about exact dates on the life of Job and the authorship of the book, we can roughly estimate the time from its content. Being included in the Bible, we can also accept the authenticity of its content.

The Time and Age of Job
Job 42:16  And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, four generations.

At the start of the story, Job had 7 sons and 3 daughters. They were having parties and so they must be of certain age. If the youngest is 15 and Job had one child every year, then the eldest should be about 25. If Job had his first born about 20 year old, then the calamity struck when Job is about 45. If he lived for another 140 years, then the age of Job is 185 or older.

We had from the Bible the life spans for other others. The list of people that were around 200 year-old are:

  Terach died at 205
  Abraham died at 175
  Isaac died at 180
  Jacob died at 147
  Moses died at 120

Knowing that the lives of people got shortened through time and is specifically recorded at 120 after the flood (Gen 6:3). Ps 90 set it at 70-80 which is roughly the average life-span of our present generation.

We can roughly put Job in the times of the Patriarchs such as Abraham or even earlier is we estimate Job to be older. See "When Was the Book of Job Written?" - Probe Ministries for more reasons for this estimate.

What then is the new discovery?
Job lived in roughly the times of Abraham and  was before the giving of the Laws of the Moses. The Jews and the Arabs were not there yet. Then
  1. How do they know about God? 
  2. What do they know about God?
How do they know about God?
We know they knew about God because they sacrifice to the God. Job's friends  talked about how God is like to kind of 'comfort' him. So, how do they know about God? It must be word of mouth, some form of writing and ritualistic practices throughout the generations. It may also be from the study of the working of the universe as told in Rom 1:19-20. 

We know that the Chinese since its recorded history practiced sacrifices to God as well (see for example http://www.orthodox.cn/localchurch/200406ancientcnhist_en.htm

The Chinese characters captured the creation and the sinning of Adam and Eve as well. See for example http://www.bibleprobe.com/chinese.htm or do a google search to get more such texts.

The key point that I am stressing is that God speak to all nations and races since the creation. No one particular person, religion or race can claim exclusivity to knowing God

What was their knowledge of God?

From Job's actions of making sacrifice for his children sins, and his friends arguments about Job's suffering we can see that the God that they knew is am All Mighty God of justice who blesses the righteous and punishes the evils. That was the concept of God before Job's suffering.

After Job's encounter with God, he knew more about God and the working of the spiritual worlds and its relation with the natural world.

Job said in Job 42:5  I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; I think it tells us that he now had a first hand experience with God. In his encountered with God, God must have shared with him many things and I believed that Job wrote his book of Job to share with us. The details are share in Why is there Suffering for Good People - Job's Answers.

He now discovered another key attribute of God, which is love. Job needs not live in fear of punishment and continue to make sacrifices just in case. God shows Job that He created a wonderful world and care for all His creations. Job can put his trust in the loving hand of God no matter what, even through temporary set back, to set him up for greater blessings.

Job came to know that God is both Justice and Love and love man enough to give of Himself for man. God will speak and reveal Himself to whoever that seek Him regardless of race and even of religions.

Lim Liat (C) 11 Aug 2012

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