Whether we realize it or not, we have a philosophy.
We probably don’t even notice it, but we all have it—philosophy. It is the way we approach things, whether it be our work, relationships, family, or religion. Our philosophy is usually formed without thinking about it. It starts as a child and is learned from parents, family, teachers, and friends. The human brain usually believes the first thing it is exposed to and only rejects that information after being confronted by convincible evidence. If we are taught the wrong things our philosophy can be very dangerous.
Destin from the YouTube channel “Smarter Every Day” has a very enlightening video about a bike that steers backward. This video made a profound impact on me as I was forced to realize that once or brain has been trained to think a certain way it is hard to think otherwise. This is why most people in the world never understand those they don’t agree with.
If you are to learn the Bible you have to be able to make your brain comprehend ideas that will be foreign to you. Just like everything else we were given a philosophy about how to read the Bible and understand God. Some were taught the Bible is not to be taken literal, just some good advice. Others are taught it is one hundred percent literal and inspired by God. Some focus on healing, others on prosperity, still others on witnessing. People of each of these persuasions are convinced they have the right approach. The real fact is they believe this mostly because that has been their initial indoctrination into the Bible and religion.
Here is where I want you to clear your mind of preconceived ideas. I know from years of teaching the Bible and listening to Bible teachers that we read the Bible as modern men. We fail to read the Bible from the perspective of people who lived during most of the world’s history. Let me give you an example and once you understand this it will start to change the way you see the Bible. This is so important I cannot overemphasize it. Let’s look at Job chapter 38:1-6
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Who is this that darkeneth counsel
by words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man;
for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?
declare, if thou hast understanding.
Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest?
or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?
or who laid the corner stone thereof;
Many people would just read this a think it is some outdated understanding of our world, but they would miss the point entirely. Why? Because they see if from a modern man’s perspective. From this, people would think that people back then were unlearned and lacked intelligence. It is true that they did not have the knowledge of the world that we do today, but that does not make them stupid. The God or Bible is not trying to tell us the earth has a cornerstone and anyone who believes this is missing the point and just trying to be critical of its use of language. God does not have to explain the workings of our universe to Job or you in order to reveal the truth. The Bible has brought truth to all people, even those with little understanding of our universe.
What God was trying to tell Job and it goes for us today is we are to be careful about thinking we know too much. “Who is this that darkened council by words without knowledge?” Job probably had as much understanding of the solar system as I do about the universe.
Here is your thinking exercise for this lesson. Think about describing a day of your life to someone who lived 1000 years ago. Think of what they might know about your life with all of its technology and describe to them a day in your life. Remember they would not even understand gravity. I mean really consider this fully and it will start to make you think how the Bible was written in a whole new way.
This is so true when we read the first chapters of Genesis. We cannot expect that God is giving us scientific knowledge about our world because the person who wrote it would have little understanding of how God created it. I would dare say as much as we know today God still would not be able to speak clearly about how He created the world. If we try to act like we can know the workings of God we too will stand before God with His stern warning.
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?