Daily Bible Radio

Evidence vs. Fact

Job 33:1-12 :

“However, Job, please hear my speech,
and listen to all my words.
See now, I have opened my mouth.
My tongue has spoken in my mouth.
My words will utter the uprightness of my heart.
That which my lips know they will speak sincerely.
The Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
If you can, answer me.
Set your words in order before me, and stand up.
Behold, I am toward God even as you are.
I am also formed out of the clay.
Behold, my terror will not make you afraid,
neither will my pressure be heavy on you.

“Surely you have spoken in my hearing,
I have heard the voice of your words, saying,
‘I am clean, without disobedience.
I am innocent, neither is there iniquity in me.
Behold, he finds occasions against me.
He counts me for his enemy.
He puts my feet in the stocks.
He marks all my paths.’

“Behold, I will answer you. In this you are not just,
for God is greater than man.

One of the things I remember about my youth was how consumed I was how I appeared to others. I admit that I still struggle with this problem today. It appears that Elihu was overly self-conscious because he spent quite a bit of time in his introduction talking about himself. It's easy to fall into a pattern of self-focus. It's so natural to us, but it is often a sinful thing that comes from our sinful nature. God meant for us to be focused on Him and on others. Our sin has shifted that focus and even our best intentions can be ruined by it. Perhaps that's part of what happened to Elihu here.

What Elihu said in this passage sounded pretty good up to the point where he accused Job of not thinking that God is greater than man. For some reason, Elihu thought that he would answer in a new and different way, but what he said wasn't new at all. He told Job that he wasn't right because God is greater than man. Elihu said he was listening, but this is what Job said back in chapter 21:

Job 21:22 :

“Shall any teach God knowledge,
since he judges those who are high?

Not only that, Zophar mentioned it too:

Job 11:7-8 :

“Can you fathom the mystery of God?
Or can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
They are high as heaven. What can you do?
They are deeper than Sheol. What can you know?

It looks like Elihu was under the impression that Job's circumstances were equal to God's word. This is a grave error. The problem with using evidence as God's word is that it isn't propositional truth. What I mean is that evidence doesn't have anything written on it that tells you how it got there or what it means. It doesn't contain any clear statements of fact. You must interpret evidence to get any truth out of it and the framework you interpret your evidence with is a network of facts that come from somewhere else. In Elihu's case, it's evident that his facts were coming from his own opinions as he clearly stated, and they were wrong too.

The only appropriate source of fact is God's spoken words, which have now been written down for us in the Bible.

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