Disclaimer

Disclaimer: I am not a Biblical scholar. All my posts and comments are opinions and thoughts formulated through my current understanding of the Bible. I strive to speak of things that can be validated through Biblical Scriptures, and when I'm merely speculating, I make sure to note it. My views can be flawed, and I thus welcome any constructive perspectives and criticisms!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Exodus 3-4

Exodus 3-4

Exodus 2:24-25
So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.  And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.

As we enter Exodus 3, forty more years passed by, and Moses had lost his fervor of younger age, where he aspired to save his people. Now, he just wants to be left alone, to follow God anonymously, and to raise his family.

Some may think it was a waste of 40 years to have Moses wander in the wilderness as a shepherd, but others would argue that it gave him the perfect training he needed: for the next 40 years, God would call Moses to shepherd His people across a similar area of the desert!

We may not always be aware of God's plan for us. However, if we abide by his will, then the training we receive goes beyond time and money. Even if we hate the situation, there is always something there that we will learn through it, always something that will come and help our walk with Him in the future. 

Moses' life was divided into three 40's:
First 40: In Egypt, Moses became something. 
Second 40: In the wilderness, Moses became nothing. 
Third 40: Moses learns how God can do something with nothing, by having him lead His people out of bondage.


GOD APPEARS TO MOSES AT THE BURNING BUSH (Exodus 3:1-10)

Exodus 3:2
So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.

The bush was a symbol of Israel in affliction. The fire was a symbol of God’s judgment (Exodus 19:18; Hebrews 12:28-29).

Like the bush, Israel will burn with God’s judgment, but God will not let it be consumed.

Exodus 3:5
Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.

As Moses approached the burning bush, God told Moses to not come too close and to take off his sandals because Moses was on holy ground. Moses couldn’t get any closer because God’s perfect holiness would turn all sin into ashes. Hence, God’s warning was to protect Moses from premature judgment. 

Joshua was also given the same commandment as he approached an angel who would help him defeat Jericho (Joshua 5:13-15). Only God ever allowed Himself to be worshipped. Hence, we know from this passage that the angel who helped Joshua defeat Jericho wasn’t just any angel. It was THE Angel of the Lord, pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.

God has heard the cries of His people, and He is sending Moses back to Egypt to take His people out of cruel bondage.


MOSES DOUBTS HIS ABILITIES & RELUCTANTLY ACCEPTS GOD’S PLAN (Exodus 3:11-4:17)

Exodus 3:10
Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.

Moses was not enthusiastic at all about this call. He was at a point in life where he just wanted to retire and go home to the Lord. And so, Moses comes up with five excuses (Exodus 3-4). 

Excuse 1. Moses didn’t think he was the right person for the job because he was a nobody.
Moses tells God that He has the wrong guy. And what does God say? He tells Moses he will succeed because He will be with him (Exodus 3:12). God wasn't sending Moses out alone. God was going to be with Moses every step of the way! Moses was not a nobody – He had God! Zero plus God makes the majority!

Excuse 2. Moses didn’t know what he would say to his people so that they would follow him.
Moses didn’t need to know what to say – God will tell him what to say. (Exodus 3:14-22)

We don’t need to be somebody famous or powerful or amazing to do God’s work. When we are in God, when we have God in our lives, we are capable of doing great and amazing things. Not because we are independently able, but because we have God guiding us from within. Moses, a great man known as the father who rescued the entire nation of Israel from Egypt, didn’t think he was good enough for the plans that God had envisioned for him. Moses believed that God should pick someone who was in higher power, or at least someone who would know what to do. In Moses’ own eyes, he saw himself as a tiny nobody who was so removed from the Israelites living in Egypt, that he wouldn’t even know what to say or what to do to get his people to follow him. However, God reassured Moses that as long as he had God on his side, Moses would have the power to accomplish such a daunting task. As long as Moses followed God faithfully, God would accomplish everything through Moses. This is the kind of faith we need to have, especially when we are faced with a great challenge that we doubt we could ever succeed!

Excuse 3. Moses didn’t think his people would believe him.
To help him over this obstacle, God gave Moses 3 signs:

God gave Moses a rod that would show the Israelites that God was in power (Exodus 4:2-4). The rod would become a serpent when cast on the ground but turn back into a rod when taken by the tail. The serpent was a symbol of Egypt. God is showing Moses here that God is in control of the situation. Egypt may be fearsome, but God is in control. 

God also gave Moses the ability to heal leprosy (Exodus 4:6-8), which was and still is an incurable disease! 

God gave Moses the ability to turn water into blood (Exodus 4:9).

Excuse 4. Moses didn’t think he was a good public speaker.
God told Moses that He would teach Moses what to say if Moses didn’t know what to say.

Excuse 5. Moses just really didn’t want to do it; he wanted God to send someone else.
Running out of excuses, Moses finally turned to straight disobedience. Because Moses was so reluctant, God told Moses that he could have the help of his brother, Aaron. Aaron was a more eloquent speaker than Moses (Exodus 4:14-16). Through Moses, Aaron was connected to God (Exodus 4:14-16, 27-31); he learned about God and His plans through Moses. It appears that Aaron was also more obedient than Moses; he certainly didn’t complain about his mission as much as Moses did!

We need to realize that when God calls us to do something, IT IS NOT ABOUT US. We will never succeed if we do it on our own. But with God, we will always succeed. And so, when God calls on us, IT IS ABOUT GOD AND HIS WILL. We are just His chosen vessel. We do not need to have confidence in ourselves because it's not about us anyway! We just need to trust that God will take the lead, and guide us to where He needs us to go.


GOD IS THE GREAT I AM

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”  

John 8:58
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”  

Jesus revealed himself to the Israelites that He IS God. Why did they want to stone Jesus for saying this (John 8:59)? Because the Israelites rejected Jesus as their Messiah, they did not believe Jesus to be God. And if Jesus wasn’t God and dared to say He was, that was blasphemy in their eyes, and the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning.

Jesus is God, the same God who created the universe, the same God who form an everlasting covenant with Abraham, the same God who rescued His people from bondage.


MOSES RETURNS TO EGYPT (Exodus 4:18-31) 

To prepare for his return to Egypt, Moses first sought permission from his father-in-law. Once Moses had his blessing, he then packed up his family and headed back for Egypt on a donkey, with the rod that God gave him.

As they got ready to leave, however, God exposed a serious mark of sin in Moses’ life: One of Moses' sons was not circumcised. This was an example of Moses' disobedience to God. Because of this disobedience, their son suffered through a life-threatening illness. Both Moses and Zipporah knew that it was their disobedience that led to their current circumstance. 

Nobody is above the Law of God, no matter the calling. Zipporah may have been against circumcision earlier, and Moses did not fight her on it, perhaps thinking God would be okay with this willful disobedience. Both Moses and Zipporah learned that God does not tolerate disobedience. Period.

The leader has to lead from the home. There is not tolerance for willful disobedience to avoid strife. God is telling Moses here that He will not let Moses lead His people if Moses thinks its okay to disobey His commands at will. Obedience needs to start in the home!

Having straightened things up at home, Moses faces no easy feat ahead. Moses was to tell Pharaoh that Israel belongs to God, and the Israelites are His people, His firstborn. Pharaoh should let God’s people go. Otherwise, just as Pharaoh killed God’s firstborns, God, too, will kill Pharaoh’s firstborns.

With Aaron on his side, Moses progressed with God’s commands. Both Moses and Aaron obeyed the Lord exactly as God had instructed them to do. They didn’t leave anything out, and they didn’t add anything to God’s plan. Because of their faithful obedience, their lives were blessed: They led the Israelites, who looked upon them and respected them as their leaders. 

Forty years earlier, Moses' fire burned out after a few days of ministry (having been rejected by his own people), and he fled into the wilderness. Forty years later, Moses would be ignited again. Although he was at first reluctant, once his fire for God was lit again, it would not be put out. What's the difference? The presence of God in his life.

God loves us and always hears us. He will always protect us and take us to safety. And when we keep Him in our lives, we will always be under His love and care.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Exodus 2:11-25

Notes for BSF

Exodus 2:11-25

Exodus 2:10
When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.


MOSES KILLS AN EGYPTIAN (Exodus 2:11-14)

Acts 7:23-24
When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 

Moses killed the Egyptian while defending the Jew that was being abused. Moses could not stand injustice. Whenever he sees a weaker person being bullied or taken advantage of, he would step up and help the weaker person.

Although we can sympathize with Moses’ reaction, we still need to recognize that Moses ended up in this situation because he failed to look “up.” He looked right and left before taking things into his own hands, because he knew what he was about to do was not right. It is good that he felt the injustice and was compelled to take action. However, his method was wrong.

It’s always easier to criticize what other people can do better, and I’m not trying to do that here with Moses. Instead, I think we should learn from this situation. When we feel like we’re trapped in a hole, and our only option to get out of the trap is to commit a sin, we have to remember to look up! God is all powerful, and He can deliver us from anything. When we try to rely on ourselves, we will be limited by our imperfections and dig ourselves into a deeper hole. Take the time and look up when we find ourselves in a difficult situation. Let God tell us where to go next. Never rush into a decision made without having prayed to God about it!

Acts 7:25
Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 

Moses saw that his people were in bondage and treated with great injustice. Aware that God had promised His people that He would deliver them from bondage (Genesis 15:13), and aware that God was very present in his life, Moses thus thought his people would understand his bold stand against the Egyptians’ injustice. However, Moses was rejected by his own people.

Hebrews 11:26
(Moses) regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

By standing up for his own people, Moses lost his place as royalty of Egypt, the most powerful and richest country in the world at the time. He gave up his life of material luxury – Yet, it gained him eternal salvation in Christ!

Moses valued his life in Christ more important than the luxurious life as royalty of Egypt. To non-Christians, this would be a foolish thing to do, because, wow, look at all that power and riches Moses gave up! But to Christians, we understand what it means to “look ahead to our reward” – Our eternity in Jesus. To us Christians, we can comprehend why Moses willingly gave up the world (literally!) for Jesus. It’s an easy choice!


MOSES SEEKS REFUGE IN MIDIAN (Exodus 2:15-22)

As exhibited earlier, Moses didn’t hesitate to stand up for the daughters of Midian when he saw them being taken advantage of by the shepherds. This time, instead of punishing the oppressor, Moses went and helped the oppressed instead. That is, instead of killing the shepherds, Moses helped the daughters water their flock.

Reciprocating Moses’ act of kindness, Reuel (the father) invited Moses to stay with them. Seeing how he could no longer return to Egypt and had no place to call home, it was probably a good idea for Moses to take Reuel up on his offer. Despite having a new place to call home, Moses’ heart still longed for his homeland and his people. Prime example of his pining heart is that he named his son, Gershom, meaning, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land.”

During his exile in Egypt, Moses learned to be patient, learned to lead a flock, and smoothed out the edges of his young and over-zealous temper.


THE ISRAELITES CRIED OUT FOR GOD (Exodus 2:23-25)

Meanwhile, life only became harder for the Israelites under the Pharaoh. In fact, life got so difficult, the Israelites groaned and cried out to God to deliver them. God, being the loving Father, heard, remembered, looked upon, and acknowledged His people. Through Moses, God will indeed deliver His people from bondage!

God is actively involved in our lives. He hears us; He remembers us; He watches over us; He listens to us. If we feel like we are in a bondage (be it physically or spiritually), all we need to do is to look upon God, and He will come to our aid.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Exodus 1:1-2:10

Notes for BSF

Deuteronomy 7:9, NIV
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.


THE PHAROH OPPRESSES THE ISRAELITES (Exodus 1)

To prevent the Jews from becoming too great, the new Pharaoh decided to enact 3 things:
1. To enslave them (v. 11)
2. To kill all the newborn baby boys (v. 16)
3. On a national level, every Egyptian citizen was to kill all Jewish boys (v. 22)

Yet, despite the Pharaoh’s attempts…
1. The Israelites continued to multiply
2. The Israelites continued to spread
(Who can stand against God or His people?)

Genesis 15:12-14
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

When God formed the covenant with Abram, God already knew that Abram and his descendants would be strangers in a country that did not belong to them, that they would be enslaved and mistreated. However, God also made it clear that He will redeem them, giving them hope that all this suffering was not forever but just a part of God’s plan of redemption! (See also, Isaiah 43:1-4; John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 1:4, 9.) As long as the Israelites remained faithful in God, they would have the hope that one day they will be redeemed.

Be pleasers of God, not pleasers of Man
Shiphrah and Puah feared God and thus did not heed the king’s orders. They risked losing their physical lives but gained eternal life with God!

Exodus 1:20-21
So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

When we do the will of God, we will be blessed.

Just as how the Pharaoh wanted to destroy the Jewish people through water, so, too, will God use water to destroy the Pharaoh and his army of men.


GOD PROTECTS MOSES THROUGH BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD (Exodus 2)

With the Pharaoh commanding that all Jewish newborn baby boys be killed, Moses’ parents hid him for as long as he could, for by faith, they knew Moses was a special child (Hebrews 11:1, 6, 23). When Moses’ mother realized Moses could no longer remain hidden, she placed the fate of her son in God’s hands…

Moses’ mother probably knew that the Pharaoh’s daughter had a tender heart (Exodus 2:6). And so, she put Moses in a basket and floated him down toward the Pharaoh’s daughter at the time she would be out there bathing. Moses’ sister, Miriam, kept a close eye on Moses throughout this whole process, so that when the Pharaoh’s daughter picked up Moses, Miriam was able to immediately ask if she needed the baby boy to be nursed by one of the Hebrew women (who happened to be the mother!). Even at such a young age, we can see Miriam as a faithful, strong, and smart young girl. She knew to look out for her family, and her instincts kept Moses protected.

What a wonderful turn of events for Moses and his family, isn’t it? Instead of being constantly afraid of the Pharaoh carrying out the death sentence against Moses, Moses was reunited with his family, AND his mother got PAID to take care of him! Furthermore, with him being reared as the adopted son of the Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:10), Moses was able to grow up privileged and protected – No more threats on his life!

By faith, Moses’ family kept him alive at the risk of losing their lives. For their faith, they were blessed with the return of Moses and the ability to take care of him, under the protection of the Pharaoh’s household!

How ironic for the Pharaoh and, ultimately, Satan’s plan! This is just one very vivid example of how God always overcomes the evil scheming of not just man but of Satan as well.

Moses' mother did more than just nurse him…
Moses’ mother taught him about God and His promises and His people, all within the first 2-3 years of his life before she would have to give him over to the Pharaoh's daughter as her adopted son. Moses grew up understanding his heritage, learning of God’s Word, learning that he was one of God’s chosen people.

Being brought up as royalty in Egypt under the Pharaoh’s kingdom, Moses also had the best education in Egypt, brought up with all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became powerful in speech and action (Acts 7:20-22). Egypt was a pagan nation, believing not in God but taking pride in the feats they have accomplished themselves. There was a good reason for their pride: Their culture was very advanced, and their country was the strongest of their time. Growing up in this environment was very much like growing up as first world citizens of today: Everything was high tech, and surplus was everywhere. There was luxury and convenience, and the nation was on the top of the world. In a way, Moses received the best education – Think of it as him going to Harvard or Cambridge, learning from the best and performing at the cutting edge of knowledge. However, if that were his only source of education, if he didn’t also learn about his heritage from his mother, he would have had no understanding of God, he would have had no relationship with God! And then, how could Moses possibly have been the leader to take God’s people out of Egypt! Moses had the best of education in Egypt, and we see none of those paganisic traditions infiltrate his writing of the Tonach, And when it came time to choose between being an Egyptian to a Hebrew later on in his life, Moses didn’t hesitate to reclaim his identity as a Jew.

Knowing how Moses grew up to be one of Israel’s greatest leaders, we can glean great encouragement from this history. When we teach our children early on about the Holy Spirit, He protects our children from the corruption the world has to offer. What we teach our children in the early years is critical!

It would be decades before Moses would be able to lead his people out of bondage. During these tough, tough years, the Israelites had great hope, for God’s promises were made clear very early on, before even this great nation of people were born:

Genesis 12:1-3
Now the LORD had said to Abram, Depart from your country, and from your kindred, and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. 

Genesis 15:12-14
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

Genesis 15:18
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto your seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.

Genesis 17:4-8
As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall you name any more be called Abram, but you name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto you, and to you seed after you. And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land where you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Genesis 17:15-16
And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give you a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Genesis 22:17
That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.

Genesis 28:14-15
And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with you, and will keep you in all places where ever you go, and will bring you again into this land; for I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken to you of. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Genesis 1:9-13

Bible study with Dr. Chuck Missler

DAY THREE (Genesis 1:9-13)

Missler spent a significant portion of this session to illustrate just how impossible (as defined by science) it is for life to have resulted from random chance. The flow of this session was thus structured to use Genesis 1:9-13 as backbone and build toward this climax.


STATISTICAL PROBABILITY -- We are not the product of random chance

If you found a string of black-and-white beads and upon further inspection discovered it spelled out Genesis 1:1 in Morse Code, what is the probability that this sequence occurred through random chance?


To achieve this, you would need exactly 347 beads for the complete code. To symbolize the short and long "pings" of Morse Code, the beads are either black or white.

The probability that this code resulted from random chance = 2^-347 = 2.8669 x 10^-104


In science, scientists have defined any probability < 10^-50 as impossible! In other words, the probability of randomly spelling out Genesis 1:1 in Morse Code with beads is defined impossible by science.


Let us take this example up a notch and apply it to nature: the composition of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen throughout our bodies.


Chemical Composition: Hemoglobin
The hemoglobin is composed of 574 amino acids. These amino acids are selected from a pool of 20 amino acids. That is, we can view the molecular sequence of amino acids as 574 beads on a string. Each bead can be one of twenty colors.

To determine the total possible number (N) of linear arrangements, we use this formula: N = n!/(p! x q! x r! ...). There are 10^650 permutations possible; only one of them is hemoglobin -- Aka, the probability of making the hemoglobin molecule by random chance is 10^-650. This is even more "scientifically impossible" than the first example! 

Impossibility of “Chance”
Consider the following facts, based on science:
• Only 10^18 seconds in the history of the universe 
• Only 10^66 atoms in our entire galaxy
• Only 10^80 particles in our entire galaxy
• Probabilities < 10^-50 is defined as “absurd”


"Chance" is too inefficient in both time and material for making just the hemoglobin molecule -- Just the hemoglobin molecule alone!


Specificity of 10^-650 is far beyond “chance” -- A chance of 10^-650 is equal to winning the lottery everyday for 90 days in a row! If I were to win the lottery everyday for 90 days in a row, how many of you would believe it was all due to dumb luck or random chance? And yet, so many of us believe life resulted from dumb luck or random chance?


The Elements of Language
The most advanced computers could not have “broken” Paul Revere’s code, because both semantics (“One if by land; two if by sea”) and syntax (“The Old North Church...”) are required. If a code made by man could not be broken by computers, how could the complex code of life be a matter of random chance? How could we not at least consider the possibility of it being a coordinated planning or design?

Let us now consider the most complicated "code" of all -- Our DNA.


Coding Structures
There are many types of coding structures. The following are just a few, listed in order of simple to complex structures.
• Simplex Alphabets
• Error-Detecting Codes
• Error-Correcting Codes
• Adaptive Coding Schema (e.g., Syntax-modifying codes)


Above, we have gone over two coding examples. A simple binary string of 347 elements has the probability of 10^-104 to achieve a certain code. The hemoglobin is string of 574 elements from an "alphabet" of 20 that derived from the probability of 10^-650. Either example have probabilities far below "scientifically impossible," but neither comes close to the most complex code of all: DNA -- a very complicated error-correcting code! (Yet, biologists would have us believe the most complicated code discovered is the result of random chance?!)

The DNA Code
Our DNA is a 3-out-of-4, error-correcting, self-replicating code, consisting of over 3 billion elements defining the manufacture and arrangement of hundreds of thousands of organelles; each organelle consists of unique assemblies selected from over 200 proteins; each protein involves 3,000 atoms in 3-dimensional configurations, all defined from an alphabet of 
20 amino acids!

What is the probability of all this occurring by chance? Way less than 10^-50, way less than 10^-104, way less than 10^-650 -- way less than absurdly impossible!


With that preface, let us now bathe in God's Word:


3RD DAY: DRY LAND, SEAS, VEGETATION

Genesis 1:9-13, NKJV
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

The details of these early chapters of Genesis—the Creation and the Flood—pervade the entire Bible, and are clearly confirmed in the New Testament, and by Jesus Christ personally.


Without the above preface, it is very tempting to disregard these Biblical texts because our experience tell us that it is impossible. In fact, "science" tell us that it's impossible. However, the same "science" has run the numbers and concludes that it is far more impossible to believe that life formed by random chance than it is to assume there is a Creator!


Here is my perspective: 


Science is fickle. Science has been shown to be wrong. Science is an evolving perspective. Science is experiential, based solely on events that can be experimented on. That is, any event that cannot be tangibly measured, science cannot either confirm or deny its existence. Examples? Plenty. Based on experience, scientists thought the Earth was flat until it was proven otherwise. Scientists thought everything revolved around the Earth until it was proven otherwise. God? Science cannot measure it. The truly objective scientist would thus conclude science can neither confirm nor deny God's existence. To make any other conclusions is being scientifically blind.


God, on the other hand, has proven to be exactly as He has said. Everything in the Bible has come to pass exactly as He has promised. Because of His perfection in the past, we therefore can have a high confidence of His fulfillment of events that have been prophesied to happen.


It's simple for me. I seek reliable sources to place my faith. Say I have two friends. One is flaky, constantly promises me something only to bail out in the end. The other is reliable. If she promises something, she makes sure she delivers. No excuses. Who would I trust? Who would you trust? Now, let's compare my two friends, Science and God. Who has been more consistently right? Who has been more reliable? I am not dismissing science. As a scientist, I love science -- I love how I get to wake up every morning and get paid to think and do science. However, science has limits, and after decades of experimenting, I have come to view science as a great tool to uncover the mysteries of God's creation. Contrary to popular (mis)belief, science complements the Biblical text.


Coming back to the topic of creation at hand, when we come across passages that appear to contradict science, we ought to remember 2 things: 1) science is not always right; it is an evolving pool of knowledge; 2) God does not deceive or lie; He has proven Himself to be trustworthy. Instead of sweeping questions we have under the rug, we ought to logically pursue them. Unraveling these questions is fundamental to our understanding of the entire Biblical plan of redemption, and more importantly, our understanding of the love of God. 

Laws of Thermodynamics


1st Law—Conservation
Matter and Energy cannot be created or destroyed (“You can’t win.”) -- Gen 2:2-3; Heb 4:3-4; Neh 9:6.

2nd Law—Entropy

All processes involve a loss (“You can’t break even.”) -- Ps 103:25,26; Isa 51:6; Mt 24:35; Rom 8:21.

Conservation of Energy
Nehemiah 9:6
All the things that are therein...you preserve them all.

The Bondage of Decay
There is an endpoint to life on earth.

Isaiah 51:6
The earth will grow old like a garment...


Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away...


History of Hydrology -- An example of science catching up with God
1500s -- Galileo made a crude thermometer;
1643 -- Torriceli made a barometer; Blaise Pascal, Rene Descartes: atmospheric pressure, altitude studies;
1660 --Robert Boyle: pressure, volume of gas; Robert Hooke: anemometer;
1700 -- Pierre Perrault and Edme Marriotte described the earth’s water cycle;
1714 -- Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit measured boiling and freezing points of water;
1802 -- Jean-Baptiste Lamarck classified clouds;
1806 -- Francis Beaufort: wind scale;
1812 -- First weather map


It wasn't until the 1500s that humans scientifically documented the water cycle. It then too more then a few hundred years to refine this particular field: hydrology. Yet, in the book of Job, a book written hundreds of years BC, God already revealed the mystery of the water cycle:


Job 36:27-28
For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly.


Ecclesiastes 1:6-7
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

Both Job and Solomon described Earth’s water cycle thousands of years before science was able to measure it!


It is examples like this that allow me to approach both science and God with an open mind. That just because science can't explain it now doesn't mean the Biblical text is not accurate. Sometimes (well, actually, all the time), science just needs some time to catch up to God!


More examples of Biblical anticipations of scientific discoveries
• Water cycle -- Ecc 1:6,7; Job 36:27, 28
• Jet Stream -- Ecc 1:6-7
• Evaporation -- Job 26:8, Ecc 1:6-7, Amos 9:6

• Source of River Water -- Ecc 1:6-7
• Fresh-Water Springs in the Sea -- Job 38:16 

• Pathways in the sea -- Ps 8:8; Isa 43:16 (see story below)

Matthew Fontaine Maury discovered “Pathways in the sea”
Matthew Fontaine Maury was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in 1806. As an avid Bible reader, he was struck by the reference in Psalm 8 to “the paths of the seas.” He also noticed that Isaiah wrote of a “path through the mighty waters.” The pursuit of this enigma became Maury’s lifetime quest.

He entered the Navy in 1825 as a midshipman. By 1842 he was placed in charge of the Depot of Charts and Instruments, out of which grew the U.S. Naval Observatory and Hydrographic Office. To gather information on maritime winds and currents, Maury distributed to ship captains specially prepared logbooks from which he compiled pilot charts, enabling him to shorten the time of sea voyages. In 1848, he published maps of the main wind fields of Earth. Maury was ultimately able to produce charts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, a profile of the Atlantic seabed, and the first modern oceanographic text. He is internationally recognized as the “Father of Oceanography,” and Maury Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy is named in his honor.

Maury's defining career came about all because of a remez, a hint of something deeper, in a verse of the Psalms!

God’s Science Quiz
There are 77 questions in the final 4 chapters of Job (Science’s mandate: Gen 1:28). Many of these questions man cannot even answer today. Ideally, science is the pursuit of truth. However, when we subjectively exclude God because we "just don't want to believe" rather than based on objective analysis, we allow our emotional bias to tint the scientific process. Simply put, if we irrationally exclude the answer from all possibilities right from the start, how do we expect to find the answer at all? All the great “founding fathers” of science—Newton, Boyle, Pascal, et al.—pursued their challenges “to the glory of God,” using science to uncover the mysteries of God. However, most of the various fields of study have been taken over by humanists, and Christians, by their indifference, have acquiesced in this takeover. Science, which should have been the great testimony to the majesty and glory of God, has instead become a device for ignoring and rejecting Him, and preying on the uninformed.

Below, let's take a look at some of the questions God has challenged us:


Job 38
1] Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2] Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3] Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. 

4] Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

It is significant to fully realize how fundamental the Creation is in Christian apologetics. According to Genesis 1 (35 times in that one chapter), and these four chapters of Job, God created each thing with its own specific attributes, and the powers of reproducing “after its kind” (digitally defined by the DNA!); each with its own definite object and purpose.


5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 

6] Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
7] When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?


“...foundations”

Even today, we are only beginning to understand the fabric of space, the nature of matter, and space-time, etc.

“Sons of God”

These were not “the lines of Seth!” Bene Elohim, is always used of a direct creation of God; here, this phrase points to angels (We’ll review this in Gen 6).

Now God turns to the most prominent feature of the planet: the sea (75% of the earth’s surface...):


8] Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?

9] When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingb and for it, 
10] And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors,
11] And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?


What controls the tides within bounds? (The greatest geophysical upheaval ever was the flood of Noah. We’ll review it in Gen 7-8). By another geophysical upheaval, He “braked up” for the flood waters a “decreed place,” and they were forever “shut up” in the deep ocean beds opened up to receive them: The earth’s isostatic balances now preclude another global deluge (Ps 104:6-9).


12] Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place;


The precession of the earth causes the sun to rise in a different place each morning according to the seasons. If it was any different, we wouldn’t have any light on this earth!


13] That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?

14] It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.
15] And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
16] Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?

There are fresh-water springs in the sea... How did a writer from a time of thousands of years BC know this?


17] Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?


Death is still a mystery to us. Science has not really made a dent there.


18] Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.


Thanks to satellites, this one has been cornered.


19] Where is the way where light dwelleth? And as for darkness, where is the place thereof, 


What is light? It’s nature is still illusive -- Is it a wave or a particle?


20] That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?
21] Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great? 
22] Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
23] Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?


Is this a reference to the role of eschatological hailstones (Josh 10:11; Ex 9:22-26; Isa 30:30; Ezek 13:11, 13; 38:22; Hag 2:17; Rev 16:21), or is this also a hint of some physics yet to be discovered?


24] By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?


How is light diffracted? Why are stars “red shifted”? All meteorological phenomena are derived from the light from the sun: the evaporation of water, the clouds, and 
photosynthesis, etc. Even our most elaborate computer models fail in this area.


25] Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; 


Fractals and Chaos Theory are topics in advanced mathematics...


26] To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
27] To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

Why is there beauty in the desert? Or in the depths of the sea where there is no light to see it? Why are flowers beautiful? (They serve no teleological purpose: bees are color blind!)

28] Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
29] Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? 

30] The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.

Ice violates a basic physical law. Virtually all materials expand when heated, contract when cooled. Water follows a strange exception by expanding when it freezes. Life on the earth would prove impossible if ice didn’t float and rivers froze from the bottom up.


31] Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?


There are only two constellations in the heavens that are actually gravitationally linked: the Pleiades and Orion. The other groupings are of stars that are actually quite distant from each other and only appear to be a grouping. Not many astronomers know that. Influences of Pleiades couldn’t be unbound; bands of Orion couldn’t be loosened because they are gravitationally bound. Again, how would a writer from the time of thousands of years BC know this?

34] Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
35] Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?
36] Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? 


God even challenges us to research man’s ability to do research itself! Where did the brain come from? Who designed the language and the machinery of the DNA, etc.?

37] Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven,
38] When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?



These next three verses belong to the next chapter: Who feeds the Animals? Who provides their obstetrical care? God asks more questions about the biological world than with the physical.

39] Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions,
40] When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
41] Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.


Allusions Included in Job 38
• The rotation of the earth, vv. 12-15
• The springs and pathways of the sea, v. 16 

• The breadth of the earth, v. 18
• The travel of light, v. 19
• The dividing of light, v. 24
• The source of rain, and ice, vv. 28-30
• The universal nature of physical laws, v. 33

• Electrical communications, v. 35

Scientific Insights gained from Job

Hydrological cycle (evaporation, circulation, precipitation) -- Job 28:24-27
How do clouds stay aloft? Air and wind have weight; water weighs more than air -- How are clouds supported?

Space/Time/Mass universe

“He stretcheth out the north over empty space, and hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). The “morning stars singing” at the foundation of the earth? (Job 38:7).


THE WATER MOLECULE: WHY DOES ICE FLOAT?


Model of the Atom
The nucleus is 100,000 times smaller than the electron cloud that orbits it and gives the size of the atom: a pinhead vs. 100 meters. An atom is mostly empty space.

The Nature of Matter
There are four states of matter: 1) Plasma 2) Gas 3) Liquid and 4) Solid. They decrease in entropy (become more ordered) from plasma to solid.

Water (H2O)
In the plasma stage, water consists of ions and electrons only. In the gas phase, they are bonded into molecules. In the liquid stage, the individual water molecules array themselves into ordered patterns. In the solid state, this ordered pattern is bonded to form a six-sided lattice. Virtually everything we know contracts as it gets colder. However, water is a profound exception. It expands as it freezes. That’s why ice floats. Without this peculiar exception, life would be impossible on Earth! (For example, rivers would freeze from bottom up, making our ecosystem hostile to life!)


DEATH OF DARWINISM

Advances in microbiology, DNA, et al., have dealt the death blow to Darwinism. DNA is a digital code. Darwinism cannot explain the origin of life because it cannot explain the origin of information. The question isn’t where did life begin but where did the information come from?


The Cell Revealed -- Miracles in a Miniature City

Michael Denton, 1986
"Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, each is in effect a veritable micro- miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up of 100,000,000,000 atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the nonliving world."

The (“Simple?”) Cell

The “simple cell” is unparalleled in its complexity and adaptive design. It has a central memory bank, assembly plants and processing units, repackaging and shipping centers, robot machines (protein molecules: 3000 atoms each in 3D configurations; hundreds of thousands of specific types), and elaborate communication systems with quality control and repair mechanisms. Does this sound simple to you?

Automated Factories in the Cell

• Robot Machines (aka, organelles; there are hundreds of thousands of different types found within a cell)
• Artificial languages and decoding systems
• Memory banks for information storage
• Control systems regulating automated assembly of components 

• Prefabrication and modular construction
• Error fail-safe and proofreading devices for quality control

Technology Comparison

Example, Ford River Rouge Plant in Dearborn Michigan:
– Raw limestone, iron ore, coal go into one end; 

– Manufactures its own steel, glass, and paint;
– Its own automated engine manufacturing line; 

– Assembly of mixed models, options, colors;
– New cars exit the other end


The cell is unequalled in any factory on earth. It is capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours (all cells derive from previous cells). There are 10^13 Cells in the human body. Self-reproduction is the most fundamental characteristic of al living organisms: Mitosis (nuclear division) and cytokinesis (cell division).


Think of the DNA strand as equivalent to two strands of monofilament fishing line 125 miles long, stored inside a basketball. It is unzipped, copied, and restored on spools (at 3 times the speed of an airplane propeller), all without tangling!

The Mitosis Mystery

The initial cell divides into an identical pair, which then divides again. Eventually, specialization (differentiation) leads to tissue formation, then organs, etc. Through science, we're beginning to understand how all of this is choreographed (beginning!) -- Yet, the ultimately question is, who encoded all this information in the form of DNA? Random chance? Really?

Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis means “To build with light”—all life derives from light. Sugar factories produce millions of new glucose molecules/second. Most plants produce more
glucose than they use and store it as starch and other carbohydrates in roots, stems, and leaves.

Each year, photosynthesizing organisms produce about 170 billion metric tons of extra carbohydrates, about 30 metric tons for every person on earth. 


Photosynthesis is a two-stage process.


1. The Light-Dependent Reaction
A chloroplast traps light energy and converts it into chemical energy contained in two types of molecules, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Light energy causes the electrons in chlorophyll to boost up and out of their orbit. The electrons instantly fall back into place, releasing resonance energy, or vibrating energy, as they go, all in millionths of a second. Light contains many wavelengths. Certain red and blue wavelengths of light are the most effective in photosynthesis because they have exactly the right amount of energy to energize chlorophyll electrons and boost them out of their orbits to a higher energy level. Other accessory pigments enhance the light-absorption capacity of the leaf by capturing a broader spectrum of blue and red wavelengths, along with yellow and orange wavelengths. None of the photosynthetic pigments absorb green light; as a result, green wavelengths are reflected, which is why plants appear green.


2. The Light-Independent Reaction

NADPH provides the hydrogen atoms that help form glucose, ATP provides the energy for this and other reactions used to synthesize glucose.

Why all these examples? To extensively show that life is not the result of random chance.



THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE

Simply stated, it is the appearance that the universe was designed for Man. In constructing a mathematical model of what we believe we know about the universe, there are hundreds of delicate ratios that, if altered the slightest, would render life impossible (some as little as 1/10^-55!).

This view has been noted by such venerated observers as Augustine, Maimonides, Aquinas, Newton, Paley, and others. This idea was dubbed “the Anthropic Principle” by Paul Dirac in 1937 and by Robert Dicke in 1961. 


Paul Davies

"It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s number to make the Universe... The impression of design is overwhelming."

The Four Forces

Gravity
* Causes an apple to fall to the ground
* Keeps our feet on the floor
* Binds together our Solar System
* Keeps the Earth and planets in their orbits
* Prevents the stars from exploding
* Guides the galaxies in their motions

If gravity were stronger, all stars would be more massive than our sun by 1.4 times; they’d burn too rapidly and too inconstantly to maintain life-supporting conditions on surrounding planets. If gravity were weaker, all stars would have less than 0.8 times the mass of the sun -- we would have no heavy elements.


Electromagnetic Force

* Holds the atom together
* Determines the structure of the orbits of the electrons
* Governs the laws of chemistry

Forms of electromagnetic force include X-rays, radio waves, and light. It can overcome gravity on Earth and can dominate other forces down to the size of the nucleus of an atom. As physicists examine the “strong nuclear force coupling constant,” it turns out that if it were only slightly weaker, multi-proton nuclei would not hold together and hydrogen would be the only element in the universe. The supply of various life-essential elements heavier than iron would be insufficient. If they were only slightly stronger, nuclear particles would tend to bond together more frequently and more firmly, and hydrogen would be rare in the universe. Either way, with less than a 1% change, life would be impossible.

Strong Nuclear Force
* Binds together the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of the atom

The balance between the strong force and electromagnetic forces limit a nucleus to about 100 protons. Energy released is substantially greater than electromagnetic (chemical) force. Thus, stars shine, which is essential for life. If this force were slightly weaker, multi-proton nuclei would not hold together: hydrogen would be the only element in the universe. If slightly stronger, nuclear particles would tend to bond together more frequently and more firmly: hydrogen would be rare in the universe, and the supply of various life-essential elements heavier than iron would be insufficient.


Weak Nuclear Force

Governs atomic instability and radioactivity and disintegration of heavier nuclei

Weak nuclear force can create heat, such as the decay of radioactive elements in the Earth’s core, or in a nuclear power plant. If it were larger there would be no helium and no heavy elements. If it were weaker, it would be all helium and an over abundance of heavy elements.


Other Anthropic Conditions
 Ratio of electron to proton mass 
• Age of the universe 
• Expansion rate of the universe 
• Entropy level of the universe 
• Mass of the universe 
• Uniformity of the universe 
• Stability of the proton 
• Fine structure constants 
• Velocity of light 
• Beryllium, carbon, oxygen nuclear energy levels 
• Distance between stars 
• Rate of luminosity increase for stars
• Number of Stars 

• Parent star (Sun) birth date 
• Parent star age 
• Parent star distance 
• Parent star mass 
• Parent star color 
• Surface gravity 
• Distance from parent star 
• Thickness of earth’s crust 
• Rotation period 
• Lunar gravitational interaction 
• Magnetic field 
• Axial tilt 
• Albedo (reflectivity) 
• Oxygen to nitrogen ratio 
• Carbon dioxide and water vapor levels 
• Ozone level 
• Atmospheric electric discharge rate 
• Seismic activity

ALL of these parameters are kept in perfect balance -- ALL! The probability of all of this intricately balanced forces is unimaginable number of zeros after the decimal point. As defined by science, this is more impossible than absurdly impossible. How could we continue to remain blind and claim life to be the result of random chance?!


More examples: Extraterrestrial Communication
Green Bank Formula
N = R * fp * ne * fl * fc * L

To determine the probability of life in the universe, scientists developed what is known as the Green Bank Formula. [Project Ozma; CETI: National Academy of Sciences, Byukratan, Russia; and SETI (37 intercepts)].

N = Number of civilizations in our galaxy;
R = Rate of star formation;
fp = fraction with planetary systems;
ne = mean planets with a life capable ecology;
fl = fraction on which life actually occurs;
fc = fraction on which intelligent beings develop to a 
communication phase; 

L = mean lifetime of technological civilizations.
The results of this scientific endeavor showed that the probability of life in the universe is impossible. Unless a Designer created us, random chance had, well, no chance.

3RD DAY: THE DAY OF THE DOUBLE BLESSING

John 2:1, 3
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.


It seems as though the text lacked context in terms of "the third day," or as if there were context, it was understood without needing further elaboration. What is this context?


Read Genesis 1:1-13. We will notice that throughout the 6 days of creation, God declared every one of them as "good" -- except Day 2. On Day 3, however, God said “It was good” twice. The Jews picked up on this and deemed Day 3 as the day of the double blessing.The third day, to the Jews, naturally corresponds with the third day of creation. And because this day had the Lord's double blessing, most Jewish weddings take place on the third day (or Tuesday, since the Jews consider Day 1 as Sunday).



STUDY QUESTIONS

1) What level of probability is defined by science as “absurd”?


2) Why is the hemoglobin molecule less likely to have occurred by unaided chance than the beads spelling, in Morse Code, Genesis 1:1? Why is the DNA molecule even less likely?

3) How does the 1st Law of Thermodynamics support the concept of Creation?


4) How does the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics refute a self-generating universe? 


5) Why does ice float? What would be the results if it didn’t?


6) What is the anthropic principle? How does it refute evolution by unaided chance?

7) What is the significance of a 3-out-of-4 error-correcting self-replicating digital code in our DNA molecule?


8) Give examples of “irreducible complexity” and the implications for plausible inferences. 

9) How do recent discoveries in microbiology refute evolution?


10) How does the process of photosynthesis refute evolution?
11) How does the current approaches to the “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (SETI) contradict the premises of evolutionary thought?

12) Compile a list of examples where scientific discoveries were anticipated in the Scriptures. 

13) Compile background on the missing (95%!) “dark matter” in the universe and the major theories and conjectures supporting the searches.