Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Job 1.4: Sons of God

Job 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
Job 1:3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

Here we get a glimpse of just how prosperous Job was. I think it’s telling of God’s priorities that the number of his family is listed before the inventory of his things. This is a considerable number of children when you realize that only one wife is mentioned in the story, though he could have had more, either way he is blessed by God in this.

In terms of wealth, I haven’t been able to find number regarding what a sheep, camel, oxen, she-ass, or menservants were worth at the time, but we can understand his wealth in terms of the phrase "so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east." Scale of wealth is often relative. If you think about it, Americans are the richest people in history. Even our poor are rich compared with the poor of other countries…or even compared with the rich of some countries. So then think of the richest person in America, that was what Job was like.

This again identifies Job as worshipper of God in the east, Israel is considered the west. This again indicates that Job was probably a contemporary of Abraham or before him and as we are about to see Job makes offerings, but after the children of Israel enter the land there are no more burnt offerings permitted outside of the Aaronic priesthood (Lev 17:8-9).

Job 1:4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Notice, Job is not only blessed, but his children also. Yet though they have their own houses and perhaps their own families, he still intercedes for them even for actions he does not know if they have committed.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

This is where things start to get very interesting, and strange. First we’re introduced to the protagonist of the story, a man who is content, blameless, fearing God and turning from doing evil. And chiefly because of his character, then because of his family, and finally because of his possessions he is the greatest of his whole region, his blessings are so great that they spill over onto his children along with his continued spiritual protection.

Now enters the villain. We all boo and hiss, but there should be an obvious question here. Why is Satan allowed to come up at all? The setting is a presentation of the Sons of God—in this usage is consistent with the rest of the tanach/original testament, they are an unclearly defined group of the heavenly host—the description is one of having audience with or perhaps a military commander overlooking his troops to give orders. This is very interesting timing if you think about it. Did Satan happen to stroll on into Heaven at the same time the Sons of God were there? Or is Satan there because he’s a Son of God?

Now this could seem very near blasphemy or at least heresy, I mean if Yeshua is the Son of God, then to say Satan is a Son of God is kind of like saying they’re brothers, which if you’re familiar may sound like a mormon doctrine. However, this is not a heretical question since the present scriptures have referred to some plurality of beings that are called Sons of God. The question we should address, is who are these Sons of God?

The phrase is beney ha’elohim. Literally Sons of The Creators. I say Creators because Elohim is plural. The Creators refers to himself as one as in the Shema, "Hear O’Israel, the Lord our God (Elohim), the Lord, is one (echad, plural unity) Lord. But cannot have an actual son as in the produce of procreation. Why not? For one thing God has no other god with which he could ’mate.’

Deu 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.

Deu 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

1Ki 8:60 That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.

Isa 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

The message of scripture is that God is peerless. Well maybe God doesn’t need a mate, he’s God so maybe he can just have a son without anyone else. Well that problem is that a son is of the same kind and likeness as the father.

Gen 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

God creates Man (both male and female man) in his own image, but the sons of Men are in the image of Men. Sure Man as a species is in the image of God, and therefore each individual is also in the image of God (read Genesis 9 about why we should not kill each other), but we are also in the image of our fathers and mothers. This is obvious from a genetic standpoint. And it follows the pattern that God established.

Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind…

Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind…every winged fowl after his kind…

Gen 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind…cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind…

Everything that God created that lives or grows, reproduces after its own kind. If we then, who reproduce our kind, are made in the image of God, then wouldn’t it suggest that a Son of God must also be of his kind? So this is why God cannot reproduce or create a son in the truest sense, why because the fact that there was before a son and that that son was not self-existant would immediately make a reproduced son not of the same kind as a self-existant, eternal, God without beginning. Doesn’t this deny the sonship of Yeshua then?

Not at all. This why I said God cannot have a son as in the products of procreation. For him to have a son, his son must be self-existant and eternal since that is the very identity of God himself. Well what do we know about Yeshua?

Joh 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Yeshua and the Father are one. If you’ve seen Yeshua, you’ve seen the Father. In other words? I am in the likeness of my Father, I am after his kind. And not in the reproductive sense, because "I am in the Father and the Father in me…" If God cannot change then Yeshua was always in the Father, therefore as the Father is self-existent and eternal, so is the Son.

Heb 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

The priest Melchisedec was without beginning or end, father or mother, made like the Son of God. In other words The Son of God has no beginning or end.

Heb 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Yeshua was The Son of God, the only Son of God that was after the kind and likeness of God because he was God himself. Logically, this is the only possibility. The only way for God to have a Son, is to be his own Son. Not like putting on a hat, as though he were playing a part, the Son was always there as a person of the Tri-une God.

So what of these other sons of God? After their first appearance in Genesis as ones who came to the daughters of men and had children, they appear in Job as beings who have the ability to go into Heaven to assemble before him apparently as a regular event. They appear later in Job also:

Job 38:6 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?
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 swaddlingband 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?

The inferrance from this mention is that Job was not there when these things happened, and if we recall from Genesis, the stars appeared on day four, but the first ’breathing life’ creatures that appear are the following day, and the only recorded beings that bear God’s likeness appear on day six. This shows three things, firstly there are at least these Beney HaElohim that are unrecorded in creation. They are older than the stars. And lastly if you read the Genesis account carefully you see that there are several brackets of creation such as "God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth… every winged fowl… and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind…and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth…"

What I mean to point out here is that the Earth and everything brought from it and living upon it are created together in a circle of life if you will. By that I mean everything made from the Earth is put under the dominion of the Man made from Earth, and every creature of the Earth is given food of the trees and plants that grow of the Earth. There is a very noticeable interconnection between all the things of Earth.

Firstly there is this link between the Heavens and the Earth whose creation sometime before the command to bring forth light, but these Heavens and Earth if they include the Spiritual Heavens or ’third Heaven’ as Paul counts it. However, the account here seems to be exclusively of the first and second Heavens. Genesis 1:1 mentions the creation of Heavens (plural) and Earth. The Earth is then clarified as something physical that is unshapen and covered with water. Then along comes verse 7-8:

Gen 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

This first definition of what a Heaven is, is a firmament/expanse/space between water below and water above. This could be the either the space between Earth with its waters and the clouds above with its waters, or the water vapor canopy that some scientists speculate may have once existed. Either way, this first Heaven lies just above the Earth, but at that time below an expanse of water. This is why the first Heaven is considered to be the atmosphere.

Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

This division of space where the sun, stars, and moon abide is known as the second Heaven. A simple reading really treats these two Heavens as one, but this can also have a plural sense. For example, the Heaven of atmosphere and Heaven of stars are really just different degrees of one whole (everything that is above the Earth), just as the Earth has many lands even though all land is connected to all other land and thusly is really one land.

But how do we know that these distinctions are valid?

2Co 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

In the New Testament or Brit Chadesha, the Apostle Paul confirms the understanding of what was already termed the ’third Heaven’ which was understood to be the spiritual realm, specifically the place where God dwelled as in the book of Job. The Tanach’s way of expressing this concept is found in Deuteronomy:

Deu 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

Neh 9:6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.

Notice that this ’Heaven of Heavens’ is enumerated separately from both Heaven and Earth.

So what is my point in all this, and what does it have to do with the Sons of God. My point is that if you have an understanding of these three Heavens; atmospheric, celestrial, and spiritual/paradisiacal—then when you read the creation account you find that mention of the Spiritual realm is completely absent. We have no idea when the Heaven of Heavens was created, and likewise we have no idea when the host of that Heaven was created. In contrast, the Earth and all things made of Earth and connected to the Earth have a set time frame of creation, some 6,000 years ago over the course of six days.

So if the things of Earth we’re being created then, who would have been around to fulfill the passage in Job that says the Sons of God sang for joy at the appearance of the stars? The Heavenly host. Angelic beings of undetermined species.

So far we have determined one being, and one group whom God called sons.
Yeshua, God himself; and the Heavenly host. But there are two more.

Luk 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Whether or not "the son" was inserted by translators, the implication is the same since it follows the pattern of the genealogy. And the final group is in fact the followers of Yeshua:

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

So the question should be, what do all these four have in common? Their origin.

Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The sons of God are ’of God.’ They don’t come about by any cause but God himself. The creation of God’s will. Adam is a Son of God because he was the originally created man. Angels are the Sons of God because they had no one before them, they were directly created by God. Followers of Yeshua are Sons of God because our re-creation at believing on the name of Yeshua, is a re-creation out of God’s will not of blood or of the will of flesh (created things).

Now someone might say, but that doesn’t hold up because Yeshua was not created. But in fact this is not true. God is Spirit, not flesh, but Yeshua is by definition a Man and Man is a creation. If God alone is self-existent than by contrast, man cannot be self-existent. Now, this does not mean that the Son of God is not self-existent and fully God. As we have already seen, to be The true Son of God he has to be God himself, but these verses speak to this meaning:

1Jo 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Yeshua came in the flesh, and as we saw he made a point of establishing that his flesh rose from the grave with him and that he continues to exist in flesh as the God-Man our Messiah and King forever. However, the implication is that if he came in flesh, he was not always flesh.

Heb 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

Yeshua the God-Man was a union of self-existent eternal God and the creation Man. That should be something all the more awe inspiring to think that God didn’t just lower himself to put on the flesh of thing, but he lowered himself to put on flesh of his own creation. The difference is not like a King becoming a peasant, it is of a Writer stepping into his own story to save it. That it was what love looks like.

So in conclusion of this thought, we have established that the Sons of God, is not a title that we can appropriate to whom we will, only God can grant it. And He grants it to those being that are the direct creation of his will, only four groups and the one covered in Job are the group of the Heavenly host.

1 comment:

Melessa said...

Sounds good. You've done a lot of research. Thanks.