First, let me be clear, I am not a Job by any stretch, but because all believers treasure that first book of the Bible (the first one ever penned according to some students), it must be that many of us go through something like it or on a mini-scale. Hence brother Job has been a comfort to millions over the millennia.
What was the first message God chose to give us in written form? Comfort to His suffering children. He is a good and gracious God even considering Satanically devised misery and death allowed, but discreetly controlled by God during our pilgrimage.
Okay, so I had a date to debate a young genius on February 22nd, 2009. Here is my mini-mini-Jobean experience written in a very short parody.
God: Yes, Satan, I know well enough that Gorman is a weak, dumb Christian with a lot of hypocrisy, so what?
Satan: Well, he has this debate coming up and I think he needs roughing up. Let me mess with him so they have to cancel.
God: No, you must wait till after the debate. Then you may have him for a while for testing but preserve his life.
(This is the mini version of Job 1-2.)
So here is the litany. First, Alice has this persistent cough for four weeks solid and I begin to join her coughing one week before 2-22-09 - not good for a debate being recorded for DVD. Then on debate night I begin to show beginning symptoms of a prostate inflamation.
But during the debate, according to God's decreed limits (as I have presumed in parody) I did not cough even once and there was nothing physically detractive to the presentation other than my normal facial visage.
OK, then the debate is over but instantly and as the evening progressed I had frequent, urgent and miserably burning urination and all through the night.
But otherwise physically I felt all right, so the next day I needed to lift the back seat into the mini-van, which I had done many times before. But I lifted the awkward load and twisted at the same time (dumb - never do it) resulting in a severe back wrench. Turning my body over in bed sent pains resembling a knife.
So now I am on antibiotics (the Urgent Care Doctor thought it was an infection), and waking Alice at night with a timer to make sure I do not sleep too long (to avoid getting a total urinary blockage.) Pure misery that night but this too shall pass? Or so we hoped.
Then came March 2nd, 3 A.M. A pain develops in my belly just below sternum level. In a few minutes I am out of bed writhing on the floor with severe pain asking urgently "Lord Jesus, I need your help! Oh, Lord, help me!" I guess it is severe indigestion so I wait for it to pass which it does in 30 minutes. But fifteen minutes later it repeats for a half hour, then goes away again. Next morning I begin to eat some yogurt then it came again, just, as severe as before. This needs medical diagnosis. The advice doctor concurs and we are sent to ER. Blood tests for pancreas levels shoud be 30-40 but mine read over 3000. Doctor says this certainly is diagnostic of a pancreatic attack. Sonogram shows gall stones - a completely new thing for me, I had no clew of anything like that. Pancreas and gall bladder share the same duct so a stone blockage results in the gall fluids digesting the pancreas - not good. Gall bladder attacks can be from mild to extreme in pain. I have a high tolerance for pain but the attacks I had at home had to be top-of-the-line.
After surgery (no doubt the anesthesia made it inevitable), I had complete urinary blockage. After one catheter, with Doctor's approval, the nurse decides to insert an indwelling catheter with a collection bag which I had to wear home. What a blessing, because I slept for six hours straight that first night at home.
But God is gracious to give me Alice, a highly qualified RN for 24/7 nursing care. She taught me (among many other things) to roll over like a log rather than the upper body first then lower part. It works wonders for relieving the knife-like jabs in the strained muscles in my back.
Now back to Satan. After Job chapter two there is not the slightest hint of Satan in the 40 chapters following in the book - no sign of supernatural activity from evil forces at all. Job does not see it, his three "friends" do not see it, his neighbors do not see it, his wife does not see it, his former servants do not see it, in fact nobody sees it even though that is the central problem and very obvious to good angels as well as bad devils.
So why have I reported all this? Well, some who detract from the thesis of my book and the subject of the debate, The Age of the Universe: What Are the Biblical Limits? might conclude, God was punishing me for promoting bad theology about Genesis One. But I have a different conclusion. Because all these maladies slammed me in an avalanche just following that very important debate, with such a close parallel to Job's experience of his avalanche of tragedies, I
cannot fail to make the comparison, albeit on a miniature scale. I am all well now, minus a gall bladder, I can urinate normally, lift anything as well as eat anything. What a relief! But Satan hates the truth and the "Age of the Universe" book is a crucial truth for the end times. I have no doubt that he gets a sadistic pleasure in attacking someone who is carrying a crucial, strategic message in these latter days.
Satan's strategy in promoting false doctrine, if he cannot avoid allowing some truth, he will encourage overemphasis until it becomes error. Hence young earth creationists champion biblical literalism (a truth) until they even think that bad translations are the word of God, like the original manuscripts (a major error). Thus they dogmatize "For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth and the sea, and rested the seventh day." That is unequivocal, so they
say, for it clearly says, God made everything including the galaxies and planet earth in six days.
Not so. What it actually says is that Yahweh worked on the air, the land and the sea (the biosphere only) in six days for God Himself plainly defines the words in Genesis one using those exact Hebrew words (as translated into English).
The other dogmatism-- "God made two great lights and the stars on day four"-- comes from another misleading translation. To avoid being mislead it ought to read, "And God did two great lights and the stars" or variations like that, and remember it was "for signs and seasons and days and years," not their initial creation. As plain as language can be spoken, God CREATED the heavens before there was a day one, "in the beginning." But the error thinking He created the stars and great lights on day four is overemphasized with dogmatism. The result is that a large segment of Bible believers are forced to believe the universe is a maximum of 10,000 years old and another large segment are forced to distort Genesis in another way making the fossil record millions of years old. I believe that both are errors and the devil loves it.
The truth is in between. The biosphere and the fossil record is, indeed, less than 8000 years old but the galaxies were created "in the beginning," undefined in time. Thus, both camps rally around their special truth and constructive dialogue is almost extinguished. Satan delights in this impasse. It is one of his strategems which I hope my book should resolve (if more people would read it).
Now, after this epic description, if any of you are interested in the topic, a DVD of the debate is available for $12 post paid in US. If there is a financial hardship, email me for a special rate. The book is $15 ppd. (See website below.)
Gorman Gray Christ is risen from the dead. Everything's all right.
1420 N. "Q" Circle Washougal WA 98671-8356
website www.ageoftheuniverse.com Phone 360 - 835-8361