Ever feel like you are dealing with a child who just refuses to learn? Well, that is the feeling I have in answering some of the supposed inconsistencies and contradictions in the Scripture that are raised by the Atheists and Freethinkers. Some of the supposed inconsistencies they “point out” are so childish and immature that it reminds me strongly of dealing with a petulant three or four year old who just doesn’t want to understand the simplest of things. Now, to be certain, there are things in Scripture that certainly appear to be contradictions that the LORD God has put there so that we would be drawn to look deeper and seek the LORD for answers. In reality, there are no contradictions and no inconsistencies at all in Scripture, only a lack of understanding on our part as to how to look at the passages in question.
I take a strictly literal interpretation of Scripture, as I am a fundamentalist by choice and conviction, and that to some, creates the most difficult of situations in Scripture. However, that is not really the case once it is realized that there is a literal physical, and a literal spiritual — and the two are vastly different worlds. Moreover, it also helps immensely to understand that the LORD God is not bound by time and history in explaining something. He is under no requirement to conform to the American point of view and experience, or the point of view of German, Jewish or Russian societies, or any other society on earth for that matter.
Primarily the LORD uses the Jewish experience in the Old Testament, but that is solely due to the fidelity of one man — Abraham, who was and is the friend of God. Because of Abraham’s faithfulness, the LORD God gave certain promises to him that included a child of promise (Isaac) and a nation out of that child of promise (Israel), and then the Messiah out of that nation. Since the Scripture is centered around, and focuses on the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the redemption of man, it is only natural that the predominance of Scripture is of a Jewish perspective, but not all.
With those things in mind, it makes understanding the Scripture not so difficult. However, if we approach the Scripture with such a petty and childish attitude as to point out the following as an inconsistency, then what can we expect to understand of the word of God?
GE 1:3-5 On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness.
GE 1:14-19 The sun (which separates night and day) wasn’t created until the fourth day.1
Beyond doubt, the first question that sprang to mind was:
Have the Freethinkers ever heard of the explanation of how light is produced?
And it was followed by:
Do you Freethinkers and Atheists know anything at all about light, mass, and energy? Anything?
Sorry, but this is just petty and childish to say that only the sun and stars can produce enough light to light up the earth, and that only the sun could differentiate night and day.
After having worked with lasers for several years (calibration, sensing, and cutting applications) I am very familiar with the fact that light can be produced from any source material. All you need is mass, and sufficient energy, applied correctly to cause the electrons in the outer shell of the atoms to jump to the next higher shell. When those electrons lose that energy and drop back to their normal energy level, they give off photons of light at a particular frequency, thus yielding whatever color of light that corresponds to that frequency.2
Hence, the Scripture is express that mass was present:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)
Since it is clear that the LORD God has the energy to produce all that mass, then how hard would it then be for Him to apply energy to the water that is present, and then regulate it so that there are periods of light and darkness?
Not hard at all.
Here now we have the reason that most of the Atheists and Freethinkers cannot understand the Scripture and oppose it:
They are hidebound in their thinking. So hidebound that they throw out very simple, elementary, scientific principles in their opposition and attempts to denigrate and throw out the word of God.
By the Scripture, the result of this is predictable. The LORD God has already given the conditions by which He will grant understanding of His word. We can begin at any number of places in Scripture, but the clearest and plainest place to begin is in Luke, chapter 24:
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44-47)
As the Lord Jesus Christ makes plain, it is He that grants understanding of the Scriptures. Because the apostles were hard of heart, and expected the Lord Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom right then and there, all that was to happen, which was foretold in the Scripture, was hidden from them. The LORD then had to open their understanding so they could look back into the Scriptures and see where it was foretold. This ought to be instructive to anyone, let alone those who believe and trust the LORD for salvation:
The LORD God is under no obligation to reveal His word to anyone, let alone someone who has a cavalier attitude toward His word.
This brings us directly to the conditions the LORD God has set in which it can easily be determined whether or not the LORD will reveal His word to any specific individual. These conditions are given in order of importance and progression so that it may be understood why the Scripture seems so difficult for some, and yet easy for others.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Matthew 7:6)
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (Isaiah 29:9-12)
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:9-13)
With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. (Psalm 18:25-26)
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. (Psalm 50:16-21)
Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:16-21)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (John 5:24-25)
Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:24-28)
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. (Hebrews 6:1-3)
Whether you know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour or not, it behooves every last person on the face of the earth to listen, and attend unto the word of God. The emphasis the LORD God has laid upon His word cannot be over-stated. For those who claim that they exalt the name of God, yet refuse to hear and be obedient to His word, this is the LORD’s reply to them:
I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:1-2)
If we at all expect to understand the Scripture, we must be attentive and considerate of what the LORD God is telling us. If we are childish and petty, we cannot expect to ever understand the first thing about the Scripture. The LORD plainly stated the conditions in which He will reveal His word to someone. We must meet His conditions, and not the other way around.
If you know the LORD, you can NEVER have the attitude that you know all you need to know, as the LORD can and will cut-off your understanding of his word. If you have the attitude that the verses above are ‘just too many verses to look at, read and consider,’ then your attitude is not right, and don’t expect your understanding of Scripture to increase.
We must ever be mindful that the LORD God is under no obligation, other than what He places upon Himself, to reveal His word to anyone. We would do very well to hold the attitude of Job after the LORD God rebuked him:
Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. (Job 40:1-5)
We need to learn to shut our mouths and listen — and that goes for all of us (myself included), not just the Atheists and Freethinkers.
Now, is it any wonder the Atheists and Freethinkers do not understand the Scripture?
Is it any wonder that the majority of “Christians” do not understand the Scripture?
I didn’t think so.