Three Thousand Years Ahead

Scripture: Jeremiah 33:22, Job 26:7, Isaiah 40:22
Many people who have attacked the Bible have thought it would sink into oblivion under their criticisms, but it has always come out on top. Why does it have such amazing vitality? The answer is that it is the Word of the Living God, a veritable letter from heaven to you and to me. And there is strong evidence within the book proving it to be a book 3,000 years ahead of its time. The Bible proves itself to be a book three thousand years ahead of its time by its scientific accuracy.
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The Bible has been the subject of more attacks than perhaps any other book in history. Centuries ago in the time of the prophet Daniel, when he predicted the fall of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar vainly resisted its counsels. Then a short time after the time of Christ, a man arose whose name was Porphyry, and he ridiculed the Bible and declared that it was full of myths and legends. He boldly stated that its prophecies were not written by the prophets, and that they were forgeries. Yet while Porphyry is little known today, the Bible continues its triumphant march through the world.

It has been stated that Julian the Apostate, a Roman emperor, actually attempted to blot the Bible out of existence. But how futile were his efforts. For when persecution subsided, scores of Bibles came out of their hiding places.

Two hundred and twenty years ago, the French skeptic, Voltaire, sneeringly boasted that in 100 years the Bible would be a dead book. He scornfully declared that while it took twelve men to found Christianity, he was going to show that it would take only one to overthrow it. But although Voltaire has been dead for many years, the Bible still lives on.

One hundred years ago, the American infidel, Robert Ingersoll, declared that in 50 years the Bible would not be read, and yet today it is still the world’s best seller. Many people who have attacked the Bible have thought it would sink into oblivion under their criticisms, but it has always come out on top. Why does it have such amazing vitality?

The answer is that it is the Word of the Living God, a veritable letter from heaven to you and to me. And there is strong evidence within the book proving it to be a book 3,000 years ahead of its time. The Bible proves itself to be a book three thousand years ahead of its time by its scientific accuracy.

Let us notice a statement in Jeremiah 33:22: “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.”

This statement declares the stars of heaven to be as innumerable as the sands of the sea. But back in Jeremiah’s time, many students of the stars thought they knew how many stars there were. They charted them carefully, and announced to the world that there were 5,119 stars. Perhaps Jeremiah was a laughing stock to them, and they cried, “What does he mean that the host of heaven cannot be numbered? We have done it!” Yet through the centuries God’s statement stood that the stars of the sky could no more be numbered than could the grains of sand that bound the ebbing seashore. The real truth of this statement was demonstrated when the telescope was invented.

When Galileo invented the first telescope and trained it on the sky, myriads of stars came into view which had never before been seen. Then, with each improvement of the telescope, still more stars came into view, right up to our own time. When the 200 inch telescope on Mt. Palomar went into use, millions more stars were seen which had never before been seen. It is still a mystery how many lie beyond the range of the greatest instruments we have yet devised. Truly the stars are innumerable as the prophet Jeremiah said so many years ago. Sir James Jeans, the famous British astronomer, made the statement, “There are probably as many stars in the sky as there are grains of sand on all the seashores all around the world.” It’s an awe-inspiring thought, isn’t it?

We find another remarkable scientific statement in Job 26:7, “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” This statement declares that God hung the world upon nothing. It states that the earth is hanging in space with no visible means of support.

Now when this statement was written, many of the learned men of that day just could not believe that the earth hung upon nothing. They thought something surely had to hold it up. Some of them thought that it was a big man named Hercules that held it up and that Hercules stood on the back of a huge turtle, and they never got far enough to figure out what the turtle was standing on. It has only been in the comparatively recent centuries that Sir Isaac Newton discovered and announced to the world the great law of gravitation, by which all the great bodies in the universe have a magnetic attraction to each other, and this great force holds the heavenly bodies in place, hanging upon nothing. How marvelously true are the words of Job written thousands of years before science could corroborate his conclusions, when he stated that God hung the earth in space upon nothing.

Turning to still another remarkable scientific truth of the Bible, we think of the words of Isaiah about God in Isaiah 40:22: “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” Here the great God is spoken of as sitting upon the circle of the earth, or as one version translates it, “the sphere of the earth.” Seven hundred years before Christ, Isaiah announced to the world that the earth was round in this text.

Now in his day, many people thought the earth was flat or square. That idea persisted for many centuries, and even in the days of Columbus, in 1492 A.D., people were terrified when he sailed westward from Europe. Many people thought he would come to the edge of the earth, and drop off. But today any school boy knows the earth is round. The Bible and its truths were 3,000 years ahead of their time.

When the book of Job was written, the world in general did not know that the earth turned on its axis. They thought that the thing which caused day and night was that the sun itself was actually travelling around the earth. Today we know that, relatively speaking, the sun stands still, and the earth turns on its axis every 24 hours. But in the book of Job, God revealed that the earth rotates, and that book was written 1,400 years before the time of Christ. In Job 38:14, God said, speaking of the earth, “It is turned as clay to the seal.”

Clay cylinders were sometimes rolled over seals in ancient times. That rolling, rotating action is used to refer to the earth. Isn’t that marvelous! Thousands of years before man ever discovered it for himself, God revealed in the Bible that the earth rotates. The Bible is truly a book three thousand years ahead of its time. It is truly God’s book, for these truths could not be in it were they not put there by the Author of creation.

In Jeremiah 14:6, we find another very interesting scientific truth which was far in advance of the discoveries of the time. There we read, “And the wild asses did stand in the high places. They snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass.” This text speaks of these creatures having failing eyesight because of a lack of grass. It has only been a comparatively recent discovery that Vitamin A, which is found in green vegetables, etc., is the vitamin that has a great deal to do with eyesight. How wonderful it is that Jeremiah knew these facts centuries before they were established by science.

In Leviticus 17:14 we find the biblical teaching that the life of the body is in the blood. This scientific truth was not discovered until recent times. Today, medical science recognizes the enormous importance of the blood in nourishing and sustaining life.

Another outstanding reason we can have confidence in the Bible is its historical accuracy. Again and again the historical features of the Bible have been challenged by the critics, and again and again, the Bible has been proven true by the evidence of archeology, and the discoveries of ancient civilizations.

The Bible mentions the Hittite people a number of times. There was a time about a hundred years ago, when the Hittites were unknown from any source, other than the Bible. In those days the skeptics taunted the believers in the Bible, saying that there never was such a people as the Hittites, that it was all a myth or legend. But a few years ago, the archaeologists dug up some ruins over near the little Turkish city of Boghaz Keui, and when investigation was made, it was found to be the magnificent capital city of the Hittite empire. Thousands of clay tablets were found with ancient inscriptions on them. While the Hittite language still poses some serious problems of translation, enough is known today to show that not only did the Hittites exist, but they were one of the most powerful peoples the ancient world ever knew. The Old Book still stands.

In Isaiah 20:1 a reference is made to Sargon, king of Assyria. That used to be one of the stock jokes of the critics. They used to say there was no such king as Sargon, because they had found no reference to him other than the Bible. But then a number of years ago, when someone was digging a well near the site of old Nineveh, they struck the roof of an ancient building, and when the archaeologists moved in and uncovered this ancient building, they found it to be the fabulous palace of Sargon II, king of Assyria. So God permitted vain men to not only discover that the Bible was true, and that Sargon did actually live, but, ironically, man discovered that Sargon was one of the greatest, if not the greatest king that the Assyrian empire had ever had.

Equally ridiculed was the Bible story of the last king of Babylon, whom it named as Belshazzar. The skeptics of yesteryear used to scornfully say, “There is another example of biblical inaccuracy. We know that the last king of Babylon was Nabonidus.” And they stoutly insisted that there was no such king as Belshazzar. But cuneiform tablets now uncovered have brought the long hidden Belshazzar to light. Even skeptical historians must agree with the Bible now, because from historical cuneiform sources they know that old King Nabonidus brought his son on to the throne with him as a co-regent and that Belshazzar was indeed the last ruler of Babylon. A few years ago, a professor from Yale University, named Dougherty wrote a book entitled, Nabonidus and Belshazzar, in which he points to the Bible as one of the greatest authorities on this period of Babylonian history. I think it is a marvelous thing that God is leading men to actually dig evidence out of the earth to show that His Book is true.

They used to even laugh at the story of the book of Esther, until recently they discovered a document from old Persia at the time of Queen Esther which actually mentions Mordecai as an important official in the court.

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