Let’s back up to the beginning—to the most oft-quoted verse from the book. After the disasters strike, his wife tempts him to curse God and die, suggesting that all of his religious practice and integrity have amounted to nothing. Job replies, “‘Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” (Job 2:10 NIV)
It is said that if a butterfly in China approaches a tree and decides to go left instead of right, the effect of its decision and the flap of its wings can cause a hurricane in the Caribbean. This popular insight is meant to highlight the effect of the smallest first causes on a macro-level. Calvinists use this chaos theory thought-experiment to support their claim that God must control everything, including the flaps of butterflies’ wings (and everything else from quantum particles to meteors). Otherwise, everything would be in constant chaos.
The surprising miracle of the Bible, which is still the best selling book in the world, is this simple fact: It was written by the hanged, by the executed, by the oppressed and downtrodden, and NOT by the executioners, NOT by the kings, NOT by the military generals or the victors. This is a very impressive feat. It is a celebration of the underdogs of history. It is the voice of the slaves, the women, the minority peoples, the pushed around, shoved around, beat up and displaced people of the world.
Psalm 139:16 “…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (NIV) This verse clearly says that everything—all of our days—have been pre-scripted for us, right? Hold your horses there. Let’s take a look at what other translations have done with this text and look again at the context to conclude what the intended meaning is.