I think more people believe in Mythology and bizarre creatures then they do the Loch Ness Monster. Why is that I wonder?
For example, the people in Iceland believe in Gnomes, do they exist?
“Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:1-2).
Job’s last recorded words are his response to the Lord’s second discourse.
Job finally sees that God and His purposes are supreme.
“Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42:3-5).
Job and his friends and Elihu had only heard of God, but now Job has seen God (see Is 6:5) with the eyes of faith and spiritual understanding. He can therefore accept God’s plan for his life (see v 2) – which includes suffering.
“Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).
I abhor myself…repent – to his humility (see 40:4-5) Job adds repentance for the presumptuous words he had spoken to God.
“And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.
So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the Lord also accepted Job” (Job 42:7-9).
Despite Job’s mistakes in word and attitude while he suffered, he is not commended and the counselors are rebuked.
Why? Because even in his rage, even when he challenged God, he was determined to speak honestly before Him. The counselors, on the other hand, mouthed many correct and often beautiful creedal statements, but without living knowledge of the God they claimed to honor.
Only Job spoke to God; his friends only spoke about God. Even worse, their spiritual arrogance caused them to claim knowledge they didn’t possess. They presumed to know why Job was suffering.
“And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).
Job’s prayer for those who had abused him is a touching Old Testament illustration of the high Christian virtue our Lord taught in Matt 5:44. Job’s prayer marked the turning point back to prosperity for him.
“Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses” (Job 42:11-12).
The cosmic contest with the accuser is now over, and Job is restored. No longer is there a reason for Job to experience suffering – unless he was sinful and deserved it, which is not the case.
God doesn’t allow us to suffer for no reason, and even though the reason may be hidden in the mystery of His divine purpose (see Is 55:8-9) – never for us to know in this life – we must trust in Him as the God who does only what is right.
“He had also seven sons and three daughters.
And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch” (Job 42:13-14).
Jemima means dove, Kezia means cinnamon, and Keren-happuch means container of antimony, a highly prized eye shadow.
“And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations.
So Job died, being old and full of days” (Job 42:15-17).
In philosophy, religion, mythology, and fiction, the afterlife (also referred to as life after death or the Hereafter) is the concept of a realm, or the realm itself (whether physical or transcendental), in which an essential part of an individual’s identity or consciousness continues to exist after the death of the body in the individual’s lifetime.
According to various ideas of the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul, of an individual, which carries with it and confers personal identity.
Belief in an afterlife, which may be naturalistic orsupernatural, is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death.
In some popular views, this continued existence often takes place in a spiritual realm, and in other popular views, the individual may be reborn into this world and begin the life cycle over again, likely with no memory of what they have done in the past.
In this latter view, such rebirths and deaths may take place over and over again continuously until the individual gains entry to a spiritual realm or Other world. Major views on the afterlife derive from religion, esotericism and metaphysics.
Some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by a god, gods, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life.
In contrast, in systems ofreincarnation, such as those in the Dharmic tradition, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life, rather than through the decision of another being.
The Afterlife in Different Metaphysical Models
In metaphysical models, theists generally believe some sort of afterlife awaits people when they die. Members of some generally non-theistic religions such as Buddhism, tend to believe in an afterlife, but without reference to a God.
The Sadducees were an ancient Jewish sect that generally believed that there was a God but no afterlife.
Many forms of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as Catholics believe that one’s status in the afterlife is a reward or punishment for their conduct during life.
Reincarnation refers to an afterlife concept found among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Rosicrucians, Theosophists, Spiritists, and Wiccans.
Reincarnation is also a belief described in Kabbalistic Judaism as gilgul neshamot.
In reincarnation, spiritual development continues after death as the deceased begins another earthly life in the physical world, acquiring a superior grade of consciousness and altruism by means of successive reincarnations.
Despite popular opinion, Limbo, which was elaborated upon by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, yet, at times, the Church incorporated the theory in its ordinary belief.
Limbo is a theory that unbaptized but innocent souls, such as those of infants, virtuous individuals who lived before Jesus Christ was born on earth, or those that die before baptism must wait before going to heaven.
Therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin although they have not received baptism, so still bear original sin.
The notion of purgatory is associated particularly with the Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church, all those who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven or the final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.
The afterlife played an important role in Ancient Egyptian religion, and its belief system is one of the earliest known in recorded history.
When the body died, parts of its soul known as ka (body double) and the ba (personality) would go to the Kingdom of the Dead.
While the soul dwelt in the Fields of Aaru, Osiris demanded work as restitution for the protection he provided. Statues were placed in the tombs to serve as substitutes for the deceased.
Arriving at one’s reward in afterlife was a demanding ordeal, requiring a sin-free heart and the ability to recite the spells, passwords and formulae of the Book of the Dead.
In the Hall of Two Truths, the deceased’s heart was weighed against the Shu feather of truth and justice taken from the headdress of the goddess Ma’at.
If the heart was lighter than the feather, they could pass on, but if it were heavier they would be devoured by the demon Ammit.
Egyptians also believed that being mummified and put in a sarcophagus (an ancient Egyptian “coffin” carved with complex symbols and designs, as well as pictures and hieroglyphs) was the only way to have an afterlife.
Only if the corpse had been properly embalmed and entombed in a mastaba, could the dead live again in the Fields of Yalu and accompany the Sun on its daily ride.
Due to the dangers the afterlife posed, the Book of the Dead was placed in the tomb with the body as well as food, jewelry, and ‘curses’. They also used the “opening of the mouth”.
Ancient Greek and Roman
The Greek god Hades is known in Greek mythology as the king of the underworld, a place where souls live after death.
The Greek god Hermes, the messenger of the gods, would take the dead soul of a person to the underworld (sometimes called Hades or the House of Hades).
Hermes would leave the soul on the banks of the River Styx, the river between life and death.
Charon, also known as the ferry-man, would take the soul across the river to Hades, if the soul had gold: Upon burial, the family of the dead soul would put coins under the deceased’s tongue.
Once crossed, the soul would be judged by Aeacus, Rhadamanthus and King Minos. The soul would be sent to Elysium, Tartarus, Asphodel Fields, or the Fields of Punishment.
The Elysian Fields were for the ones that lived pure lives. It consisted of green fields, valleys and mountains, everyone there was peaceful and contented, and the Sun always shone there.
Tartarus was for the people that blasphemed against the gods, or were simply rebellious and consciously evil.
The Asphodel Fields were for a varied selection of human souls: Those whose sins equaled their goodness, were indecisive in their lives, or were not judged.
The Fields of Punishment were for people that had sinned often, but not so much as to be deserving of Tartarus.
In Tartarus, the soul would be punished by being burned in lava, or stretched on racks. Some heroes of Greek legend are allowed to visit the underworld.
The Romans had a similar belief system about the afterlife, with Hades becoming known as Pluto.
In the ancient Greek myth about the Labors of Heracles, the hero Heracles had to travel to the underworld to capture Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog, as one of his tasks.
In Dream of Scipio, Cicero describes what seems to be an out of body experience, of the soul traveling high above the Earth, looking down at the small planet, from far away.
In Book VI of Virgil’s Aeneid, the hero, Aeneas, travels to the underworld to see his father. By the River Styx, he sees the souls of those not given a proper burial, forced to wait by the river until someone buries them.
While down there, along with the dead, he is shown the place where the wrongly convicted reside, the fields of sorrow where those who committed suicide and now regret it reside, including Aeneas’ former lover, the warriors and shades, Tartarus (where the titans and powerful non-mortal enemies of the Olympians reside) where he can hear the groans of the imprisoned, the palace of Pluto, and the fields of Elysium where the descendants of the divine and bravest heroes reside.
He sees the river of forgetfulness, Lethe, which the dead must drink to forget their life and begin anew. Lastly, his father shows him all of the future heroes of Rome who will live if Aeneas fulfills his destiny in founding the city.