Men (Not Monkeys!) Mine for Metals

From Issue: Discovery 7/1/2006

The intelligence of man and his superiority over the animal world is seen in many ways. Unlike animals, man has built skyscrapers, cars, boats, airplanes, spaceships, satellites, computers, cameras, robots, and a host of other imaginative machines. But have you ever considered that another way man has shown his God-given dominance over the animal world is in his ability to mine for precious metals?

You’ve probably heard about the gold rush in California during the mid-1800s. But are you aware of the fact that long before this time man was mining gold and other precious metals from deep within the Earth. According to the Bible, man has been mining metals from the Earth (and refining them) since the days of Tubal-Cain, who we read about as early as Genesis chapter four. The Bible calls him “the forger of all implements of bronze and iron” (4:22).

By the time Job lived it appears man had mastered the art of mining. Job 28 refers to man finding, mining, and/or refining silver, gold, copper, iron, crystal, quartz, sapphires, and rubies. Even in the face of pitch darkness and “the shadow of death” (28:3) man entered the depths of the Earth in search of precious metals. Man was so active in removing precious rock from the Earth that the writer of Job described him in the following poetic way: “He overturns the mountains at the roots. He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing. He dams up the streams from trickling; what is hidden he brings forth to light” (Job 28:9-11).

Even in Job’s day it was understood that God had created man higher than the animal world. Man could (and would) dangle on ropes to reach the depths of the Earth in order to find and mine precious metals that could be used for the good of mankind. However, “that path no bird knows, nor has the falcon’s eye seen it. The proud lions have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed over it” (Job 28:7-8). The falcon may have keen eyesight, and the lion may be the “king of the jungle,” but neither was created “in the image of God.” Truly, even man’s ability to mine sets him apart from monkeys.


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