Job 41:1-11: Consider Leviathan
December 23, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
John 20:24-31, Revelation 20, Job 41:1-11, Zechariah 6-9
The contrast that God now uses to emphasize his power is between his ability to master the “Leviathan” and Job’s inability. No one is entirely sure what kind of creature this is. Long ago, Matthew Henry described it as “a very large, strong, formidable fish, or water-animal,” and that is probably about as precise as we can get. A huge whale. A massive shark. Some enormous creature from scary depths of the oceans of the world. These things are outside of our own personal individual control, even today in our time of technological wonders. Can you put a cord through the nose of a great white shark? The idea is ridiculous—and frightening. But for God such things are nothing.
Think of the biggest creature you can imagine. Perhaps you have been on safari, or at least seen some animal wildlife show that can you give a sense of the scale of an elephant or a whale. These enormous creatures make us realize our own fragility—we feel like an ant beside the rhinoceros. We feel vulnerable and small. But for God, such massive beasts are as nothing to control; he has power over all such hugely powerful animals. All the natural world is under his domain.
“Everything under heaven belongs to me” (41:11).
There are times when we need to be lifted up. Perhaps you are in that mode right now. You feel insignificant and unworthy. You already sense you are tiny. Perhaps it feels as having your relative inconsequential power compared to God does not encourage you. But consider: what if that God was the God of love and covenant? What if you could hide yourself in his loving arms? What if he was a strong tower that the righteous could run into and be saved?
The power of God, the majesty of God, the omnipotence of God function both to encourage the downtrodden and pull down the arrogant. If, on the other hand, right now you are in the mode of thinking that the world is at your feet, the world is your oyster, and you can do whatever you want whenever you like, then also consider Leviathan. Consider its power. Consider how little control you have over the natural world. Over the destiny of your own life. Over your health and well being. Over the storm. Over the whale and the shark in the deep ocean, on your own. You are vulnerable and weak compared to the God of the universe. And yet this same God—if you trust him and repent of your sins—is the one who covenants to keep you for all eternity in his strong grasp. No one can snatch you out of his hand.
In short, whether downtrodden or puffed up, consider Leviathan. And then consider God and bow before him in worship.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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