|Destruction of Leviathan by Gustave Dore|
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Job 41:12-34
TO CHEW ON: "He beholds every high thing;
He is king over all the children of pride." Job 41:34
If you read these details, what creature would you think I was describing?
He has "mighty power," "terrible teeth all around," "rows of scales," his armor is impervious to spear, dart, javelin, or arrow. Light flashes when he sneezes, sparks shoot of his mouth, smoke billows from his nostrils, his breath is so hot it starts a fire. He moves about with "crashings," churns up the sea to a muddy slurry, and makes pointy footprints on the beach.
It sounds a lot like a dinosaur or a medieval dragon, doesn't it?
The description is for the most part non-judgmental, though we sense from the beast's actions that he is not good, kind or safe. However, in the last verse of Job 41, the writer shows his hand when he says of this creature: "He is king over all the children of pride."
This powerful "king over all the children of pride" beast of Job 41 reminds me of Satan. Satan's identification with pride is seen from his first appearance on the cosmic scene:
"For you (Lucifer—Satan's name when he was an angel) have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; … I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High" - Isaiah 14:12-14.
Let's remember the context here. In Job 41 God is questioning Job. The description of this beast is part of his query from the beginning of the chapter: Can you draw out, snare etc. this beast? The implied answer is, No, Job, you can't, but I (God) can.
The reference to pride also draws us back to Job 40:10,11, when God asks Job if he has the smarts and power to make moral judgements: "Would you indeed annul My judgment … Then … look on everyone who is proud and humble him. Look on everyone who is proud and bring him low" - Job 40:8,11,12.
In these chapters of Job then (Job 40,41), I think we can conclude that God is not so much impressing Job with His power over these creatures as natural monsters but is using them as images of evil. He is impressing on Job that even the most ferocious evil is still in His power. And that's still true today!
PRAYER: Dear God, whatever the beast Satan throws at the world or at me of fright, upheaval, chaos, and destruction, I take comfort in the fact that You are not intimidated or confused. You can draw him out with a hook, snare him, fill his scales with harpoons and finally overcome him. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.