Lent Devotional: Job 41

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 41 (click here)
Will you play with [Leviathan] as with a bird, or will you put him on a leash for your girls? 6 Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? 7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? 8 Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again! 9 Behold, the hope of a man is false; he is laid low even at the sight of him. 10 No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me? 11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine. (Job 41:5-11)

Reflection
God draws Job’s attention to another fearsome  mysterious creature…Leviathan. This is some type of water animal that Job (nor anyone else with a brain) would ever attempt to tame. The point of all God’s questions is twofold: 1) Job you cannot do this, but 2) I can. Job cannot put Leviathan on a leash like a pet, but God can.

This is why God’s culminating question in verse 10 is, “Who then is he who can stand before me?” If Job cannot remotely overpower Leviathan, and yet Leviathan is like a pet to God… then why does Job have the audacity to think he can square off with the Lord! God is giving Job (and us) a clearer picture of who we are dealing with… for all to often we lose sight of who God is and try to put him on our level.

God makes it clear to Job that they are not on the same level. God is creator and we are creation. We have never given him anything that puts him in our debt. He owes us nothing. He doesn’t owe us good, or love, or blessing, or answers, or explanations, etc. God owns everything, including us, and we owe our entire existence to him!

Yet… God does love… God does bless… God is good. He doesn’t have to be… he just is. God wants us to see that he is the almighty who has freely (not out of obligation), lovingly given us life. He is so powerful that he could crush us like Leviathan, and he has the right to do so… but he doesn’t. No. The omnipotent God promises to use his power in such a way that it is for our ultimate good. Do we trust him? Or do we foolishly try to oppose omnipotence?

We’d have a better chance trying to conquer Leviathan.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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