Reaching out to Central New York in the name of Jesus Christ

A Word for Today

A Lesson from Leviathan

Job 41:1   Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?

Who or what is this unruly Leviathan? A literary depiction of the Nile crocodile? An extinct sea monster from the dinosaur age? A continuation of the Babylonian chaos myths? The Loch Ness Monster? Maybe he’s a prickly Presidential contender. There may be something to be said for any of these explanations.

However, we won’t find Job’s Leviathan in nature, ancient literature, movies, or Presidential campaigns. We will have to find our Leviathan in his appointed home within the Scriptures.

For instance, the prophet Isaiah uses Leviathan to represent one or more world  superpowers that persecute the nation of Israel (Isaiah 27).

Revelation describes another superpower brought into submission when the Almighty arrests “that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan” (Revelation 20:2) who is able to deceive the whole world.

In the book of Job, the Almighty tells Job about His surprising relationship with the unruly Leviathan for a full thirty-four verses. He ends by calling Leviathan, “king over all the children of pride” (Job 41:34). Once it is clear to Job that the Almighty actually uses this super monster for His own purposes, his complaints against God evaporate. Job is undone: “I have heard of thee (Lord) by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6). Once he sees how the Lord brings “king of the children of pride” into submission, Job no longer wants any part of wrestling with God. He is ready to “tap out” and worship.

We learn from the book of Job – not only from Job’s bitter complaints against God, but also the Lord’s wrestling match with Leviathan – that pride is the enemy of worship. Worship, by definition, requires humility before God. It means to bow in reverence and adoration. It requires letting go of our pride and surrendering to God and His plan.

Oh, Lord, grant, in the name of Your Son, that we may truly worship thee.