Thursday, February 11, 2010

GOD OF OUR MONSTERS

God said to Job, “Behold now behemoth [the hippopotamus], which I made with thee” (Job 40:15). “Canst thou draw out leviathan [the crocodile] with an hook? Or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?” (41:1).

Why would God begin his revelation by having Job consider these two massive monsters? Why would God have Job look into the faces of a hippopotamus and a crocodile?

First, the Lord posed this problem to his servant: “Look, Job, here comes the hippopotamus after you. What are you going to do? Can you wrestle him down in your physical strength? No? Maybe you can try to sweet-talk him.

“Now, behold the crocodile that’s threatening. How will you handle him? This creature has a heart of stone. He has no concept of mercy.” This was more than a simple lecture about the animal kingdom. Rather, God was telling Job something about life’s “monsters.” He was showing his servant that these two awesome, ferocious, overpowering creatures represented the monstrous problems raging in Job’s life.

“Consider the hippo. He tramples down everything in sight. He’s simply too big a problem for you to handle, Job. You are no match for him whatsoever. Nothing you can do will tame him. Only I, the Lord, know how to stop such a monstrous creature.

“And what about the crocodile, Job? No human can do battle with such a creature. And nobody in his own strength can strip the crocodile of his thick armor. The same is true of your spiritual enemy, the devil. Only I can win the battle with him.”

Do you hear what God is saying in this speech? He’s speaking not just to Job but to all believers. And he’s declaring, “Face the truth about the monsters in your life. You can’t handle them. I’m the only one who can.”

Job answered, “My God is all-powerful. He can do all things. And no purpose of his can ever be thwarted. I know I can’t stand up against the hippo or the crocodile. But that doesn’t matter. I know God can. My part is simply to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (see Job 42:1-2).