Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Job- Chapter 41

Job 41

-Here in chapter 41, we encounter God’s take on the mighty Leviathan (most likely an enormous crocodile-like creature, but some have postulated it to be a type of dinosaur or even a dragon type creature). It is important to note that God gives this creature the most discussion in His monolog. The LORD’s point in all this? That Job realize that he, as a man, was unfit to establish the justice of this fallen world due to all its unthought of complexities, but He was totally capable of bringing everything and everyone into subjection. He begs the questions, “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Can you put a rope in his nose? Or pierce his jaw with a hook?” God doesn’t stop there, “Will he make supplications to you? Or will he speak soft words? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him for a servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird? Or will you bind him for your maidens? Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?” In other words, man’s ancient methods of capture and overcoming this animal were totally worthless. God says, “Lay your hand on him; remember the battle; you will not do it again!” What the LORD means is that He can do with ease, while man has no control over this wild kingdom. The LORD continues, “Behold, your expectation is false; will you be laid low even at the sight of him? No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him; who then is he that can stand before Me? Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine (Job 41:1-11).”

-God moves on to say that He will not keep silent concerning the Leviathan’s limbs, his mighty strength, or his orderly frame. God has constructed this beast to be unflappable. His outer armor cannot be stripped and no one can tangle with the strength of his double jaws. Once he clamps down on one, it is tantamount to impossible to open his mouth. “Around his teeth there is terror.” His strong scales are created by the Sovereign to be his pride, and they shut him up with a tight seal for all his wonderings. They cannot be separated. As he sneezes (as a croc coming out of water), he flashes forth radiant light. “His eyes are like the eyelids of the morning (Job 41:12-18).” They are stunning, as we can look at images on the internet and totally agree. “Interestingly, in Egyptian hieroglyphs, the crocodile’s eye represents the dawn (Victor E. Reichert, “Job,” London: Soncino Press, 1946, pg. 216).” It is uncertain what to make of the next three verses as to literal or figurative interpretation. This is where some have concluded this animal to be some type of ancient fire-breathing dragon. Otherwise, we can say that this is figurative to the actions of a croc’s mouth as it tears and devours its prey (Job 41:19-21). The neck of this Leviathan lodges strength. Dismay, it is said, leaps before him. The folds of his flesh are joined together to make him firm and immovable. “His heart,” God confidently asserts, “is as hard as a stone; even as hard as a lower millstone.” When this animal raises himself up, the mighty fear because of his bewildering crashes. The sword is to no avail, nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin. Iron and bronze become as straw and rotten wood when they try to conquer this beast. The arrow cannot make him flee, and slingstones and clubs are turned into stubble for him. In fact, he laughs at the rattling of the javelin. His underparts are as sharp potsherds, and he spreads himself out as the threshing sledge on the mire. His stirring in the water make the depths have a boiling appearance, and he makes the sea look like a jar of ointment (an apothecary). Behind him, as he travels boldly, he stirs a shining wake making the water appear like the white hair of an aged-person. God says that there is nothing on earth like this Leviathan, “one made without fear.” The LORD, in His wisdom, sums it up now, “He looks on everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride (Job 41:22-34).”

-“God’s concluding statements that the crocodile ‘looks down on the haughty’ and is ‘supreme over the proud’ would have reminded Job that his pride before God, the crocodile’s Fashioner, was both precarious and dangerous.” The LORD was challenging Job to show any authority that he had over these creatures. This was a task that assuredly Job what not capable of doing; therefore, God proved His mastery over every aspect of the Universe displaying that Job was unqualified to deal with such a job. Though He gives evil and chaos its day, they are not beyond His control. God gives clear evidence of this in this remarkable text of His wisdom (see Roy B. Zuck, “The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty,” Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1986, pg. 773).

-*Application* I’ll share a quick story here to help us. One day my 7 year-old son and I were playing some golf in Florida, where we once lived. The course marshal came over to us well into our round and wanted to know if we wanted to see a huge alligator that was sunning himself over by a cove. Of course, we wanted to see this magnificent sight, right?!? The marshal told us it was over 10 feet long, so we just had to cure our curiosity. We approached this monster in our golf cart, and suddenly there it was, massive and totally lethargic, resting in the cove. I was like, “Paul, wanna see me hit him with a golf ball?!?” Of course, he did. He was an adventurous boy. This was a monumental occasion. I threw the ball about 30 feet or so away, and “bam!” it hit the alligator right on the back and bounced off into the water. I thought this would have caused at least some sort of reaction, but to my surprise, the beast was totally unimpressed and unaffected. It didn’t even move or flinch one inch. His impenetrable shell was impressive indeed. We dared not venture any closer. I know what God is talking about here. I was helpless as a human to tangle with such a creature. God has ultimate authority over him though. Today, we should stand in awe and reverence for all God does to bring order out of chaos in His creation. LORD, accelerate the day when all evil is brought under righteousness and all things are made new (Revelation 21:5). Teach us what it means to know that whatever is under the whole heavens is absolutely Yours.

Verses to Memorize: Job 41:10-11

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