20th October 2017

Leviathan 

Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook…Who can open the doors of his face, with his terrible teeth all around?”
Job 41:1,14 (NKJV)
 

Throughout the book named after him, Job has been questioning why God allows certain things to happen and calls into question God’s judgments and decisions. In Job 38 God begins to reply to him. God points Job to the divine power and majesty. If Job knows better, why isn’t Job God? God refers to the “behemoth” (Job 40:15), and then to the Leviathan, which is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that appears in only five biblical passages. If the creature is so great, who can withstand its Creator? In response Job acknowledges God’s sovereignty and repents.

Also, Isaiah 27:1 says that “In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.” Within its historical context this refers symbolically to powers such as Assyria and Babylon that are hostile to God’s people, and by inference alludes to how, in Christ, God crushes Satan, the dragon, completely.

But, what was the Leviathan? Was it a real creature? Has it since become extinct as far as we know? Most commentators suggest that it was a kind of giant crocodile.

Recently palaeontologists re-analysed a damaged crocodile fossil that had been in storage for about 150 years. It is called the Melksham Monster, named after the English town where it was first discovered, and it is now identified as a species that is new to science. Comparable in size to but more frightening to look at than today’s crocodiles, it appears to have died out completely. Could something similar have happened to the Leviathan? Will we find its fossilized bones one day?

The biggest crocodile I’ve ever seen was in a flimsy, makeshift reptile enclosure by the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya. It was about 10-ft long, at least 7 feet short of the current world record, and it lay there motionless in the drying mud, smiling at me, its slit brownish green eyes staring unblinkingly at me, as Job puts it, “like the eyelids of the morning” (Job 41:18). The idea of a giant crocodile sends shivers down my spine!

Let’s appreciate God. “Job answered the Lord and said, ‘I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You’” (Job 42:1-2). 

Prayer
Great wonderful God, who am I to second guess You and judge Your decisions? Thank You that You are Sovereign. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

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About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

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You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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