The Lord’s Picture Lesson
Just to press the point home a little further and to put it to final rest, the Lord once more uses His creation to illustrate the lesson. The Lord refers to two huge animals, one called “behemoth,” which some think was either an elephant or a hippopotamus, and “leviathan,” which could possibly be a whale or a crocodile, depending on which commentary you read.
The Lord calls behemoth the “chief ways of God,” describing in very minute detail all of this creature’s strength and might. He points out that “only his Maker can approach him with his sword,” which is the object lesson for Job to consider.
Only the Creator can deal with the creature, and only the Lord can humble the proud and break down his arrogance. The Lord was Job’s only hope for deliverance from his need.
The other thing that Job should consider about the huge behemoth is that even when the river was overflowing or violent, this animal was not alarmed. He simply remained secure and confident. He knew that he was not going to sink, the very instinct of its life told him that the waters would simply carry him wherever they flowed.
The same should have been true with Job during the raging of the deep waters of his trial. God had breathed life into him, and He was not going to let him drown. The waters would simply draw him closer to the Lord.
The Second Lesson
The Lord’s second picture is another huge creature called a leviathan. Then, He gives an even more detailed description of him to prove the impossibility of his being tamed by man.
You could never put him on a fishhook. You could never play with him, or tame him like a pet. No one would dare to lay his hand on him or have the courage to rouse him. “If you lay your hands on him, you will long remember the battle that ensues, and you will never try it again! No, it is useless to try to capture him. It is frightening even to think about it! . . . His limbs, his mighty strength, his terrible teeth, his scales, his eyes, his mouth, his nostrils, his breath like kindled coals, make him so terrible that the strongest men fear him . . . No sword can stop him, no spear or dart or pointed shaft. Iron is nothing but straw to him and brass is rotten wood . . . He makes the water boil with his commotion. He churns up the depths. He leaves a shining wake of froth behind him . . . There is nothing on earth his equal — a creature without fear. He is king over all that are proud!” If men are cast down at the sight of this creature, what about God? He created him! Who can stand against Him?
“Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me!” That is the conclusion of the whole matter! Job had said that the Lord took away his rights, but the Lord declares that Job has no “rights!” As Sovereign Lord of Heaven and earth, He isn’t under any obligation to any creature. No one can demand anything of Him as a “right.” On the contrary, they must acknowledge His claim! Everything, whether animate or inanimate, wears a placard that He wrote which says “MINE!”
“Job, take a look at behemoth, which I made along with you. Behemoth is Mine, and you are Mine. I have the sovereign right to do whatever I will with Mine own.”
Job is conquered!
The first time Job answered the Lord he admitted that he felt worthless and inferior. I am going to use one of those “ten dollar, esoteric” phrases: He felt “contemptibly mean.” Maybe abhorrent or abominable would be a better description. Disgusting, odious, vile . . . I think you get my point. No matter what words I use, I don’t think you can find an appropriate descriptive term of Job’s heart as he remembered the words he used against the Lord during his complaints.
Job simply submits to the claims of his God and King and cries, “I know you can do all things!” In the complete surrender and adoration of his whole being, he proclaims with a fresh renewal of his faith, the sovereign power of God in his life and allows the Lord to take His rightful place of authority.
Job confesses that he finally accepts the Lord can do anything and no one can stop him, “no plan of yours can be thwarted.” He had always believed it, and even said it to his friends in one of his moments of tenacious trust in God, but now he knows it with a “full assurance of understanding” that he never had before. All his crying, kicking, screaming and carrying on, had never hindered the Lord from revealing Himself to Job when the time was right.<
The Lord just waited until the trial had fulfilled His purpose and proved that Job would remain true to Him to the very end.
Job looks back on his past months of suffering and in the light of the Lord’s presence sees the purpose of love behind it all. However, did Job learn his lesson? Oh sure, he acknowledged the Lord’s sovereignty and claim on his life. Yes, he understood the Lord’s wisdom and compassion during his trial. But did Job confess his ignorance, and admit that he had veiled the counsel of God by his “words without knowledge?”
If you are interested, you can download the whole study of Job.
Other Bible Studies and Commentary are available at Doulos Studies.