But God made Leviathan to play May 22, 2023
Job 41:1, 12, 18-19, 33-34 Can you catch Leviathan with a hook or put a noose around its jaw? … I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs ad its enormous strength and graceful form. … When it sneezes, it flashes light! Its eyes are like the red of dawn. Lightning leaps from its mouth; flames of fire flash out. … Nothing on earth is its equal, no other creature so fearless. Of all the creatures, it is the proudest. It is the king of beasts.
Psalm 104:24-26 O Lord, what a variety of things you have made! … See Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.
In the mood for levity, I went to Job 41. God spends an entire chapter describing this creature whose identity is disputed all these thousands of years later. I picture God laughing with glee as he points out to job the amazing features of this great fling of his imagination.
And I think of poor Job, totally taken aback by the exuberance of God’s response to his completely valid questioning of his experience of extreme suffering. God says to Job, “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” (Job 40:2).
Job must have been shaking in his boots. “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you,” he responded. (Another version says, “Nothing you wish is impossible.”) Job continued, “You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance? It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.”
I haven’t suffered like Job, but I question all kinds of things. This conversation challenges me to remember Who I’m talking to: a God powerful enough to raise Jesus from the dead and give him a body that can pass through locks and walls and appear on a mountain 140 km (87 miles) away (his disciples had to walk) and then ascend to Heaven back in Jerusalem. A God whose Holy Spirit, poured out like fire, can be present everywhere at the same time.
Leviathan. Levity. God’s powerful sense of humor on full display through his creation.
Thanks, Lord, for helping me not take myself so seriously today!
Another of God’s creations (borrowed from my friend Nancy Goetz Jones):