Summary: A sermon series on Job
God is Good…All the Ti me!
In the previous message we examined a selection of the questions God asked Job. Job didn’t have any answers. When you think about it, life is filled with unanswerable questions. For example, here are some very deep questions that nobody as found the answers too: 1. When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say? 2. How can you tell when sour cream goes bad?
3. What hair color do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men? 4. Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? 5. If buttered bread always lands on the butter-side down and a cat always lands on its feet, what happens if you strap buttered bread to a cat’s back? 6. If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?
Obviously, those questions aren’t even worth answering! But there are some sincere questions people ask God. For instance, our focal character, Job, kept asking God, “Lord, why am I suffering?” For most of the book, God was silent, and then in Chapter 38, He broke into the story and spoke to Job out of a storm. But He didn’t give Job the answers he was seeking. Instead, God started asking Job questions–and Job discovered he didn’t have any answers.
As we pick up the story in Job 40, God began round two of questions. If Job had been a contestant on the television game show, this would have been the Double Jeopardy round. Our categories so far have been: Earth, Sunrises, Stars, Light and Animals; and this morning God adds two new categories: Behemoth and Leviathan. Now let’s meet our contestant Job. Job didn’t do very well in round one, in fact, his score is zero. So, now let’s begin round two. Read Job 40:6-9. At this point, God described two monstrous animals, one was called Behemoth and the other was called Leviathan. God’s description of these two creatures is both fascinating and mysterious.
William Blake portrayed them as looking like a type of hippopotamus and a dragon. We’ll talk more about these two creatures in a moment.
Now skip ahead to Job 42. God has finished speaking to Job. I want you to see how Job responded to God’s questioning. Read Job 42:1-6. We have now reached the climax of the book of Job. God finished questioning Job, and was waiting for Job’s reply. If Job had argued with God and said something like, “Yeah, I heard all of what you said, but, Lord, it’s just not fair that I’m suffering! What are you going to do about it, God?” If that had been his response that would have been the end of the story, and we probably wouldn’t even be reading the book of Job! Instead, Job finally gets it and responds to God in the proper way. If you are suffering and hurting, this is the way you need to react as well. Notice four things Job said and did when he ran out of answers.
1. JOB ACKNOWLEDGED GOD’S INFINITE POWER.
Job said “I know you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) God had convinced Job that His power was unlimited. God’s point was driven home by His description of the two monstrous animals, behemoth and leviathan. The footnotes of the NIV translation say behemoth is a hippopotamus and leviathan is a crocodile. Those are just guesses– and I think they are poor guesses. What was behemoth? I agree with the Bible scholars who suggest behemoth was actually a dinosaur that we’ve named brachiosaurus. The Hebrew word behemoth simply means “enormous creature.” Notice the way God described behemoth in Job 40:15-19 "Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron. "He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword!” A brachiosaurus was one of the largest land animals to ever walk on earth. Three times as tall as a giraffe, he was almost 80 feet long and weighed up to 88 tons; compare that to the largest African elephant on record–10 tons.
What was leviathan? Again, I agree with those who suggest this is a description of a prehistoric sea creature called Kronosaurus. Here’s God’s description of leviathan in Job 41:1 "Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord?” Then look down in Job 41:7-16 “Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again! Behold, the hope of a man is false; he is laid low even at the sight of him. No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me? Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine. "I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame. Who can strip off his outer garment? Who would come near him with a bridle? Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth is terror. His back is made of rows of shields, shut up closely as with a seal. One is so near to another that no air can come between them.” Then skip down to verses 31-33 to read God’s concluding description of Leviathan, “He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment. Behind him he leaves a shining wake; one would think the deep to be white-haired. On earth there is not his like, a creature without fear.” [Leviathan is mentioned in Isaiah 27:1 and Psalm 104 as being a mighty sea creature]