Reading through the Bible together
God finished his explanation of His ability to create a wide range of animals with peculiar characteristics in Chapter 39. In the previous chapter, a huge animal (Behemoth) was described with hippo-like features. The other large animal (Leviathan) in this chapter has dinosaur characteristics. Scholars think that the Leviathan is described with crocodile-like features. These two animals are terrible, but the third One will be more terrible because it has power over everything. All three animals stand in relationship to each other in the Investigative and Executive Judgments.
So far Moses has brought us from Job and his friends to the conversation with God. Job’s three friends as well as the younger one are challenged because their secular views are without a proper understanding of the Great Controversy and the history of the Rebellion in Heaven. As a result, their understanding is lopsided and incomplete. That is why Moses was guided by the Holy Spirit to write about God’s conversation with Job and the challenge to his friends.
God asks Job: 1. Whether he can harpoon this large animal. 2. Whether he can press down the tongue of the Leviathan with a rope (v. 1). 3. Whether Job can put a rope in his nose or 4. Pierce his jaw with a hook (v. 2). It is a crocodile-like animal that is described but we soon learn that this animal is a symbol of a higher power, Satan. The allocated talking ability of the animal means that God and Job and Moses understood this beast to be one of Satan’s instruments, a symbol of himself. 4. Will he [Satan through this crocodile-like beast] offer supplications and speak softly to you? (vs. 3). Remember how Satan spoke to Eve in a soft voice? 5. Will he [Satan] make a covenant with you?” (v. 4a). 6. Will you take this beast [representing Satan] and make him your servant forever? (v. 4b). 7. Will you play with him like a pet? (v. 5). 8. “Will you have a feast and banquet together? Will you offer him to the merchants for sale? (v. 6). Can you harpoon him and pierce him with fishing spears? (v. 7). 9. “Place your hands on him [Satan as the crocodile-like beast] and remember the battle” (v. 8). Eve took the fruit in her hands and ever since the Fall the battle never stopped.
In this section of Job, God is now stepping to the foreground since He is going to deal with these two animals, the Behemoth and the Leviathan. In Chapter 40:19 we learned the ways God (40:19). Now we learn that Satan’s expectation as a crocodile-like beast in the Cosmic Battle of the Great Controversy is in vain (v. 9). God asked Job: “shall not the one who stands up against Me be cast down” (v. 10). In the end, at the Battle of the Lord, Satan will finally be eradicated. The original Hebrew in this verse “The one who has confronted Me” I will pay. All who are under heaven are mine (v. 11). God says to Job that Satan cannot confront Him. “I will not be silent about him and his branches (probably the one third of angels that followed him when they were ejected out of heaven). God will not keep silent about the Rebellion in Heaven’s history of Satan and his deceiving leadership over the angels.
God turns now to a description of another animal that has the most victorious and powerful animal-like characteristics and is symbolic of the Warrior Messiah: “Who can take away His garment [the Warrior Messiah] and reveal His limbs? (v. 13a). “Who can open the doors? [come to the double sanctuary veils that separate the outer court from the Holy and the Most Holy from the Holy]?” Christ is the One who opens the doors. Then follows a description of the stronger and more powerful animal which symbolizes the strength of God in the final battle with the Leviathan and Behemoth—and the strength that Christ, the Warrior Messiah, will have over them no matter how strong and terrible they are (vv. 14-18).
In the rest of this chapter we are no longer dealing with the Leviathan. At the end of this animal’s description, Job is satisfied with God’s strength. It is His own strength that God wants Job to understand, the light, rays, sparks, and smoke that are around Him during the final battle with Satan, this crocodile-like creature (v. 18-21). When God raises Himself up, all weapons are straw (vv. 26-29). When we get the description in v. 33 “nothing on earth is like Him, One who has no fear.” This is not Satan but the Warrior Messiah Christ. We know it is Christ because the last verse says: “He looks at all high things. He is King over all the sons of the destroyer” (v. 34).
Christ is victorious and King of Kings and Lord of Lords with no animal-like being stronger than Himself. We know it is all about God since Job will say in Job 42:2 “I know You can do all things”.
We learn that what we should fear lies not outside us or around us but the Self inside us. If self is off the thrones of our hearts and You reign as King of Kings, we share in the outcome of this mighty battle ending history and starting eternity. Also us O Lord. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea