Behemoth

“Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you….”
Job 40:15

I started reading science fiction when I was about 11 or 12 years old.

It wasn’t long after that I picked up some fantasy novels and added that genre to my list of growing favorites.

When I was about 14 years old, I made the jump – albeit a small one – to horror novels. I read Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, then went back to the classics of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley.

The last horror novel I read was The Amityville Horror. I had been feeling increasingly uneasy about reading such novels and this last one was so much about the occult and demon possession that it really scared me.

It scared me because I knew that the devil and demons are real. They are not something to be dabbled or played with.

And while that kind of stuff still scares me – I still don’t watch horror movies or visit haunted houses in October – I am not really afraid of the devil or demons. I know they cannot hurt me because I am a baptized child of God!

God continues to make it clear to Job that he is God and Job is not. He had been talking about the universe that he created and still sustains. He had been talking about the animal kingdom and its level of complexities that virtually prove that God is the Creator and man is not.

Here in chapter 40, God makes reference to Behemoth (verse 15). This name is based on the common Hebrew word for “animal” or “beast.” Today we use it to reference huge and dangerous animals.

But the way Behemoth is described in the Book of Job indicates that God may be talking about Satan.

Behemoth is a creation of God, therefore he is subjected to God’s authority. He is described as being unusually strong and large – certainly not equal to man. He is said to be “the first of the works of God” but in this case “first” means “greatest” and not first, chronologically.

Ezekiel 28 seems to hint at this. It talks about the greatest of angels becoming prideful and rebelling against God. He is then banished from heaven. Couple this with Revelation 12 and I get the impression that Satan was so beautiful that he turned all he was inward in self-pride and rejected his Creator.

God spells out to Job that even this Behemoth of a creature is still a creation of God and subject to him.

God uses the Behemoth to show that no matter what happens to us – good or bad – God is still in control of all things.

We need to follow Job’s example when confronted with this divine truth.

Be silent!

Be still and know that God is God (see Psalm 46)!

Even the mighty and epic creature Behemoth is still under the control of God!

Remember this the next time you are tempted to think you know better than God concerning your life or when you question whether God is in control of your life or even paying attention to your life!

He is. Both in control and paying attention. He may use his creation to get your attention, but he always is watching over you!

You need look no further than the empty cross and the empty tomb to see God’s love for you and his care for you.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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Should We Do It?

“Do you know…? Can you number…? Can you bind…? Do you give…? Do you make…? Is it by your understanding…?”
Job 39:1, 2, 10, 19, 20, 26

I was in the second year of my pastoral ministry when the news broke.

Scientists in Scotland had successful cloned a sheep using a cell from another sheep. While this wasn’t the first time an animal had been cloned, it was the first time one had been cloned from an adult cell.

Being a fan of science fiction books and movies, I knew a little about clones. But now science fiction had become science fact.

At the gathering of pastors that spring we discussed and debated what “Dolly” (the cloned sheep’s name) meant to the Church.

Both those in the scientific community and the religious community raised concerns about the ethics of cloning animals. And, of course, this led to heated debates on whether the cloning of humans would ever happen or ever should happen.

There is no doubt that it can happen. We, as humans, have figured it out. We have the capabilities to use scientific knowledge to do things like this and much more.

The questions that God puts to Job in chapter 39 are not rhetorical in the sense that humans could not know how to influence the animal kingdom. 3800 years after Job it is verifiable that we can.

But maybe they are rhetorical in the sense of God asking Job (and us) not could we but rather should we.

Just because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you should do a thing.

God is asking Job these questions not as an interrogation as to what Job knows and doesn’t know but to make the point that there is a God and Job isn’t him!

In this chapter, we meet the God who created mountain goats, wild donkeys, wild oxen, ostriches, horses, and hawks.

They each have their idiosyncrasies and ways that many people do not understand. That doesn’t mean we could never understand them.

But it does mean that we cannot make them to be what they are.

God can and did! He is the Creator of all that exists and has given living things their living breath.

And the ultimate point, again, is that since we cannot do this and only God can, we should trust God that he knows what he is doing.

Even when something bad happens to us.

In Job’s case, it is the loss of his wealth, his family (all except his wife) and his health. Job doesn’t understand why this has happened to him. But God points out that this isn’t all that Job doesn’t understand.

He also doesn’t understand how wild goats, wild donkeys, oxen, ostriches, horses and hawks live and move and have their being. Yet they still do.

God is subtly asking Job to trust him. It is as if God were saying to Job, “I know you don’t understand what’s going on now, but trust me! I love you and I will never leave you nor forsake you!”

Jesus would echo this sentiment to his disciples.

What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand” (John 13:7).

We may have the capability to alter or mimic the creation process of God, but we need to understand God as best we can before we start messing around with his creation.

And the best way to understand God is by faith in his Son, Jesus Christ, who forgives our sins and gives us new life through his death and resurrection!

©2017 True Men Ministries

______________________________________

Read past devotions at the True Man Blog here.

Contribute to True Men Ministries to help keep this devotional going here.

Listen to the True Man Podcast here.

Subscribe to In My Father’s Footsteps here.

Sunrise – Sunset

Image courtesy of Eddie Callaway
Birdfreak.com

And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. – Genesis 1:16-19

The first sunset and the first sunrise. Imagine how beautiful that was.

We can only imagine how beautiful that was because Adam and Eve were the last people to see those kind of sunsets and sunrises.

I set my alarm for 5:20 every morning and nearly every morning I get to see a spectacular sunrise over the Illinois prairie. Most evenings I also take a moment to watch a spectacular sunset.

But Adam and Eve spent most of their lives never seeing any sunset or sunrise nearly as spectacular.

They may have seen some beautiful sunsets, especially after a long day of taking care of young children and working in the fields. They most likely would have paused every morning to watch the sun peak over the eastern horizon and breathe a prayer of thanksgiving to God for His bountiful gifts.

But I suspect that Adam would not have described those sunsets or sunrises as I would.

Because Adam knew what a truly awesome sunset looked like. He saw sunrises that were immeasurably more spectacular that any we could see in this lifetime.

But after he and his wife sinned, those sunsets and sunrises were no more.

When I see the sunrise, I think about how beautiful it is. I feel so blessed to be able to witness it.

But what must have Adam felt every time he saw the sunset or sunrise? A longing? Crushing regret over what could have been had he only not eaten a single piece of fruit his wife offered him? A yearning, perhaps. A yearning to the day that this promise would come to pass:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

That promise, I imagine, made every sunset and sunrise that Adam and Eve had to endure just a little be easier.

Today, I was again awake right before sunrise. And again, I was thinking about beautiful it was and I thanked God for that sunrise.

And then I remembered Adam and Eve and all the sunrises they saw after they left the Garden of Eden.

And that reminded me of yet another sunrise many millions of sunrises after Adam and Eve saw their last sunrise on this earth.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb…. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead….

The Son rise makes all sunrises and sunsets mere shadows, faint reflections of the glory that awaits us who believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

When I see another sunrise and sunset, I will remember, not the pained longing or crushing regret of Adam and Eve, but of the day that will come when we see Jesus face to face and look no more to a sunrise or sunset, because the Son will always be with us.