Behemoths and Leviathans

By AJ Rasmussen

The past two days I decided to read the book of Job in the Bible. It wasn’t the first time I’d read it, but I chose to read that book specifically to see just how Job managed to make it through such great tribulation as he had faced.

I’d gone through the “losing everything” phase following my arrest, or so I had thought. Now 46 days sitting in isolation I’ve discovered I hadn’t lost everything, but now I feel I’ve come dang close.

Those who have read Job’s story (if you haven’t, please do) know that in chapter one we see God and Satan in conversation. We also see that God allows us to go through tribulation. “Have you considered My servant Job Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” God asked of Satan.

He allowed Satan to bring forth trials & to Job, but not to the extent of death to Job. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that the Lord will not allow us more than we can handle. He speaks of temptation, but it is not a trial merely a temptation to doubt and reject God?

So, as the story goes, Job was full of riches and had a nice family, but God allowed Satan to strip Job of it all, leaving him alone and without. He even went as far as allowing physical pain on top of the emotional pain.

I never really got was so great about this story, because Job is not all that different than you & I. He loses all he has then he launches into a pity party-and to me rightly so. God called him blameless and Job was a blessed man. Such a man wouldn’t expect to all the sudden feel completely abandoned by God.

I myself have spent much of my life a complainer. At times feeling unfairly treated, I’ve gained, and I’ve lost. Unlike Job, though, I doubt I’ve ever been considered “Blameless”. So most of my loss I’ve chalked up as direct result of my own behavior and actions.

This time, however, I feel my loss was not a result of my behavior or action. I came to segregation as what could be called a blameless man. So to lose so much that I had gained, I have felt like Job, for through most of the book he is complaining of his loss, asking God why have you forsaken me? Hebrews 13:5, quoting God from Genesis, we are told that God will never leave nor forsake us. So what is going on here in Job’s life> And what is going on at times in our life?

Have you ever asked this question, why does God Allow bad things to happen to good people? I bet you have. I know I have. Well, Job was “good people’ according to God’s own words, so why allow Satan to utterly destroy Job’s life? And while doing so, allow Job’s so called friends, to hypocritically judge& condemn him and repeat over and over “You must have been living in sin, surely a righteous man would not have faced such horror in their life!”

As I’ve read this book, a number of times now in my life, I never got the hoop-la. I thought, “Sure, God called him blameless, bit he calls us saints, and I don’t know about you, but I’m far from a saint! Yet, that’s how God see us through Jesus’ covering of us0as He paid the price for our sin. So Job is Blameless yet allowed to face trials. We are called saints, yet the secret in this story, why is it even in the Bible? What’s so important about it?

Good Question, when I felt led to read this book yesterday and today- I honestly didn’t feel like it. Job loses everything, he whines, and gets double back in the end, whoopee!

Where the story goes next is where the key to the whole story’s importance us. It is in this where we can learn to properly respond to tribulation. In Job 38 & 39 we see where God has had enough of Job’s self-pity, and Job’s friends condemning words. I can almost hear the tine if God’s voice as if he’s had it! Who do you think you are Job/AJ/You!?

Knowing that Job 1-he loses it all. Job 42 and 37 Job and his “friends” go back-n-forth. Job thinking he’s above tribulation, his friends-hypocrites, thinking they know-it-all. It’s in Job 38 & 39 where God comes and with the laundry list that would shut up Satan himself. Basically telling Job, “I’m in charge here buddy! Not you, not Satan, not your friends, not your family. I’ve created it all and run the show! Do you get it yet?” I’d say God wasn’t angry but He was assertive in reminding Job who is in charge.

This whole story to me is a reminder to us all who tend to become prideful, or think we are above trials and tribulation. “After all, I go to church. I help people. I stay out of trouble. I work hard.”

“So what!” God is saying. He is pleased with our faithfulness and sacrifice, but we often get caught up in the daily-to-do and begin to think it is us who is in charge, us who earned this or that, this is mine, etc.

These trials and tribulations, sometimes like in Job’s case, the Behemoths and Leviathans in our life that really set us back, are in the end meant for our own good. That doesn’t mean life will be easy or we won’t sweat through the difficult times, what is meant is that God is in charge, and at times our attention needs getting.

These Behemoths and Leviathans {Large unknown beasts-land and water respectively) that God speaks of to Job as metaphors to the trials he’s faced, are only able to be overcome by God acting on our behalf. “Indeed, any hope of overcoming (them) is false (Job 41:9). The point being, without God in our life-like is often hopeless and trials will overwhelm us.

James tells us to “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.: (James 1:23)

Jesus says in John “In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation…” (John 16”33). He didn’t give us false hope of a problem free life. He came right out and said “YOU WILL HAVE TRIBULATION”.

Another part of suffering is it strengthens us to be able to help others in their time of struggle. Paul to the Corinthians said “(God) who comforts us in tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble…” (2Cor 1:4)

Like Paul, let us “be joyful in all pour tribulation” (2Cor. 7:4). Knowing that “…tribulation produces perseverance, perseverance character and character hope!” (Roams 5:3-4

We will face the world’s Behemoths and Leviathans, but knowing that, being prepared, and trusting in the Lord, we can properly respond to tribulation, and in the end know that God always wins and with our tribulation, like Job, will come blessing-TWICE as much!!

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