by Rob Jensen
When we speak about any facet of God and His attributes, there is always the danger of bringing God down to man’s level in our understanding. Over simplification of any attribute of God can lead to a watering down of who God is and lower Him from His rightful place of glory.
Many things about God are difficult for a finite being to understand because He is an infinite God! But God’s intention was to commune with man as he initially did in the garden of Eden, until Adam’s sin changed that relationship. Much that is revealed in the Bible about God uses terms and comparisons for our sake to help us understand the infinite God.
In chapters 40 and 41 of Job, God focuses on His power and uses examples that men can relate to, but which show us our place in defining God’s power versus man’s power. God uses two examples from the animal kingdom, the behemoth and leviathan. As to the identity of these two animals, there has been much speculation. From the standpoint of understanding the power of God it doesn’t really matter the identity of these two creatures.
Speaking of behemoth God says in Job 40:24:
Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, with barbs can anyone pierce his nose?
God describes leviathan in much detail in Chapter 41 of Job. He describes in the opening verses how this creature is not one to be easily caught:
Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord? Can you put a rope in his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? (Job 41:1–2).
In the middle of the description of leviathan, God reminds Job who is over all. He says,
No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him; who then is he that can stand before Me? Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine (Job 41:10–11).
God created behemoth and leviathan. He not only can control them, but their lives are in His hand.
Job’s response exemplifies a right attitude of seeing a glimpse of God in human terms.
Then Job answered the Lord and said,
I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?” Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know (Job 42:1–3).
There are many other examples of God’s power in creation from the viewpoint of Scripture. Yet God is concerned for mankind. As the Psalmist writes:
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? (Psalm 8:3–4).
As believers we can rest in the truth of Psalm 103:10-12:
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.