Job 41:1-5 – Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words? Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life? Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls? (NIV)
The young adults in our church play an amusing game called "Honey, if you love me, will you please smile for me?" The group sits in a circle as each member takes a turn trying to make another person smile or laugh by making funny faces and/or performing a comical stunt. The person then answers by saying "Honey, I love you, but I just can't smile for you", at the same time, trying to keep a straight face. If he or she smiles, then that person becomes the next player. Otherwise, the same person moves on to the next party.
While contemplating the object of this game, I wondered if God might also have a sense of humour — at least, the last few chapters of the book of Job suggest that He does. Job is famously known for his patience and suffering; nevertheless, he repeatedly argued with God, boldly proclaiming his innocence. After listening to thirty-seven chapters of Job's constant whining, the Lord finally had His say, posing a series of questions that no human being can answer.
For example, in today's passage, the Lord questions Job about the powerful leviathan; I smile every time I read these verses. I think God uses humour to expose man's inability to completely understand His will and power. The mysterious leviathan was probably some kind of sea creature, now extinct — hardly the kind of animal that could be tamed; yet, its strength paled enormously under the command and authority of almighty God!
I just love the "tongue-in-cheek" manner in which the Lord responds to Job's complaints. It's light-hearted, yet profoundly deep; humorous, yet infinitely wise. However, God is not only speaking to Job, but also to all humanity. In one way or another, everyone can identify with Job's suffering; we may all be guilty of questioning the Lord's wisdom and purpose for our lives.
Thus, I believe a lot can be learned from Job's experience. When our joy has run out with burdens too heavy to bear, it might be helpful to read the full transcript of God's communication with Job. By meditating on His divine counsel, our hearts will be encouraged. Moreover, traces of God's humour are bound to put a smile on our face. Do not miss out on this delightful blessing.
Prayer: Almighty God, You are King of the universe and King of our lives. Open our hearts to receive Your wise counsel, and help us to see the bright side of every situation. In Jesus' holy name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Master The Tempest Is Raging" (Lyrics)