Behemoth

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Job 40:6-24

“Will you condemn me that you may be justified?” (v. 8)

The initial exchange between Job and the Lord is not enough, for Job’s refusal to debate God may not signal genuine understanding but simply that he’s too frightened to respond. And so God speaks again from the whirlwind: Would you condemn me to justify yourself? And once again a cascade of questions issues forth from God. Job’s confrontation with the wild and the inexplicable is not yet complete.

The first questions concern the Behemoth. “What kind of creature is this—this animal of animals that I made just as I made you, O Job? There is strength in its loins and power in its belly. Its sinews and muscles are tight and strong. Its bones are like bronze and its limbs like bars of iron. Indeed, this creature ranks first among my works. No flooding river or rushing current frighten this creature. The Behemoth, the hippopotamus, fears nothing, least of all capture by humans. Can you, O Job, capture him with hooks, or pierce his nose with a snare? Of course not, for no human is a match for Behemoth. Only I, God, am able to take its life.” The message is that God alone is the majestic Maker of all.

PRAYER

O God, Maker of creatures beyond our wildest imagining, take away our need to justify ourselves and let us rest in you.