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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Job 41

 

 

Verse 25

AN AWE-INSPIRING OBJECT

‘When He raiseth up Himself, the mighty are afraid.’

Job 41:25

Leviathan is almost certainly the crocodile, and there is the playfulness of a great tenderness in the suggestions Jehovah makes to Job about these fierce creations. Can Job catch him with a rope or a hook? Will he pray to Job? Will Job make a servant or a plaything of him for himself or his maidens? There is a fine and yet most tender and humorous satire in the words of Jehovah—

‘Lay thine hand upon him;

Remember the battle, and do so no more.’

If none dare stir up leviathan, who can stand before God? If Job dare not attempt to catch or subdue or play with this animal, how can he hope to enter into competition in the government of the universe with God? The question being asked, the description returns to the beast in all the magnificence of his strength, and ends with a picture of men attempting to overcome him with sword, or spear, or dart, or pointed shaft; while all the while in fierce anger he holds the citadel of his being, and becomes king over all the sons of pride.

I. What a magnificent description of the crocodile!—There is nothing to compare with it in any page of the world’s literature. The inference is that the Maker of so marvellous an animal must be superlatively great. If the creature be so wonderful, what must not the Creator be? If you cannot approach or tame the monster, which buries itself in the seething water and eludes your sight, how helpless you are to follow the track of the Divine Providence, or bend it to your will!

II. One great lesson from all these chapters seems to be the desirability of acquainting ourselves with the works of God in Nature.—No devout student in the school of this instructress can ever leave it without loftier conceptions of Him Whose handmaiden Nature is. A great God is the goal which they must reach who travel, from the tiny gnat that blows its horn, or the smallest humming-bird that glances in the sunbeam. Nature is always beautiful, but to the ordinary eye of men’s curiosity or admiration she does not unfold her choicest aspects. There is a colour in the rainbow which evades, and a music in the waterfall which eludes, and a note in the storm which remains unheard by any, save those whose heart is pure and childlike and full of the love of God. If this be yours, adopt some line of natural study, have your hobby, as they say. It may be a shell, an egg, a fossil, a cone, an orchid, but each of these may lead your thoughts to God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Job 41:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/job-41.html. 1876.

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