Sunday, June 24, 2007

Taming the Leviathan's tongue

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Job 38, 39, 40, 41

Job 41:1; 10-11 (NIV)

1 Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?

10 Who then is able to stand against me? 11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.

Job 40:3-5 (NIV)

3 Then Job answered the Lord: 4 “I am unworthy – how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. 5 I spoke once, but I have no answer – twice, but I will say no more.”

Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV)

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed Him.

Good morning!

Some mornings I wake up feeling a little like a seven-headed sea monster. Have you ever been so angry over something someone said to you that you found yourself tossing and turning all night long? Maybe you chewed on the perfectly timed verbal response. Oh, how the tongue gets in the way of my quest toward Christian perfection. I do not know how to control it sometimes. I admit there are moments when I really don’t want to.

When the Lord God Almighty decided to open up to Job, He didn’t hold anything back. He let Job have it! I don’t know about you, but I think I would have wanted to crawl underneath a rock and never come out after hearing the voice of God question my not-so-happy attitude. Job was a holy man, devout in faith and bent on pleasing God. When life dealt him a series of unexplainable, unimaginable tragedies, all at once, Job began to believe that the Lord was unjustly punishing him. It seems like we humans inherently believe that all of the workings of the universe revolve around us. God emphatically makes his case before Job. It is at that humiliating moment when Job begins to realize that his grief and pain are so very insignificant compared to the greatness and glory of God. His life is but a speck of sand – God’s wisdom and power and creative work is so much larger than he could even begin to comprehend. No, for the first time, the fog of Job’s depression was beginning to lift. He realized that this was not about him. This was so much bigger than anything he could even begin to understand. The universe and all that is within it belongs to God.

I have more in common with Job than I realize. It is easy to fall into a mindset of believing that we are indispensable. As we become adults, the decisions that were once made for us by our parents begin to dissipate as we begin to choose how we will live out our lives. Job had made many wise decisions, putting God first and teaching His family to love and honor the Lord. It is easy to honor God when life is good; not so much when your world is falling apart. We forget that it this world is not ours for the keeping. Everything we are and all that we have belongs to Him. We tend to like being in control of our destiny. It is only when we tie our tongues down and hand over the reigns to the Lord that we begin to see beyond what is right in front of us. Our difficulties may not make sense, yet, we do not need to have all the answers. He is the only answer we need. We are not in control here, and we need to let go and let God. When Job realized that it was his inappropriate attitude that grieved God’s heart, he unclenched his fist, let the tears fall down his face, knelt down and humbled himself before the Lord.

Canaanite mythology teaches that a leviathan is a seven-headed sea monster. Jesus came and walked among us, seeking to save the seven-headed sea monster in you and me. There are times when I need to tie my tongue down with a rope. Fortunately for Job, God cared enough to confront him – to speak to his heart and help him understand the bigger picture. In the same way, our Lord and Savior cared enough to die on a cross to save the sea creature in each of us. Is God confronting you today? When will you stop trying to control your destiny and the lives of everyone around you? When will you give God free reign and let Him be the Lord of your life?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the realization that this life is not about you. It is about Him. We are here to honor and serve the Lord, no matter what our circumstances may be. The next time you are feeling like God is kicking you around, stop grumbling and start praising the creator of the universe. He will meet you where you are at, and give you His peace as you journey back to Him. Unclench your fists, silence your tongue, and gaze upon the splendor and majesty of the Lord God Almighty today.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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