Options Are Expensive

Job 41

Have you ever gone shopping for something: a car, appliance, house? Price is really attractive; sure, it’s base price, but a few options, added features won’t change things much. Tweak this a little, add one or two things, get this instead of that. The grand total is: sticker shock!! Let’s revisit a few things – some of those options have significant cost attached to them. Not always an upfront cost either; could be a cascade of things – if you want this that way, then also requires whole host of other changes, each with its own cost.

And what does all that have to do with our text? How does idea that options are expensive relate to crocodiles and Job? For that matter, what does leviathan or super-croc have to do with Job, anyway? God must think there’s a connection, He brought it up! Believe the key to unlock connection lies in previous chapter: Job 40:15“Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you.”

As if God told Job:

“I made you both and I purposely made you different. Leviathan has particular qualities that set him apart from other creatures. You aren’t like him, Job. I made you both – like me in some ways, not like me in others. Crocodile is fearsome, not communicative with others (all teeth and no smile); impervious, not sensitive to others (vulnerable); powerful, not protective of others; intimidating, not interactive.”

God had full range of options available when he designed Behemoth, Leviathan, and Adam. Each is different, created specifically to hold unique place in God’s all-comprehensive plan. God had Christmas in view at Creation – form he gave to first Adam defined form of last Adam at his Incarnation. Jesus, the last Adam, in his humanity had qualities he did because of how first Adam was created. Same was true of Job, is true of you and me. God could have made Adam, Job, you and me like Leviathan, but at what cost?

A. could have made him untameable and insensitive to others (1-9)

even if could hook this super-crocodile, could never reel it in; if you could, then what? what useful purpose would it serve? (1)

cannot be subdued in ways other creatures can – a ring through his nose, bit and bridle, useful for working or riding, NOT (2)

let’s say were able to make it a captive – would never sue for peace; would resist to the death being held captive (3-4)

here’s a ridiculous picture: trick leviathan into wearing a leash, give him to daughters for a pet – who in right mind would do that? would be foolish to trust creature in those circumstances (5)

not really suitable for eating, you really want to try? go ahead, you’ll only do it once – if you survive the encounter, won’t ever do it again; no hope of ever overcoming leviathan (7-9)

we talk about crocodile tears, when did you ever see one cry? no croc ever shed tear over lunch, none ever shed tear when its own young were lunch for another predator

crocodile basically untameable, and because of that, insensitive to anything outside itself and its desires

could have made Job that way – insensitive and unresponsive to others, concerned only with what furthered his own personal agenda

B. could have made him powerful enough to subdue all others (12-25)

as God goes along in his description, piles up accolades – revels in glories of this creature he has made

leviathan has strength and defenses no other creature can overcome; can’t even seriously intimidate the big guy – simply goes his way, doing his own thing

physical power that is overwhelming – powerful limbs (12), strong neck (22a), heart as hard as a millstone (24)

fearsome appearance – terrible teeth (14), scaly hide / coat of armor (15-17); appears to have glowing eyes and mouth that breathes fire and smoke (18-21)

causes terror in any who would try to face him – courage simply evaporates, opposers turn and run away (22b)

all he need do is display power to cause fear, doesn’t actually have to use his power to cause mighty men to retreat (25)

this superhero of creaturely world subdues all others by intimidation and actual exercise of power – whatever territory leviathan wants is unquestionably his

could have made Job that way – with force of appearance and strength to overcome all opposition without regard for them

C. could have made him immune to any weapon used against him (26-34)

if it cannot be tamed, if it is incapable of reasoning and persuading, if no one can stand in its way, what then? what weapon could be used effectively against such a creature?

short answer: none – there is nothing that shake leviathan; it is absolutely fearless (33) and laughs at anything others throw its way (29)

none of standard military weapons have any effect: sword, spear, dart, javelin, arrow, trebuchet (26, 28)

simply shrugs them off, unable to penetrate his armor; has no vulnerable areas where weapons can penetrate

things that represent strength to mankind – iron and bronze – have no meaning to leviathan, have no power over him (27)

is just as “comfortable” / “at home” in the sea as on land – even water causes leviathan no misgivings, represents no threat to him

could have made Job that way – without any peer and immune to any outside influence, able to simply shrug off whatever came his way and pursue his course uninterrupted

D. could have made Job impervious to Satan, to pain, to everything but God – just like crocodile (10-11)

“No one is ferocious [enough] to rouse Leviathan” except God; Leviathan’s Creator is greater still, and sovereign over all things – everything under heaven belongs to God, including Leviathan

picture God paints here is of a creature impervious to absolutely everything except God – nothing short of God can affect it in any way

leviathan has no experience of pain, perhaps even no concept of it; concept of suffering of any sort totally foreign

leviathan cannot be challenged or harmed even by Satan; in fact, the dragon (Leviathan) is the one Satan impersonates (Rev. 12:9; 20:2)

could have made Job that way – impervious to Satan, to pain, to unhelpful friends, disloyal family and friends….

E. but at what cost? Rom. 8:28-29; Phil. 3:9-11

remember how this challenge all started? how it came about that Job experienced this incredible affliction?

Job 1:9-12So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?“Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?….”

God could have responded by taking the hedge away and making Job bullet-proof – let Satan do his thing, take all the blessings away: oxen and donkeys and sheep and camels and servants and children

yeah, whatever, “the Donald” has been bankrupt more than once and come back, I can survive it too; no big deal

God could have made him super-immune to physical affliction – the worst he gets is the 24-hour flu and he’s over it

if Jesus’ temptation at hand of Satan had to be real in order to have significance, so also with Job’s affliction

for God to have made Job like Behemoth or Leviathan would have cheated Job and us out of some priceless gifts

one important thing Job needed to learn, we must learn also: Job appreciated God’s gifts, needed to appreciate God

Job 1:21 “…The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Job 2:10…Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”

when Job lost everything but life and God, then encountered God in whirlwind, began to understand God was way more important than just his gifts

second thing Job learned: immunity to affliction is not what he needed; he needed God’s grace to please him in his affliction

affliction is essential part of life, consequence of sin entering the world: painful childbirth, painful labor for food, and that was just to start

truth is, sin brings suffering…of all kinds: physical, emotional, spiritual, social; to be immune or impervious to suffering is to be inhuman

next truth is: we cannot endure suffering and please God throughout it without God’s help – will run short of resources if we depend only on ourselves

if God had left Job to his own devices, Satan would have won; God could have made Job so he would endure affliction all by himself….and Job would have gotten the glory

God’s purpose (at least one of them) in Job’s affliction was that God would get the glory – was by his grace and enabling that Job kept the faith

as Job came to understand God more, know God better, see God more accurately – recognized how utterly dependent he was on God…and how all-sufficient God was to meet his need

hymns today all deal with relationship: relationship that supplies life (Revive Us Again), fellowship with Jesus and hearing his voice (In the Garden), experience that refines and strengthens love for Christ (More Love to Thee)

is an essential aspect of relationship with Lord Jesus: if we are to be like him, if we are to have true fellowship with him, must share in his suffering

being conformed to image or pressed into the mold of Lord Jesus involves suffering: 2 Tim. 3:12all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

Started out with idea that options are expensive; some of options God could have selected when he made Job would have come with high cost. Here’s something else to consider: following Christ is an option that costs you everything.

Luke 14:26-27, 33 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple….whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

How to bear your cross? Forsake all that you have…including your life…and self, and follow Christ. Walk as close to Christ as possible, so he carries most of the load. Go in the same direction he is traveling, don’t resist his direction, keep the same pace. Listen to his voice as he speaks to you through his Word and by his Spirit. Strive to know Christ, to love Christ, to be like Christ in all things.

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