Not long after finishing undergrad I fell into a high-school teaching job. That had not been my plan, nor had I trained for it. It began as a favor for a friend who taught at a private academy. Their English teacher had been dismissed and they just needed someone to supervise his classes until the end of term. They invited me to join the faculty fulltime, which meant I needed to become more than the guy taking attendance. I filed through memories of my favorite high school teachers. Each of them established their role as instructors and ours as learners, subtly sending the message of who was in charge. That seemed smart and it turned out to be very useful for my students and me. The lines were clear.
Last Thursday, we heard God do something very similar. In YHWH’s first speech to the despondent Job, the message is pretty plain: “I’ve got the plan and it’s bigger than you. Your comfort will come when you find your place in the bigger scheme of Creation.” To which Job—like the best kind of student—tells his teacher: “Got it.” But in this coming Thursday’s passage, Job 40-42:6, God takes things further, focusing the discussion on two mysteriously powerful, completely unmanageable creatures, Behemoth and Leviathan. Reams of paper have been spent on speculation about what exactly these beasts might be. Are they found in nature or myth? Nobody knows. But there’s an oddly comforting message underneath: We can never overpower the chaos of life. Nature alone is full of forces beyond our control. And there are situations—beasts, if you will—that we might think we can manage, only to find out they’re too much for us.
This week we wrap up God and Job’s dialogue with some big monsters and really big ideas. Join us on Thursday at 7:30p CST as we hear what God has to say about life’s chaos and how we confront it. See you then!