LEVIATHAN! (Sea Change part 3)

When God answers Job’s suffering and takes him on a whirlwind tour of the world and the vastness therein (all of which is under God’s command and direction, I might add), He touches briefly (Job ch. 41) on Leviathan, the sea-monster. The word “leviathan” is Hebrew in origin. It sounds the same to us as it did to them and means both “dragon” and “mourning”. Five times in the Bible is leviathan mentioned.

Leviathan is symbolic of the devil. Four of the five biblical references speak to Leviathan as defeated by God. When God tells the serpent in Eden (Genesis 3:15) that “it shall bruise thy head”, He’s speaking of Jesus and how He will eventually defeat the devil. That verse is echoed in Psalm 74 (vs. 14) where it says God “broke the head of leviathan in pieces…”. The point is that leviathan (i.e. the devil) has been soundly defeated by Jesus’ atoning sacrifice and subsequent resurrection. So what does this mean for us? Rewind a bit to that part in The Prince of Egypt where the children of Israel are marching across the ocean floor. A brief scene shows a little girl looking up at the massive wall of water as the company of Israelites make their way across the dry seabed. The camera pans back and we see, out of the murky depth, a giant whale swims by, the water made luminous by the Israelites’ torches. Leviathan! It swims by and is gone. And that’s as close as God will let him get to you. “There (in God’s presence) shall no evil befall thee…” (Psalm 91:10)

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)

What Paul is saying here is that Jesus openly triumphed over the devil and his kingdom. We must enforce the victory however, through prayer, praise and persistence. And by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul told the Christians in Rome that “the God of peace shall bruise satan under your feet shortly.” (Romans 16:20) God enforces the victory through us. Don’t be fooled or swayed. Stay the course. Remain “sober and vigilant” (1 Peter 5:8). Keep marching.

“Leviathan” appears for the last time in Isaiah 27. The first verse says (prophetically) that God will punish leviathan and “slay the dragon that is in the sea.” Consider this: life was never meant to be a struggle. Life is meant to be enjoyed in fellowship with God as a gift from Him. Whether encountering leviathan, or praying through storms, keep your focus on Jesus and your hand in His and He will get you to the other side of your ocean.

“And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:9)

One thought on “LEVIATHAN! (Sea Change part 3)

  1. I find it interesting that you chose the sea as your topic for the last few blogs. I had not thought much about the meaning of the sea and the themes that it symbolizes before, but from your studies, now I see that it is used surprisingly often for both illustration and parallel. Perhaps it is only because I just finished reading Revelations, but the sea seems to often symbolize sins and suffering for me. It represents restless masses of society, usually unruly and lawless. As you mentioned, the beast rises from the sea (also in Revelations), and in the verse before that, the dragon takes his place on the shore beside the sea. It’s also curious that it is mentioned there will be no sea in heaven. Is that also a reference to sin and suffering?

    Thank you for the comforting reminder that the spiritual war is already won! Even when storms seem to overwhelm us, we can take joy that Jesus already triumphed! I really enjoy your writings and reflections, and look forward to reading the rest. I love how you’ve stuffed them generously with verses from Scripture, and they will give me more opportunity to study the Word myself (which I ought to do more of!). Thank you!!

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