A blog post this week, plus recent conversations with friends, have drawn my mind back to God’s breakthrough with Job. To my surprise, when God finally enters into Job’s drama, he doesn’t say, “Job, let me explain what has happened here. Satan challenged me, and I took him up on it. You’ve been living out a battle in the heavenlies.” No. Basically, God says, “So what do you really know about anything, anyway? You want answers, of course. But you’re not getting any. You’re getting a deeper sense of me.” God talks to Job about God, highlighting especially what Job cannot understand about God. Job wanted answers. We want answers. But twice God turns the tables: “I will question you” (Job 38:3; 40:7).
The final mystery God displays before Job is Leviathan — a monster of the sea from ancient myth (Job 41). Leviathan represents the catastrophic disaster you never want to experience on your voyage through this life. But inevitably, this beast will appear out of nowhere to devour you. It will chew you up and spit you out, and you won’t be able to account for what is happening to you, nor will you be able to fight it off. And then Leviathan will go on its merry way.
Sooner or later, the unforeseeable, the unimaginable, just shows up. I wish this were not true, but it is. Something will be your Leviathan. And God will not explain it to you — not in this life. What he will do, at the right time, is disclose himself to you in a deeper way than you’ve ever known before. And in fact, the Bible says that the Leviathan we deeply dread is God’s rubber ducky in the ocean of this life (Psalm 104:26). God is that inscrutable.
Here is the point. Your Leviathan is also God’s Leviathan — not only in the sense that God keeps it within his control, but far more, at the cross, he was mauled by it too, for us. And that is something we really can’t explain.