Job 40: Fear
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Chapter 40 of Job is sandwiched between the threat of Satan and the promise of restoration, bringing home to us the marvel of God’s immense love for us.
When we focus on 40:15 we see the Behemoth who sneezes, sending forth light flashes. Sparks fly from his mouth, his breath lights fires, his heart is hard as stone, the mighty fear him, nothing frightens him. This monster – who later appears in Revelation – is drawn so vividly that we tremble before him. What does he represent? Perhaps he signifies all the fear we have ever felt about all things, both little and large.
We know that we must fight back the fear but the task is daunting. When we spend time with Job we understand that when we allow God to be God, we enter into God’s love.
The Gospels tell us that when the Sea of Galilee is whipped by a storm, endangering the apostles in their tiny boat, we find Jesus walking on the water to calm both the turbulent waves and his followers. Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid! (Matthew 14:22-36, Mark 6:45-56, John 6:16-24) Just as the apostles follow Christ, so must we.
In the New Testament letters, John writes eloquently in his soaring verses to tell of the awesome enormity of the love God brings to us, the same love to which God calls us. We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy! (1 John 1:1-4) Just as John encourages us to believe, so must we encourage one another.
When the behemoth of fear stalks us, waits at the next corner, rides home with us in the back seat of the car, springs from under the bed . . . we must turn to Christ and to his colossal, freely-given love.
So let us perfect this love which God plants in each of us. Let us revel in it. Let us share it, speak of it, spend time with it.
And let us pray: Let us put fear aside.
When loved ones betray or disappoint us . . . Let us put fear aside.
When we find the day too arduous and the night too long . . . Let us put fear aside.
When the behemoth springs from nowhere to instill us with foreboding . . . Let us put fear aside.
When we are anxious and tired and do not have the strength to summons the courage we so desperately seek . . . Let us put fear aside.
When we find ourselves separate from you . . . Let us put fear aside.
When we seek punishment instead of love . . . Let us put fear aside.
I there is time today, spend time with John’s letters, and let God’s awesome love chase away the behemoth of fear.
Adapted from a Favorite written on January 7, 2009.