dragons in Job?
A ridiculous idea? Perhaps. But humor me a moment and entertain this thought that was introduced (offhandedly mentioned, more like) in the sermon at church yesterday. For the full effect, you may want to look up Job 41, but I have pulled bits of it together below (NIV):
"Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook
or tie down his tongue with a rope?...
If you lay a hand on him,
you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
Any hope of subduing him is false;
the mere sight of him is overpowering.
No one is fierce enough to rouse him.
Who then is able to stand against me?...
I will not fail to speak of his limbs,
his strength and his graceful form...
Who dares open the doors of his mouth,
ringed about with his fearsome teeth?
His back has rows of shields
tightly sealed together;
each is so close to the next
that no air can pass between...
His snorting throws out flashes of light;
his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
Firebrands stream from his mouth;
sparks of fire shoot out.
Smoke pours from his nostrils
as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
His breath sets coals ablaze,
and flames dart from his mouth...
His chest is hard as rock,
hard as a lower millstone.
When he rises up, the might are terrified;
they retreat before his thrashing.
The sword that reaches him has no effect...
Iron he treats like straw
and bronze like rotten wood...
A club seems to him but a piece of straw,
he laughs at the rattling of the lance...
Nothing on earth is his equal--
a creature without fear.
He looks down on all that are haughty;
he is king over all that are proud."
Does that not sound like a dragon to you?! This wonderful bit of poetry sounds like something out of a fantasy novel. However, if you looked up the whole passage, you may be wondering over that chunk I left out from vs. 30 to 32.
"His undersides are jagged potsherds,
leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
He makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron
and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
Behind him he leaves a glistening wake;
one would think the deep had white hair."
Not a dragon, the Loch Ness Monster! Just kidding. It actually sounds a lot like a crocodile, especially with that trail in the mud. And if you do a quick online search, you will find quite a few articles that come to the same conclusion (there are other theories, of course, but that would take us dangerously close to an evolution debate, and I'd rather not go there). Whatever the mysterious leviathan is, it's still fun to read Job 41 with dragons in mind. So if you haven't already, I highly recommend you look it up and read the full chapter.
And if you want to read a Bible passage that's definitely about a dragon, flip back to Revelation 12--the enormous red seven-headed dragon embodying the devil (not as fun, but hey, still a dragon).
Images from: photobucket.com, annestokes.com, National Geographic