Job 41 & 2 Corinthians 11

Job 41

     “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook
        or press down his tongue with a cord?
    Can you put a rope in his nose
        or pierce his jaw with a hook?
    Will he make many pleas to you?
        Will he speak to you soft words?
    Will he make a covenant with you
        to take him for your servant forever?
    Will you play with him as with a bird,
        or will you put him on a leash for your girls?
    Will traders bargain over him?
        Will they divide him up among the merchants?
    Can you fill his skin with harpoons
        or his head with fishing spears?
    Lay your hands on him;
        remember the battle—you will not do it again!
     Behold, the hope of a man is false;
        he is laid low even at the sight of him.
    No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up.
        Who then is he who can stand before me?
    Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?
        Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
    “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
        or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
    Who can strip off his outer garment?
        Who would come near him with a bridle?
    Who can open the doors of his face?
        Around his teeth is terror.
    His back is made of rows of shields,
        shut up closely as with a seal.
    One is so near to another
        that no air can come between them.
    They are joined one to another;
        they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
    His sneezings flash forth light,
        and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
    Out of his mouth go flaming torches;
        sparks of fire leap forth.
    Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke,
        as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
    His breath kindles coals,
        and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
    In his neck abides strength,
        and terror dances before him.
    The folds of his flesh stick together,
        firmly cast on him and immovable.
    His heart is hard as a stone,
        hard as the lower millstone.
    When he raises himself up the mighty are afraid;
        at the crashing they are beside themselves.
    Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail,
        nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
    He counts iron as straw,
        and bronze as rotten wood.
    The arrow cannot make him flee;
        for him sling stones are turned to stubble.
    Clubs are counted as stubble;
        he laughs at the rattle of javelins.
    His underparts are like sharp potsherds;
        he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
    He makes the deep boil like a pot;
        he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
    Behind him he leaves a shining wake;
        one would think the deep to be white-haired.
    On earth there is not his like,
        a creature without fear.
    He sees everything that is high;
        he is king over all the sons of pride.”

(Job 41 ESV)

2 Corinthians 11

    I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

    Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

    And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

    I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

    But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

    If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

(2 Corinthians 11 ESV)

2 Corinthians 11: The apostle Paul feels the need to recite his own ministry resume in order to distinguish the stark difference between himself and his opponents. It is likely that these false teachers were teaching a false gospel that promised health and wealth and immunity from suffering. Therefore, “like a fool”, Paul makes a point to boast in the great suffering that he has endured for the true gospel of Christ. 

How many of us today are potentially believing a distorted gospel message that makes Christianity a little more comfortable and a little less costly? Is our ‘Christianity’ centered around ourself and self-help rather than the suffering of Christ and our willingness to suffer for Him?

Paul compares such teaching to the “cunning” of Satan that has a way of disguising itself as righteousness but actually leads people astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ as the center of their lives. It is, in essence, proclaiming a different Jesus, a different Spirit and therefore a different gospel altogether. Therefore, like Paul, may we commit ourselves and contend for the truth of the gospel that was delivered and preached by the true apostles once and for all. May prosperity never be a prerequisite for pure devotion to our Lord, and may suffering never be a stumbling block in our sincerity toward trusting our Savior. May we boast in our weaknesses and consider our Lord completely worthy of it all.