The conversation at the start of the above clip reminds me of seeing the first Jurassic Park, back in 1993 (I was about 5 I think 😉) I was blown away by seeing these dinosaurs so perfectly presented on the big screen. My wife (girlfriend at the time) said, that it was a bit like seeing God, and I knew what she meant. I had never thought I would see anything like this, anything so awesome and huge and other-worldly, dinosaurs belonged in school text books, sketched or re-assembled as 2-d drawings. Now here they were moving and breathing and shaking the world. I oohed and ahhed along with the best of them.
Whenever I see a dinosaur movie it takes me back to the book of Job, and a couple of scary monsters in chapters 40 and 41. Behemoth and Leviathan. These may just be a hippopotamus and a crocodile, but the point is they are frightening creatures to Job, and ones he would rather live without. Yet what we find here is that God points them out to Job, describes them in great detail, and reminds him that he made them. Creatures that are beyond Job’s control. They rock his world-view. God is reminding Job that God is larger than his and our understanding.
We may be tempted to try and view the Old Testament through the lens of the New, attempting to squash the extraordinary and untidy stories into our own tidy theology. But this is surely the wrong way round. I must begin with the Old Testament and move towards the New. And so many stories, not least this one of Job, are there to tell us that we cannot understand everything. At the end of the book of Job, the man who has been through hell and back never finds out why. We know why, we have been told at the start of the story. But Job never finds out, he gets no explanation, instead he gets an encounter, and this is extraordinarily helpful for him. It helps him start again.
God is always bigger than our ideas about him. This may be frightening and disturbing if you are anything like me. I want a God I can sum up neatly, one who takes my advice when I pray and responds as I deem appropriate. But then he wouldn’t be God. And I need to relearn that lesson regularly. What I do find is a God who has lived this raggedy life, a God with sawdust in the creases of his skin, one who offers his hand and says, ‘Keep going, I know you struggle at times, I know it’s not easy, but don’t give up. I am here.’