Editor’s note: Campfire Scripture: Bible verses every week day followed by a short manful devotional. For sitting around the campfire (or thinking about sitting around the campfire).
Uncommon scriptures full of manly wisdom, inspiration and hard truth.
So whip up a cuppa, rest your head on red gum stump and enjoy.
Book Author and Date:
Isaiah, the preeminent, well educated, Old Testament prophet. Isaiah prophesied in Judah from 739-686 B.C. during a time of economic prosperity and spiritual decline in Judah.
Sovereignty, Power, Good-vs-evil, Victory, Battle.
Chapter 27 follows a lengthy series of judgement prophecies against nations that have turned their hand against Israel and then one pronouncing judgement on the whole earth. It then follows this up by proclaiming the Lord’s favour, protection and deliverance of Israel. Chapter 27 marks the beginning of the passage of deliverance.
What I Reckon:
When Christ declared that he came not to bring peace but a sword, this sword was a metaphor for division. In the above passage from Isaiah, the sword is definitely a sword. Leviathan is a fearsome sea creature. It’s possible that this verse is dramatically portraying the power of God allegorically with leviathan being a creature that overpower’s man, but is nothing against the Lord.
Certainly there is symbolism there that paints a picture of our utter dependence on the Lord. But there’s really no reason to think that it’s not describing a literal event where the Lord slay’s a mighty sea serpent (don’t forget about the dragon), unless you just don’t believe in such things. But my childlike fantasy and my unwillingness to read in allegory where it’s not absolutely necessary believes otherwise.
Other than that this is just another sweeping epic; one of many in scripture. A biblical picture of our Almighty God vanquishing the forces of evil with his ‘fierce and great and mighty sword’ (I love the grammar here, with the two ‘and’s, really punchy). Leviathan here is fleeing. Whatever this creature was/is it was obviously a terror to behold, yet here it is fleeing from our all-powerful God.
These biblical adventures make me feel like a kid again, reading stories of mighty hero’s slaying powerful and dangerous creatures. Just great fun to read and a great picture of the infinite power and might of God. Go up and read that verse again one more time before you click the link to the previous article.
Let it fill your imagination with Godly power.
All Campfire Scripture passages are taken from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise stated.
John MacArthur, 2006, The MacArthur Study Bible, New American Standard Bible (1995 edition).