Not a Tame God

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Job 39:1-25

[The LORD said to Job,] “Who has let the wild donkey go free? Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey, to whom I have given the arid plain for his home and the salt land for his dwelling place?” (vv. 5-6)

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Pevensie children prepare to say goodbye to Aslan, the lion they have come to know and love. They are told, “He doesn’t like being tied down . . . He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion”(p. 182).

At the end of the book of Job, God’s response surprises us. Job receives no excuse or explanation for the treatment he has endured. Instead, the Lord rebukes Job. He uses imagery from the wildest parts of nature—animals that throw off human restraint. God points out that he too cannot be confined by human plans. He reminds Job that he is not a tame God.

We too can fall into thinking of God as our servant. We can become indignant when God fails to fit into our plans. In Job 39 God reminds us that we are his servants, not the other way around. And yet the apostle Paul writes of this outrageous reversal: “Christ Jesus . . . did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant . . . becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:5-8 NIV). God—who is not a tame God—nonetheless humbles himself to save us. —Ben Van Arragon

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for serving me, and saving me, in Jesus Christ.