Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dealing with the Dragon

(Part 3 of "Dragon Tales")
“Who then is able to stand before me?” Job 40:7

Of Dinosaurs & Dragons
The Purpose of Dragons
From Barney to Jurassic Park, “dinosaurs” is a subject that is extremely intriguing and important! It is particularly interesting to children and a wonderful tool to use in pointing people to the One Who made them! God told Job: “Behold now behemoth…” (40:15), and described this animal as moving a tail “like a cedar.” In addition, He gave many details of an unknown, fearsome reptile called “leviathan” (Job 41). One of these descriptions was that it breathed fire (41:18-21)! If God so used His creatures (including dinosaurs) to proclaim His power and presence, we no doubt likewise must use His animals as a way to point people to the Bible and to God. Consider these facts:

1. He used a lion and a bear to instill confidence in David to meet Goliath (I Sam. 17:38).
2. He rode a donkey into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1-10).
3. He is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5).

God has a purpose for all of His creation, and we should use His animals as He intended. Today, we could say, “Behold the dinosaur; he moves his tail like a cedar tree.”
While the word “dinosaur” is not in the Bible, in many places in Scripture we do find the word “dragon” or “dragons.” If these creatures were mentioned only once it would be important, for every word of God is important. However, we must consider this question:
What really would be the difference between a dragon and a dinosaur?

The Power of Dragons
If we take descriptions of “leviathan” in Job 41, we find a creature that was some type of reptile (“His scales are his pride…” v. 14) and had the ability to breathe fire!
“Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.” (Job 41:19).
Perhaps this animal was what we call a “fire-breathing dragon.” Some may say, “Fire-breathing dragons…that’s a myth!” While myths are often based on a grain of truth, some factoids provide clues that the dinosaur parasauralophus may have had the capacity to breathe fire. Skulls of these dinosaurs had differing types of crests that were hollow on the inside with passageways that connected to the “breathing area” of the skull. If this animal had an ability similar to the modern-day bombardier beetle, which produces 212o chemical-based fire, and you quite possibly could have a fire-breathing dragon! Either way, the description of “leviathan” in Job is of an extremely fearsome animal. It is no wonder that God said, “Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.” In other words, “You lay a hand on him, Job, you’re gonna remember the battle because that will be the last thing you will do!”

“None is so fierce that dare stir him up…”

No one would be brave enough to rouse this animal, and God then applies a very important truth:

“…who then is able to stand before me?” (Job 41:10)

If we would fear what a large animal can do to us, should we not fear more what the Creator of that animal can do if we disobey Him? The power of the dragon’s message is that the Creator of dragons has more power!

The Praise of Dragons
Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: (Psa 148:7)

All of God’s creation praises Him!
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is… (Exo 20:11)
God that made the world and all things therein…he is Lord of heaven and earth… (Acts 17:24)
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev 4:11)
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
(Col 1:17)

When one considers a painting or a building, the design speaks of the ability of the artist or architect. What does the intricate and awe-inspiring universe (which includes the animals) bring but wonderful praise to its Designer?

Defeating the Dragon
Hailing back to Genesis 3, the Book of Revelation refers to Satan as “that old serpent”:

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (Rev 20:2)

God’s Word also tells us that Satan will be defeated:

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying … the accuser of our brethren is cast down…. (Rev 12:9-10)

Though he is ultimately defeated, we know that we battle him and his forces of darkness:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness… (Eph 6:12)

How can we defeat Satan on a daily basis? First, we must STAND CLOTHED with the armor of God. (See Ephesians 6:13-17.) Second, we need to SEEK the LORD in prayer and STAND GUARD for other believers:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Eph 6:18)

Then, we rely on the SACRIFICE our LORD made on the cross of Calvary, our STAND for Him, and our SELFLESS devotion to Him.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Rev 12:11)

These truths will help us overcome Satan daily.

The Draw of Dragon
In November of 2010, we conducted a meeting at a church in Floral City, FL. After a message entitled, “Dragon Tales,” a lady said to me, “I was saved because of dinosaurs.” She then told me how she had been indoctrinated with evolution and the scenario that dinosaurs died out “millions of years” before man arrived. Over time, she realized that her only hindrance to believing in God and the Bible was dinosaurs. If they died out “millions of years” before man, as evolution asserts, then the Bible was wrong. When she read the Book of Job (particularly chapters 40-41), she realized that dinosaurs and man existed at the same time! This realization broke down the wall in her mind, and she came to trust the Bible and in Jesus as her Savior!

In 2008, we were at a grocery store when I handed the cashier a “fossil trading card.” While I was prepared to mention something about fossils and the Flood, the picture reminded her of dinosaurs and she asked, “Are you the ‘Dinosaur Man’?” Wondering what she had heard, I said “Well, I guess so.” Before I could say anything else, she called out to three of her co-workers: “Hey look! The “Dinosaur Man’s here!” Three young men promptly came over to where we were standing, and we had a few minutes to speak to these young people about the Bible and dinosaurs!

Because Satan has used dinosaurs to promote lies, we must realize the growing importance of this subject (and “dragons”) in our culture and use it to bring people to the Word of God and the God of the Word.

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