In every culture, there are legends of monsters. Frightening creatures such as the Greek’s Cerebus: a titanic dog with three heads, each with a mane of snakes, and a serpent for a tail. The North American Wendigo: a beast similar to Bigfoot, but with antlers, flesh so tight to its bones, it almost appears as a skeleton, and its blue heart can be visibly seen beating in its chest. Or the Bogeyman: a monster that kidnaps and devours disobedient children.
We all have monsters that we’re afraid of, for not all monsters are mythical in nature. This picture of Foxy, from the game Five Nights at Freddy’s, is here to represent the monsters within our own lives.
In fact, there are several monsters within the pages of the Bible, such as the mighty Behemoth (Job 40:15-24) and the fierce Leviathan (Job 41). But, not all monsters are beasts, such as the man Goliath, who was defeated by God through the shepherd boy David (1 Samuel 17). There are also the lions, the beasts that Daniel spent an entire night within their den, God using His angel to shut their mouths to spare His servant (Daniel 6). Or even the fiery furnace, which God rescued Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from (Daniel 3):
Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. Daniel 3:14-18
The Bible is full of stories of monsters and God rescuing His people from them. However, reading stories such as these, are not always comforting, are they? For what about the monsters that we deal with within our daily lives? Such as a bully or an overbearing boss? Or where was God when Joplin was hit by the monstrous tornado? Or when a woman was taken advantage of?
. . . Reading stories such as David and Goliath, seeing immediate relief, can sometimes overshadow other stories such as the Hebrews in Egypt, who were ruled by monsters for about 400 years before the Exodus. . . .
God is bigger than any monster. . . . But bad things happen in this world, because of sin. You see, when God created this world (Genesis 1-2), He did not create it with sin. It was a sinless, perfect world. However . . . man, is one of His most special creations. And when He created us, He wanted us to genuinely love Him, which only comes if there is also the choice to not love Him. And so, He gave us a choice. He planted a tree in the midst of the garden, which He commanded the man and the woman to not eat from. Yet, they chose to disobey Him, listening to the words of the monster, of the serpent, and taking the fruit and eating it (Genesis 3). It was then, that sin entered this world, fracturing it, opening the doorway to pain and suffering. It is because of sin, not God, that we suffer. He does not restrain our free will, yet, why He chooses to save some from cancer [or other ailments, disasters, etc.] and not others, I do not know. That is beyond my understanding. For I am not He. I am only a man, not a God.
But, I do know this. That one day, there will be no monsters!
Jesus himself has already defeated the biggest monster. No, not the Devil. The pitiful being who is far weaker than what you would think. Not an equal adversary, but a gnat compared to the power of God. The coward who tempted Jesus when he was fatigued and famished after 40 days of fasting, yet he was still defeated by our Saviour (Matthew 4:1-11). The cowardly lion who roars, seeing who’s frail that he can frighten away from the herd and devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Satan is far weaker than God, than Christ, than the Church even. However, he is still dangerous. I mean, he’s been tempting mankind for thousands of years. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s good at it. But, he’s only as powerful, as we allow him to be. As Martin Luther put it:
Why should you fear? Why should you be afraid? Do you not know that the prince of this world has been judged? He is no lord, no prince any more. You have a different, a stronger Lord, Christ, who has overcome and bound him. Therefore let the prince and god of this world look sour, bare his teeth, make a great noise, threaten, and act in an unmannerly way; he can do no more than a bad dog on a chain, which may bark, run here and there, and tear at the chain. But because it is tied and you avoid it, it cannot bite you. So the devil acts toward every Christian. Therefore everything depends on this that we do not feel secure but continue in the fear of God and in prayer; then the chained dog cannot harm us. But this chained dog may at least frighten him who would be secure and go ahead without caution, although he may not come close enough to be bitten.
The Devil is dangerous, and should not be messed with. But, he is also a cowardly thing that cannot prevail against the Church, and can only overcome you, if you allow him to. If you get close enough to the dog for him to bite you.
Jesus himself has already defeated the biggest monster. No, not the Devil–sin. When he sacrificed himself upon the cross, he crushed the power of sin. He won the battle! Now we must only survive the skirmishes that are still being fought, until the day of his return.
This world is full of monsters, but remember, God is bigger!
As stated by my good friends, Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato:
God is bigger than the boogie man.
He’s bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV.
Oh, God is bigger than the boogie man,
And he’s watching out for you and me.