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Jesus Knows How To Get 'Em
The Lord God asked Job the profound question - "Canst thou put a hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?" (Job 41:2) He was referring to the sea creature - Leviathan. Here God was asking Job if he, as a mere man, had the power to "tame the untamable"?
Throughout the Scriptures, we find many examples of those who were headstrong and unruly and could not possibly be changed by man. But God was able to get 'em.
In this message, we would like to deal with "taming the untamable." Perhaps you have someone in mind who fits the description of being "untamable." Or maybe you are one who is wild and ungovernable.
If you are such a person, we strongly admonish you to stop running from God. Know this - Jesus always gets His man. He has a hook and a bridle that is just your size.
In the East, it was a common practice to lead an ox or a buffalo - using a ring in their nose. A certain instrument was made very sharp like a thorn or a spike and then bent into the shape of a ring. This was placed through the nose of an animal to secure it. A cord was then attached to the ring or hook so as to lead the animal about.
Repeatedly, throughout the Scriptures, God used this same imagery in speaking about certain leaders who were likened unto untamable animals. Sennacherib, Manasseh, Jehoahaz, and Pharaoh were four such examples.
In this message, we would like to examine their Scriptural references and glean some valuable lessons from their examples.
Isaiah 37:29 says - "Because thy rage against Me, and thy tumult, is come up into Mine ears, therefore will I put My hook in thy nose, and My bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest."
Sennacherib was the king of Assyria in the time of King Hezekiah. We detect his reproach, blasphemy, arrogance, and insolence against the Holy One of Israel in such comments found in Isaiah 37 -
verse 24 - "...By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon...I will cut down the tall cedars thereof...I will enter into the height of his border..."
verse 25 - "I have digged...with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the beseiged places."
verse 28 - "But I know...thy rage against Me."
verse 29 - "Because thy rage against Me, and thy tumult, is come up into Mine ears..."
Through Isaiah's prophecy, God let Hezekiah know that He heard every word of reproach that came forth from Sennacherib's mouth, and resultantly, He would surely deal with this haughty monarch. His method of humiliation would be to apply the same custom as that used of placing a ring or a hook in the nose of a wild, violent, fierce, and untamable animal for the sole purpose of governing and guiding it - "therefore will I put My hook in thy nose."
It is interesting to note that the Assyrians followed the practice of passing the ring through the lower lip while the Babylonians inserted it through the nose. Both used this form of control especially on distinguished prisoners(like kings), attached a rope to the ring, and led their captive away by using a bridle.
2 Chronicles 33:11 says - "Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon."
2 Chronicles 33 offers us a basic biographical sketch of this wicked king -
verse 2 - "But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen..."
verse 3 - "For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim..."
verse 5 - "And he built altars for all the host of heaven..."
verse 6 - "And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger."
verse 7 - "And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God..."
verse 9 - "So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen..."
verse 10 - "And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people, but they would not hearken."
Because of his grossly wicked acts performed in the sight of the Holy One of Israel, God raised up the "king of Assyria"(also known as the king of Babylon) who bound Manasseh with "fetters" or bronze chains and "took" him "among the thorns" or led him forth with a hook or ring in his nose.
God certainly got his attention for verse 12 relates - "And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers."
Oh! Job, the Lord God asked you concerning the untamable - "Canst thou put a hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?"(Job 41:2) In other words, can you "tame the untamable"?
Though man cannot do it, God surely knows how to get his man!
Ezekiel 19:4 says - "The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt."
2 Kings 23:31-32 gives us a brief sketch of Jehoahaz - King of Judah. Verse 32 relates about him - "And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD..."
The Prophet Ezekiel added to this description - using figurative language and likening him unto a "young lion" who "learned to catch the prey" and "devoured men"(Ezekiel 19:3). From this description, we understand that he was a vicious dictator who did as he pleased and gratified his own ambitions - while trampling over all who stood in his way - including God and all that was sacred and just.
Consequently, the Lord raised up the King of Egypt against him - who craftily trapped him in a "pit" as one would take a wild animal in the forest. He was brought "with chains unto the land of Egypt"(Ezekiel 19:4).
Once again, reference is made to the practice of carrying a dethroned monarch with "hook in...nose" to a foreign land. Again, we witness the Sovereign God "taming the untamable."
Ezekiel 29:4 says - "But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales."
God was against Pharaoh - the King of Egypt. After reading Ezekiel 29:3, we can understand why - "...Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself."
He reigned for twenty-five years in great prosperity and success. It is recorded that he stated that even God couldn't bring down or cast out this "great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers..."(meaning himself).
With Pharaoh being likened unto Leviathan, the "untamable," and his followers as the "fish of thy rivers," God would put "hooks" in their jaws and draw them out of Egypt through the means of an insurrection of some sort which would waste and ruin him and his kingdom.
Surely, God knows how to bring a man down from his pride!
The questions we must ask ourselves at this point are as follows -
What particular lessons are we receiving from this message?
At the present time, do we know of any individuals who are testing God's patience through their arrogancy and haughtiness?
Are you one of them?
Are you running from God?
Has He told you to do a certain thing that you keep resisting and fighting?
Don't you realize that God can "tame the untamable"? He has a "hook" for the nose, lip, or jaw of every individual who refuses to humble himself under His Mighty Hand.
May you read this message and tremble at the Word of the Lord.
May you repent speedily of any and all pride or feelings of superiority that would harden your heart and keep you from obeying the Master's commands.
If you are having a problem in humbling yourself before God and men today, then the Lord God knows exactly the means of humiliation to send your way in order to assist you. And, as in the cases of Sennacherib, Manasseh, Jehoahaz, and Pharaoh, they certainly won't be pleasant.
Let's hear and fear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to the Churches in this hour.
Let's act quickly and accordingly.
The "hook in the nose" is one very painful experience that we want to avoid at all costs.
May God Bless His Word.