Burning Coals

Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
Job 41:20–21
Burning Coals
From the mouth of the leviathan comes fiery death. His breath kindles coals as the monstrous creature roams its territory. These images are hard for us to comprehend as we read them. How could such a creature exist and what was its purpose for being created? Though we don’t always understand God’s plan and purpose for everything we don’t know that He does not do anything by chance or mistake. Here in these verses, God reminds us that He is in charge and does not need to justify Himself before us. God is God and we are not. And as sure as the breath of the leviathan meant certain death, so the breath of God gives life (Genesis 2:7). And just as the image of coals in the leviathan symbolized death, the image of coals from God means life. “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:6-7). For as soon as the coal touched Isaiah’s lips he was forgiven and made worthy to be in the presence of God. So today we have something even better than coals. When the true body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in, with, and under the bread and wine, touch our lips we are forgiven for His sake and made worthy of being in His presence. In Christ, we are given the breath of life which extinguishes the burning coals of sin, death, and the devil.
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