The original Jurassic Park film (1993) is a cinematic triumph. Even today the CGI (computer-generated imagery) looks amazing, and the Tyrannosaurus looks as terrifying as ever. Unfortunately, in the 27 years and four films that have since followed, the plot hasn’t evolved one bit. The narrative of each film is very simple; humans attempt to harness the power of creation, and each time they fail to keep caged the great tyrant lizards that once walked the earth. In the first film, the scientist Dr Ian Malcolm summarises the big issue in the films: human arrogance. In one scene he utters the scathing line “Don’t you see the danger, John, inherent in what you’re doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet’s ever seen, but you wield it like a kid that’s found his dad’s gun.” The films all end the same way, whether they have created deadly, hulking, human-made hybrids, or seemingly harmless Compsognathus, humanity never remains in control.
The films remind me very much of the ending of the book of Job where God teaches Job a similar lesson in humility. Using Ancient Near Eastern concepts of tyrant monsters, God asks these questions of Job (Job 41:1-5):
1 “Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope?
2 Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook?
3 Will it keep begging you for mercy? Will it speak to you with gentle words?
4 Will it make an agreement with you for you to take it as your slave for life?
5 Can you make a pet of it like a bird or put it on a leash for the young women in your house?”
God’s point is ‘no, of course not’, only He, the creator and sustainer of the universe, can claim this kind of control (Job 40:19). Indeed looking at the power of beasts and of storms, which to humanity remain as uncontrollable as ever, they are weak in comparison to the mighty hand of God. Yet they serve to point to His power.
We are only human, and we could do with remembering this from time to time. Maybe this morning God is challenging us to step down from our thrones and choose to bow the knee in an area we’ve been avoiding. Or perhaps God might be encouraging us not to attempt to carry the world on our shoulders, but instead to know He’s doing just fine with that responsibility. Whatever the case, as Christians we know that God’s awesome power is with us, and so long as we put our trust in Him, we have the beginnings of wisdom.