Dealing with the spirit of Leviathan.
The longest description of Leviathan is found in Job 41. The entire chapter consists of God
asking Job if he can deal with this seemingly untamable monster.
God asks Job "Can you fish for him? (V.1)
Can you put a ring through his nose? (V.2)
Can you make a deal with him? (V.4)
Can you serve him up as a meal? (V.6)
Will he make a nice pet for your children? (V.5)
Will your weapons pierce his skin? (V.7) And on and on.
To each one of these questions, the answer is an obvious
It seems that it is impossible to deal with this monster.
Befriending it, appeasing it, warring against it... All is
In many prophetic circles today, the spirit of Leviathan has
been identified as a major contributing force to the ills that
seem to be overtaking various communities. The spirit of
Leviathan has been identified as a major cause for people to turn
away from God.
How can the intercessor pray for people that are under the grip
of Leviathan? The questions God asks are as relevant today as
they were in the time of Job. Given the expected answers, it
grows increasingly clear that it is impossible to deal with this
powerful creature in any of the usual ways.
The problem of Leviathan.
Intercessors are known for their ability to war against the
enemy, yet warring against Leviathan is impossible. These people
would soon realize why God claims "that the sword of him
that tries to lay hold of him cannot establish a foothold"
(v.26). Those that do battle with him will remember the
consequences and never do it again (v.8).
So called "realists" are known for the fact that they
come to some sort of "mutual understanding" with the
enemy, but this too is impossible with Leviathan. These people
would soon realize that any agreement made with him will never be
"Laisser faire" advocates would ignore the problem, but
such a powerful force is difficult to ignore. These people would
need to blame the havoc on the consequences rather than the cause
of the problem (v.18-21).
Advocates of appeasement would soon find that any attempt of
diverting his attention from what he really wants is a complete
waste of time (v.27-33).
Why then has God allowed those with a gift of discernment to
identify this enemy of the cross? How can a Christian deal with
an enemy that is so powerful and so fearless?
The nature of the enemy.
Leviathan is a transliteration of a Hebrew word. Like a snake,
or a serpent, the word implies that Leviathan twists and braids
things together. Think of a snake coiled around a tree branch and
you get an idea of the meaning.
Another example would be a person who braids someone else's
hair together. In this example, permission is received to handle
the property of another. It is this sort of situation that allows
Leviathan to thrive.
Leviathan (03867) comes from the word lavah (03882), which means
"to join oneself to another". This implies that
Leviathan is the binding force that binds things together.
The question arises then as to how this binding force works.
The Hebrew language uses lavah (03867) in a very interesting
way when it comes to finances. Not only does the term mean to
borrow, it also means to lend, or rather to cause to borrow.
Proverbs 22:7 uses both of these applications of the same word
when it says "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower
(03867) is servant to the lender (03867)". When it
comes to the borrowing and the lending of money, both the lender
and the borrower are willingly joined together by the agreement
that binds them.
As we live out our lives, it soon becomes obvious that the
relationship between borrowers and lenders is much stronger than
if no such agreement were in place. When a person with money
lends to a person without money a very strong invisible bond is
created between the two of them. The only way to separate these
people from each other is if the power of the agreement is
It should be noted that the significant action is the act of
borrowing, as opposed to the act of lending. The main exchange
occurs when the person who is borrowing something receives
something from the person doing the lending.
The Hebrew focuses on the fact that the person with a need
receives something from the person who can provide that need.
This is directly opposite to focusing on someone who can meet
the need by lending of his wealth. Rather, the Hebrew emphasizes
the person with the need, and the possibility that there is
someone who has the abilty and the power to provide for that
Because the focus is on a person in need, the strength of the
obligation is made much stronger than if the focus had been on
the person who had met the need.
Like an obligation that can never be met, the binding force
which created the need in the first place slowly increases it's
power over both the borrower as well as the lender. Eventually
nothing can be recognized of the borrower or lender unless they
are both viewed in the light of the obligation, which binds them
Consider the borrower. All subsequent decisions must be made
while considering the effect those actions will have on the debt.
The lender also has invested capital into the life of the
borrower, which the lender must now protect and constantly
supervise. In both cases, nearly all decisions need to be made
with a view to protect and to pay back the obligation. It is this
sense of obligation that the spirit of Leviathan feeds on.
A possible cure.
There are several possible cures to dealing with this spirit.
1. Pay back the debt.
That is what the obligation is all about.
In order to do this the focus of the borrower must constantly be
on the repayment of the debt. The speed with which the debt is
paid off depends in large measure on how much effort is directed
at paying off the debt. This emphasis usually excludes all other
activity. As more time is spent to pay off the debt, less time is
spent on other things.
2. Declaration of bankruptcy.
Although this may solve the problem for the borrower, it still
would leave the lender under obligation. In order to ensure a
proper return of capital, the lender will probably be more
stringent the next time he lends money. The borrower may still
need to borrow more money in the future. If so, there will be a
lot more strings attached to ensure that the new debt is paid.
The problem is not solved.
3. Find someone who will take over the debt.
The debtor is now obligated to someone else just as he was at
first. The lender will find someone else to lend his money to.
In all of these cases, the binding force was not dealt with.
The strength that Leviathan has is in its ability to twine people
to itself so that they are under obligation to each other and
through that obligation, under its power.
Rather than being free to act in an unconstrained way, the people
who are under obligation find their actions inhibited by the
obligation and debt. It is this control which Leviathan exerts
over people and from which Leviathan gains its strength.
Ecc 4:12 says "If one prevails against an enemy, two
shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly
This idea of using three cords bound together is a wonderful
thing if it is used to defend against an enemy. The problem is
that the principle remains the same even when the enemy is that
third cord which binds the other two with itself. If people are
bound up with the enemy this way, it is very difficult and,
according to Job, impossible to remove people from the clutches
of this binding force.
Leviathan cannot be defeated and even if an attempt is made to
attack this spirit directly, the Bible declares that the attempt
will fail. If this spirit is attacked directly, the only people
who would be hurt would be the ones who have been united to the
cord Leviathan has braided around himself.
What is needed?
If Leviathan cannot be directly confronted, If it cannot be
appeased, If it cannot be ignored, what then is the alternative?
If any attempts to confront Leviathan leaves this spirit unharmed
but causes those who are attached to him to be hurt, what can be
The strength of Leviathan lies in its ability to bind itself
to people and to things.
What is needed is something made of stronger stuff. Something
which can attract that which has been bound with Leviathan and
bind those things to itself in such a way that even the binding
strength of Leviathan is unable to resist its power.
A cord that is alone or even linked with one other is
powerless against Leviathan. What is needed is another person or
thing which people can join themselves to. Someone whose ability
to bind himself to you is stronger than the force which draws you
to the spirit of Leviathan. The only other consideration required
is that this person be the kind of person you would want to
rescue you. Otherwise you may find yourself worse off than you
||Two are better than one;
because they have a good reward for their labour. For if
they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to
him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another
to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they
have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
This scripture is often used in weddings, reminding the
hearers that God is in the midst of this human relationship.
Because the couple is binding their relationship with their God,
the marriage relationship will be much stronger than if the
couple were together without their God. Statistics prove this.
Christian couples who do not live out their faith within the
marriage union tend to break apart as easily as those who are not
Christians. Billy Graham said it this way. "The family that
prays together, stays together".
Within marriage, God is the force which binds the two people
together into a cord that is not easily broken.
The more the couple bind themselves to God, the stronger that
cord will be. As this cord strengthens, they will be better able
to face the external pressures, which attempt to separate them.
It is this same principle which will release people from the
power of Leviathan.
Rather than directly confronting the binding power of this
spirit, the way to deal with Leviathan is to make a commitment to
bind yourself to Jesus Christ instead. As the bond with Jesus
Christ is strengthened, the bond with Leviathan will be weakened.
Binding unto Jesus.
||He that has pity upon the
poor lends to the Lord; and that which he has given will
he pay him again.
It is no surprise that the most effective way to escape the
power of Leviathan is to give to the poor.
Giving to someone who is incapable of paying you back breaks the
cycle of borrowing and lending that Leviathan feeds on.
It also changes your focus. Rather than being reliant on other
people to meet your financial needs you can now look outward,
looking for ways to meet the needs of others, without your own
needs colouring how you treat others.
It gives freedom. Rather than ordering your life around the
question of what you need to do to pay off your obligations, you
are now free to find ways God can use you to be a blessing to
It changes your attitude to the outside world. Rather than
looking inward and being constantly distracted by your present
needs, you can now look to the needs of others.
Leviathan is a force which causes you to be drawn ever tighter
to a person or a situation. This ever-present closeness to your
will and emotions will smother your spirit. Eventually that ever
tightening cord will pull the rest of you over and into itself so
that the intended beauty of your life eventually becomes an ugly
irreparable twisted wreckage of it's former self.
The only escape is to find someone who will unravel you from that
twisted wreckage and bind you to another cord. A place where your
nature and your giftings can be wound together in such a way that
they will shine through that new relationship.
The only person that is capable of doing that is Jesus Christ. He
died so that you may have life and that you may have that life
more abundantly. Binding yourself to Jesus gives you life because
He is the water of Life and the Bread of Life. Only through Him
can you be free of the spirit who tries to bend you to its own
The choice is yours.
A note to those who are in debt.
The debt is not the issue. Your heart attitude is the issue.
Ask yourself. How is my desire to pay off this debt colouring my
relationship with God? The more your focus is on the obligation,
the further you are from a close relationship with your Heavenly
A note to those who are able to lend out their wealth.
Your wealth is not the issue. Your heart attitude is the
Ask yourself. How important to my future happiness is the size of
my nest egg? The more you assume that you can control your life
by the amount of your wealth, the further you are from a close
relationship with your Heavenly Father.
||And if you lend to them of
whom you hope to receive, what thanks do you have? For
sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But you should love your enemies, and do good,
and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your
reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of
the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to
the evil. Be merciful therefore, as your Father is
The reference material used here can be found at the "on
line bible" site.