Sunday, July 28, 2019

Wondering Where the Lions Are

Recently while hanging out at Panera Bread, I heard a variety of songs playing on their sound system. One of them was the 1980 hit “Wondering Where the Lions Are” by Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn. For the next few days, that song kept going through my mind. Soon I got to thinking about lions in Scripture.

The lion is often called “The King of the Beasts.” Its furious roar can be heard for up to five miles causing other creatures to freeze in their tracks. Contrary to popular belief, lions abide in the woods or fields, not in jungles. Nor will you usually find them walking around in cities and towns. That’s why it’s ridiculous for the lazy man to claim in Proverbs 22:13, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!”

Lions are mentioned in prophecy. In Ezekiel 38, the “young lions” refer to countries birthed from the U. K. including the United States. The first of the four living creatures in Revelation 4:7 is “like a lion.” Revelation 5:5 refers to Jesus as “…the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” When He returns to set up His millennial kingdom, Isaiah 11:6-7 talks about “…the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them…And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.”

Lions have also been used to mete out judgment. One killed a prophet who disobeyed a commandment of the Lord (1 Kings 13:24). Proverbs 19:12 and 20:2 compare the wrath of a king to a roaring lion. In Roman times, Christians were often thrown to the lions.

On the other hand, men of God who walked in divine authority were victorious over lions. Samson tore up one in Judges 14:5-6. As a young shepherd boy, David overcame a lion as well a bear (1 Samuel 17:34-35). Saul and Jonathan “...were stronger than lions.” (2 Samuel 1:23) Hebrews 11:33 talks about people who “…stopped the mouths of lions.” That included Daniel who was supernaturally protected during a night in the lion’s den. His accusers were then devoured by the animals (Daniel 6:24).

In his book “The Believer’s Authority,” Kenneth E. Hagin wrote about a dream he had in which he and another minister were walking on a ball field and saw two ferocious, roaring lions…

“The man started running. I started running with him. Then I stopped and told him we were too far away from the stands to reach safety. We'd never escape those lions.

“I stopped dead still, turned around, and went back to meet the lions. They came toward me with their fangs bared, roaring.

“I was trembling. I told them, ‘I resist you in the Name of Jesus. In Jesus' Name you can't hurt me.’ I just stood there. They ran right up to me like a couple of kittens, sniffed around my ankles, and finally frolicked off, paying no attention to me.”

The dream reminded Brother Hagin of 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…” Christians shouldn’t be afraid of the devil. His roar is worse than his bite. As I heard another minister point out, “he’s a gummer…Jesus pulled all of his teeth out.”

I’m sure the Lord is wondering where many of His lions are today. Instead of acting like the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz” and staying in self-imposed cages, believers knowing who they are in Christ can change people’s lives through sharing the gospel. As Charles Spurgeon once said, “Never mind about defending Deuteronomy or the whole of the Pentateuch; preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. Let the Lion out, and see who will dare to approach him. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will soon drive away all his adversaries.”

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” 
- Proverbs 28:1

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