But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Authentic. The real deal. I want the good guy in the white hat, not some cultural chameleon in gray. Oh, he says the right things, and looks the part, but when the going gets tough, he excuses himself away from the action. Or, even worse, he joins the other side!
You must be very careful these days as things are not always as they seem. Recently, our credit card was hacked, and the fraudsters ran up several charges on our account. One evening, during the process of working things out, my husband recognized an incoming call as a call about fraud on our account. The caller knew much about our account, including part of our new card number, but my husband began to feel uneasy with the questioning and hung up the phone.
Good guy? Bad guy? My husband went immediately the next morning to talk face to face with someone he trusted at the bank. The bank fraud unit had not called, the caller had simply taken the phone number to give the appearance of legitimacy. Come to find out, the caller was someone phishing for information. We closed that card too.
Jesus Christ is identified in the Bible as a lion, the King over all kingdoms. Notice he does not identify as an elephant, jackal, squirrel, hamster, or hyena. Jesus is our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Lion of Judah. Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave, when he rose from the dead. Jesus is our champion, victorious over all things, even that jackal satan, who chases our souls daily like a ravenous beast.
Though not the largest or strongest animal, their deep sense of confidence and courage make them the strongest leader of the animal kingdom. But the lions roar can do nothing on its own, it’s that confidence and courage within the roar which makes them fierce protectors and providers. Lions do not fear any animal; they protect their own.
Lions live together in a unit called a pride. They are the only cats who live as a group. The pride is made up of up to three males, a dozen females, and their cubs. The lionesses rear their cubs together, and cubs can suckle from any female with milk. Lions will defend their family in a large territory of up to 150 miles. Their roar can be heard five miles! Lions can run fifty miles per hour and can leap as much as 36 feet. Lions hunt together at night and face their enemies straight on. Typically, it takes 10 hyenas to take down a lion, if they are lucky.
Christians do we have confidence and courage in Jesus the Lion of Judah? He is our protector. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm 18:2
But I have a family to feed, I can’t get into cultural battles defending the Lord. Jesus is our provider. “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity.” Philippians 4:19-20
Stand strong! Jesus will do battle on your behalf. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him.” 2 Chronicles 32:7
The devil is trying to squash your voice with troubles. You are never alone in your troubles; Jesus is with you. “Though I walk in the midst of troubles, you will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.” Psalm 138:7
It is interesting that the Bible presents the lion as two totally different creatures. First, we have the Lion of Judah, Jesus, who is the protector and provider of his chosen family. They are his “pride” and joy. He speaks to Father God on our behalf. Then we have the “Roaring lion” who is representative of satan. 1 Peter 5:8 gives us a glimpse into his character. “Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Nature actually has Roaring Lions. They are typically rebellious and inexperienced young lions sent packing by their pride. The Roaring Lion wants to dethrone his father. (It is like satan wanting to take the position of God.) The Roaring Lion wanders the world looking for another Lion King to conquer. The Lion King of the pride continually stands watch of his territory ready to defend against the Roaring Lions.
As humans, it is easy to roar like a lion in an empty forest, when we are surrounded by other like-minded people who love God and trust His Word. But how about when the jackals and hyenas are shouting, laughing, and ostracizing, will your roar turn into a whimper? Will you protect the territory God has given you or just wait till it all blows over?
In the new release movie “Sound of Freedom,” based on a true story, Tim Ballard personifies the lion characteristics of confidence and courage. Ballard could have continued to go through the motions of his bureaucratic career and been a spectator, sitting on the sidelines. He chose to listen to God speaking to his heart.
Go to your quiet place. Turn off your devices. Settle your mind and listen. Hear that? It is your heart, thumping right along. God gave you that heartbeat. Don’t you think it’s time you gave it back to Him?
Why be a copy-cat of the world, be the real deal!