Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lions and Their Meaning in Holy Writ: Part 5

Nah. 2:11-12 Where [is] the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, [even] the old lion, walked, [and] the lion's whelp, and none made [them] afraid? The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.

Here Nineveh was seen by other nations as a fierce lion, but due to its sin and un-repentant state they have been marked for destruction via the judgment of G-d. Now, defeated and in ruin the people scoff and say, “Huh! This is the nation we feared as man fears a lion!? Where is their den full of bones of the prey!?”

Where does a lion eat its prey? Wherever it wants! But usually after kill the hunting party will take the prey back to the den or to a secluded location away from the prying eyes of hyenas or other big cats that may want to snag a free meal.

This passage gives us details of a lions den and behavior. In the geography Nahum was speaking of, lions sometimes made their home in cool caves, or under large overhanging rocks to escape the heat of the day. There they would take their prey to be devoured and bones, left over from past meals liter the den as trophies of past kills.

Lions, though mighty, do not flaunt their kill foolishly before others. That would be asking for trouble. This is just asking for a fight. Spiritually speaking we are to keep our spiritual battles within the family and not flaunt our spiritual power before others lest we unwittingly pick fights we cannot win. Just as a world champion boxer, by the sheer fact alone he is world champ draws challengers by the droves in an attempt to beat him and take his title so they can claim to be the best because they beat the best. I have seen foolish people who claim they can heal and deliver others from demons only to later themselves fail irreparably in the eyes of the world.

1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Here Kefa (Peter) likens satan to a restless roaring lion. We discussed in a previous passage the reasons lions roar. Here satan roars to intimidate, to strike fear into you, but the only reason he does this is because he himself is afraid. A lion’s only predator is man and a lion is more scared of man than man is of a lion. So the roar is a warning to stay back, and they will not attack unless cornered or provoked, it will not attack unless it feels it has to. Same with satan. He actually fears us because we are made in the image of YHWH and we are his treasured creation and children. When a lion paces it means it is nervous and restless. A roaring pacing lion screams of a desperate lack of confidence and an abundance of fear. His bark is worse than his bite, as a familiar saying goes. We are seen as a threat to satan. That is why if we wave our arms and make noise a lion will run from a man, because we look bigger and badder than we really are and a lion will tuck tale and run even though in reality a lion is more powerful than us and could take us down in an instant. When a lion lacks confidence and is scared the only prey it can obtain is a weak or injured animal from the flock.  This is who satan targets, an easy meal. So Kefa is telling us to spiritually stay on top of our game and that there is safety in numbers, so stay close to other believers.

Satan is an old toothless lion. The fearsome teeth we see are the ones we give him. Our past, unrepentant sin and vices are the teeth we give satan to blackmail and destroy us with. If we walk in repentance and Torah we have nothing to fear of this overgrown pussy cat!

Rev. 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

A lion earns its status and reputation by the battles it wins against enemies or other lions that attempt to take over the pride. With victory come spoils and bragging rights, power, authority, prestige and position. Yeshua, the Messiah, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah has proven worthy because he unlike anyone else over came the greatest enemies of mortal man; Our evil inclination, death and the devil.


I pray that through this Biblical study on the lion that we can take what we have learned and apply it to our lives to become greater people for HaShem.