Proverbs 30:30: a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing;
Our Creator God loves to boast of His creation, and this proverb directs our attention to the king of beasts. How lovely to live in Africa where you do not need to go the Zoo to see animals but go to the game park and see the animals in situ. I hope it is clear to everyone that the Africa of the 1800s and early 1900s is different from the Africa of today. Animals in Africa are not roaming freely and anyhow. They belong to game reserves only and even some children and adults in Africa especially those living in metropolitan cities have never seen a lion or any wild animal. Therefore, this lesson of animals is applicable to all and sundry. The lion is first in the list of four things that go well and are comely in going (Pr 30:29). Here is a beautiful sight, and we should understand it and rejoice in it.
The worship of God includes meditating on His great works (Ps 77:11-12; 143:5), and His creation of wonderful animals is certainly one of His great works. He thought the animal creation of the sixth day was good (Gen 1:24-25), and we should give Him glory for it. It was common for saints of both testaments to address the Lord in prayer by referencing His creative power in the animal kingdom (Neh 9:6; Acts 4:24).
When did you last visit a zoo or get to a national park? It is not just for children, though parents can certainly teach children about God and creation at the zoo and in the national parks. It is a place where mature saints can worship their Creator by seeing many of His wonderful works. Plan a trip there soon. I live next to the Nairobi national park and so once in a while animals stray from the part into our streets.
As you look at a wild animal, do you rejoice in His creative genius? Do the different features of the great variety of creatures He made fascinate you? Do you love the lion? Give Him glory, dear friend!
Our glorious Lord forced Job to consider the generative traits of wild goats (Job 39:1-4), the independent spirit of wild asses (Job 39:5-8), the cantankerous strength of the rhinoceros (Job 39:9-12), the beauty of the peacock’s feathers (Job 39:13), the stupidity and ignorant courage of the ostrich (Job 39:13-18), the strength and glory of the horse (Job 39:19-25), and the wonderful traits of the hawk and eagle (Job 39:26-30). And these are only some of those creatures with which humbled Job! Have you considered behemoth (Job 40:15-24) and leviathan (Job 41:1-34)!
But what of the lion? His beauty is the great strength and fearlessness with which he carries himself. And we are considering the male lion for his much greater size and regal appearance. His head and mane are glorious! He is a beautiful and frightening sight!
A male lion is magnificent! They may grow to 3 meters in length (not counting the tail), 1.2 meters in height (at the shoulder), and weigh 273 kilograms! An average lion has a vertical jump of 3.6 meters and can run over 64.3 kmp for short distances! His fore body is so strong that he can knock a zebra off its feet and break its back with a swipe of his paw! His roar is so powerful and loud it can be heard six miles away!
For those who love the tiger, consider these two things: tigers did not live anywhere near Israel, and both God and man have designated the lion as the king of beasts.
The Holy Spirit chose the lion as a picture of Satan’s character and danger to saints, appropriately requiring our sober vigilance (I Pet 5:8). As a lion stalks its prey to greedily devour the weak and careless, so the devil is watching for saints to give him a little opportunity to leap on them and devour their souls. Yet, if we will resist him, he will flee from us (I Pet 5:9; James 4:7).
However, the Lord also chose the lion to represent the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the twenty-four elders in heaven told John that Jesus was the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5). He is the glorious and regal Saviour of our souls. Jacob had intimated this grand picture thousands of years earlier (Gen 49:8-12).
And we need not ever wonder which lion is stronger, for Jesus proclaimed He was stronger (Luke 11:18-22); and the devils tremble with horrible fear at the mighty name of Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 1:23-28)! His Father and our Father has exalted Him far above all principalities and powers in this and all other worlds (Eph 1:19-23; Col 1:15-19)!
Give glory to Jehovah this day for the great glory of the regal lion, but remember that the greatest visible glory in the universe is found in the Lion of the tribe of Judah, even our Lord Jesus Christ. Adore and praise Him today. He is coming soon in power and great glory to be admired by all them that believe and destroy all His enemies.