Thursday: Like a Roaring Lion

As we have seen already, Peter wrote against the backdrop of persecution. The great-controversy theme wasn’t just abstract theology to his readers; they were experiencing it in a way that many of us have not, at least for now.

Holy Spirit and the Word

Copyright by Lars Justinen

Read 1 Peter 5:8-10 and Revelation 12:7-9. What do these texts teach us about the origin of evil and the work of Satan in our world?

The book of Revelation reveals that Christians play a part in a cosmic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. In Revelation, the forces of good are led by Jesus, who is the Word of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:13, Rev. 19:16). The forces of evil are led by the devil, also called Satan and pictured as a dragon (Rev. 12:7-9; Rev. 20:7-8). Though popular media and even some Christians deny the reality of Satan, the fact is that the devil is a powerful being who has only evil intentions for us. Yet, the good news is that the devil will ultimately be destroyed at the end (Rev. 20:9-10).

Peter does not diminish the danger the devil represents. The devil is like a roaring lion that is looking to devour all whom he can (1 Pet. 5:8). Peter points out, too, that his readers can see the power of the devil in their own present suffering. Yet, this suffering will end in eternal glory (1 Pet. 5:10).

Read 1 Peter 5:10 again. What is Peter saying to us there?

Though we don’t know the exact nature of their trials, what we can see is the hope that Peter expresses. Yes, the devil is real. The battle is real, and our sufferings are real. But the “God of all grace” has defeated the devil. So whatever we are suffering, if we remain faithful-even unto death (see Heb. 11:13-16)-victory is assured, thanks to Jesus.

How can we learn to hold on in faith, enduring to the end, regardless of what comes our way?


Thursday: Like a Roaring Lion — 10 Comments

  1. Peter appropriately uses the metaphor of the lion to represent the efforts of Satan. We need to know the Satan is on the rampage to fill us with fear and doubt. However there is another side to lion behaviour that is also applicable in this case. First of all, let me tell you a closer to home experience.

    We don't have lions in Australia, but we have domestic cats. You know those cute furry animals that purr and rub up against your legs and make you feel that you have just met the most wonderful affirming animal in the world. As some of you know, I am a bird photographer. I spend a lot of time in the bush sitting and waiting to photograph birds. The other day I was out in the bush when I came across a cat I have nicknamed "Pirate Pete", because half his face is white and the other half black. Pirate Pete is a domestic cat complete with a collar and a little tinkling bell that is supposed to warn birds that he is on the prowl. But Pirate Pete wasn't prowling. He was lurking, in the grass, still and silent. Not even his tail was moving. And his bell wasn't tinkling. Birds had no idea he was there. I pulled Pirate Pete out of his hidy-hole and gave him a push in a direction of his home. He sulked off. Two hours later I passed the same spot and Pirate Pete was back there, lurking.

    Domestic cats are such a significant danger to Australian native birds that there is a real campaign on to reduce their numbers and to ensure that they are not allowed out at night, their favourite hunting time. They are enormously successful hunters, and are bringing some species of bird to the point where they are listed as endangered.

    If you know anything about lions, you will know that lions hunt the same way. They are lurkers hiding in the grass and they wait patiently to catch their prey. And if they don't catch it one day they persist day after day until they do.

    I am sure that I don't need to spell out the parallels between my feline observations and the wiles of Satan. But we need to know that Satan is more likely to catch us by stealth than by roaring.

    • I was out photographing birds this week and Pirate Pete, the cat I used in the illustration above came out of the grass, purring and asking for attention. I photographed him and here he is complete with his little bell. I just thought that some of you may like to see the "little lurker". No I didn't make up the story. He is very real.
      Pirate Pete

      Once again a reminder. Satan often comes in attractive packaging!

  2. In some parts of the world, it is physically dangerous to you and your family to demonstrate you are a follower of Christ. You can literally lose your head or suffer greatly. In other parts, the danger is less obvious. It comes through Biblical error and smooth talkers, who can appear as angels of light. They proclaim a message that puts the hearer at ease and says the "whole armor of God" is not required in the Christian walk. All those who go to church and/or take the name of Jesus to follow His commands are in a battle that includes physical and mental strategies. In these dangerous times, may we stay under the wings of Jesus.

  3. Yes the devil is real. Yes there is evil. He may be around and watching just to see when to attack. He is clever. But he has already been totally defeated! Forever. Worst than the evil around us may be the evil inside ourselves! Our defects of character! It is easy to say that "the devil is trying to catch me"... But hard to assume responsability for our wrongs. Once we look inside ourselves, and recognize how far we can be from Jesus (the fountain of all goodness and love), we begin to fight the devil. Again, evil has been completely defeated at the cross! And by this power we can win this fight, not by our merits, but by Jesus'.

  4. I want to thank Maurice Ashton for his wonderful illustration. Looking back, most of the times that I have fallen is because of the devil's lurking and not his roaring. This will help me to be more on the alert.

  5. Several comments allude to the fact that the devil, Satan, has been defeated. Is that past tense or present tense? Revelation 12:7-9, says Satan and his angels were cast to this earth. If present tense do we still sin? If so why? Many of us are seeking rational explanations. We were born into sin, our sins are only little ones, we will make changes later. It has been a fact for a couple of thousand years, Satan has been defeated. My solace is, Jesus has saved us from our sins. Not in spite of our sins.

    • When we get to face Jesus at Heaven's door, in the case He says "I do not know you"! We will not be able to reply "It was never my fault, the devil made me do it"! The responsability for sinning is ours, although we never asked to be born in sin. But by accepting Jesus' mercy I also get freely His marvelous gift, eternal life!

    • There are two words in scripture that answer the question of why we sin. One is found in the Hebrew testament: חָטָא (H2398); the other in Christian testament: ἁμαρτάνω (G264/266). Both of these words have the sense of missing the mark or target, and are translated as “sin”. At the last supper, Jesus prayed this truth: “eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” [John 17:3, GNB] It is when we fail to know and love our Heavenly Father with all our heart, soul and mind that we “miss the mark”, and that failed relationship is the foundation of all the manifestations of “sin”. The failed relationship is the root cause–the result is the dysfunctional way we treat ourselves and others.

      For this reason, it is absolutely critical that we put our trust in Jesus Christ who has proven by the cross that God will stop at nothing to save us. This is why Peter after describing the Devil as a lion (an opportunistic killer), tells us to “be firm in [our] faith and resist him.” And what is the object (target) of our faith? It can only be Jesus–the one who promised in the Garden of Eden that he would crush the Serpent’s head beneath his heel. [Genesis 3:15] It is only this faith in his ability that will save us from the Adversary and power of sin.

      On the cross, it looked to all appearances that Satan had defeated Christ, and there will be times in our lives when it may look like he has defeated us. But as long as we continue to look to our Saviour, he will lift us up after we stumble and fall, and deliver us from the Evil One.

  6. to today's last question:

    To the promises of The Word!
    holding on to the Promises

  7. The devil is ever angry at those who are God's faithful children personally I have seen the devil use my colleagues at my work place to try to push me into habits such as drinking alcoholic drinks or even annoy me so I would react to their insults,but I thank God that He has given me to know the mastermind in all these,that it is the devil himself,therefore I do overcome their evil by doing good so that I can at least live peaceably with those i can,and win some for His glory.I thank God because I have seen him fight for me every single day.


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