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For centuries, the lion has been used a symbol of power and strength. He is feared the world over… but not in the local zoo.
We can even get quite close to a lion, in the safe confines of a zoo, without experiencing any sense of danger whatsoever. As you gaze at the stately lion through the almost invisible steel mesh of the lion enclosure, you might stand in awe of his mighty frame, his imposing head and crowning mane.
You may admire his powerful muscles and sinews. If you are lucky, you may even hear his loud and fearsome roar. But you are not afraid of him because he is trapped inside a zoo cage.
In the above Bible passage, the apostle Peter describes our adversary as “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” But do we actually see him in this way? Is he a real and present danger to us, or someone we merely read about in scripture; a character, no doubt fearfully depicted, but trapped within the pages of the Bible?
Peter warns us that such is not the case. He is a very real threat to us and we must be on our guard at all times. “Be sober, be vigilant...” he tells us (8). But then, Peter goes on to show us that Satan can be resisted if we remain strong “in the faith” (9). Our faith becomes our strength and our means of defence.
Peter encourages us to take comfort in the fact that “the same afflictions” are suffered by our fellow believers (9), so we are not alone in our struggle. Besides, there is another, far more powerful lion, mentioned in the Bible, a reference to Jesus, the promised Messiah, who is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5). Jesus has already prevailed against our foe and gives us victory now, through our faith in him.
by Richard Dempsey
Cambridgeshire, England - email@example.com
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