A Devotion for 18 September 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
8 ¶ Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. 9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. GENESIS 49:9-10
The most terrible and greatly feared beast of the jungle is the Lion. He is the king of the jungle! He is alert throughout the darkness of night and can see in its shadows. The Lion is fast of foot and impossible to escape once he makes the chase. His sense of smell allows him to find every prey for which he seeks. He is hated by every animal of the jungle save one – the lion of his own pride or family. The love the Lion has for their young is unmatched in nature. The lion and the lioness will die protecting their babies. They also do not forget when one of their little ones is harmed. They will execute vengeance on any predator that harms their cubs tracking them down endlessly until the offender has paid the full bounty in blood.
It has been said that an army of gazelle led by a lion would be far more formidable than an army of lions led by a gazelle. The lion is born to lead!
The lion is strong and ferocious. Once, while staying at the Sunrise Hotel in Kenya (along the banks of Lake Victoria), I hear a strange noise coming from the tree-line that separated the hotel patio from the lake – about 100 feet in depth. It sounded like the grunting of a large pig; however, the hotel manager told me the sound was that of a great lion who lived there. He told me an interesting story about the lion’s strength, too. One day, he said, some guests saw the lion and began teasing him and threw a coke bottle at him. This aroused the dignity of the lion. He charged against the twelve feet high chain-link fence that bordered the patio. He caused the fence poles to be uprooted and drove some thirty feet into the patio – dragging the heavy fence along with him. The animal control force was called. Four rounds of a sleep drug were fired into the lion before he settled down. That event ended the future teasing of the lion.
The Lord Jesus Christ has been compared to a lion – the Lion of Judah! He shares many characteristics with the lion. He is the King of Kings, beloved by His own people, hated by all others, darkness hides no secret thing from His knowing, He leads the way by example (for He IS the Way). He has proven His undying love by His sacrifice at Calvary for the redemption of His people. He is forever victorious against every foe.
You will recall the events attending the giving of the Law of God at Sinai: “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” Exodus 19:16 How like this was the death of the Savior on the cross: “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,” Matthew 27:50-52 He is King of the Mountain of the Lord, the King of Mount Moriah where the Temple was erected, and He is the King of Kings and resides in His Temple of the Hearts of each believer today.
He will avenge every wrong done to His people just as the lion of the jungle will not cease to seek those who harm their young.
Reference is made in the Book of Revelations to the Lion of Judah:
“1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 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. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Revelations 5:1-6
The Church frequently misrepresents the nature of our Lord. It is an unchanged nature from the foundation of the world. The love of Christ is strong and unrelenting. He has proved His love for us by suffering the greatest of indignities and the death of the cross- hanging naked before the eyes of men and women – most of whom ridiculed Him there. That love is unequaled by any human conception. “8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9 This is the most profound expression of love – “13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 15:13-17
It is a great comfort to the believer to realize the love and security he enjoys in the bosom of the Lord. But there is another side to the great lion – His unrelenting pursuit of the wicked who would harm and make afraid His own people. He who came to Bethlehem as a precious little baby will come again as a conquering King leading the armies of Heaven. There will be the sound of the trumpet to awaken His own who sleep in the dust, but the trumpet shall sound a different call to those who have rejected the only Begotten Son of God. Perhaps that trumpet call shall be the same as sounded by the Mexican Army of Santa Anna outside the walls of the Alamo in 1836 – the El Degüello – No Quarter to those whose wickedness deserves ‘No Quarter.” At that moment, it will be too late to turn and accept the Lord as Savior and Redeemer; but for those damned in their sins, they shall face terrible destruction and retribution, and unending torment. The two-edged sword issuing from the mouth of that Lion of Judah shall cause the blood of the wicked to flow freely throughout the streets and by-ways of the old world.
How about you, Reader? Would you rather be a cub for Christ, or jack ass for the serpent?