“They will walk after the LORD,
He will roar like a lion;
Indeed He will roar
And His sons will come trembling from the west” (Hosea 11.10)
The image of a Lion in the above verse is a fitting symbol for the role our God will play during the final act on the great theater of grace. For time out of mind, controversy has ensued regarding the character of the most other-centered, generously kind and gentle, yet strong and self-denying being in the universe. But that controversy is about to come to a close. The curtain is about to fall, and when it does, it will be with a roar!
As I consider the imagery of the return of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, He is both the lion and the lamb simultaneously. There could be no greater contradiction, but isn’t that exactly the way He is always revealing Himself to us? He does so in things that on the surface seem so contradictory, yet with a little inspired thought and emotion, we begin to see a rich depth in Him that we did not previously perceive. Truly, He has never turned out to be what we expected. Each time we stumble onto a glimpse of what He is, we are pleasantly surprised to find each of our expectations so far outshined, surpassed, and made to appear far short in comparison to the reality of what He is.
My oldest daughter’s first “feelings” surrounding her relationship with God began through the influence of C.S. Lewis’s Aslan. (I know, I know, even in writing that, I am opening my email inbox to a plethora of “did you knows” and warnings about Lewis, but trust me, its ok this time. No need to email me.) But as I recently pondered an artist’s sketch of what Lucy might have looked like all snuggled up in Aslan’s mane, with her arms wrapped tightly around His strong neck, yet feeling perfectly safe and protected, I began to see what it was that initially pulled at my own little girl’s heart. My daughter had seen what I was now seeing. Yes, He is a lion, and His prey should be afraid, wrapped in terror. But remember, they are only His prey because they threaten us! Many feel an inordinate amount of fear about the “Lion’s” return. But He is not crouched waiting to pounce on us! He’s coming back in our defense, to bring what was accomplished in His last visit to our pain-racked planet to fruition. His roar is not aimed at you, but at all that threatens, frightens, hurts, or saddens YOU! He is YOUR Lion, and you are the apple of His eye. You will hear His roar, and your heart will leap for joy and shout:
“Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited. He will save us! This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25.9)
Ponder these thoughts well this week, dear reader, for the time of rejoicing is almost here.