20 October 2014

walK with THE Wise ~ of fear and terror and lions ~

Proverbs 20:2
New International Version
A king's wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion; 
those who anger him forfeit their lives.

New Living Translation
The king's fury is like a lion's roar; 
to rouse his anger is to risk your life.

English Standard Version
The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; 
whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.

New American Standard Bible 
The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; 
He who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life.

King James Bible
The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: 
whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.

The Easy English Bible says: "An angry king is like a roaring lion. If you make the king angry, then you will die." The thing I get from this is when you make a king angry, you should be afraid. You should have the same sort of fear you'd have if you heard a lion roar or growl, see that it is headed rapidly your way and realize there is nothing between you and the animal.

I've had three or four thoughts floating around in my mind as I've meditated on these words and that thought today:
  1. It isn't wise to needlessly anger your authorities. On the occasion where you cannot compromise (i.e. your faith compels you to act differently than required by the authorities... thinking Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego since I just heard a sermon about those three guys), don't be surprised or afraid to face consequences.
  2. God is my ultimate authority... the most important monarch in my life. If I know there are certain thoughts, behaviors and attitudes that anger Him (ungodliness, unthankfulness, arrogance are certainly on that list), why would I even contemplate those sorts of actions... or nonactions?
  3. Satan wants to be my king and is compared to a prowling, roaring lion. When I obey God, I'm not doing what the evil one wants. In those situations, my Good Shepherd, His Word... they are my only defense. And God has given me His Spirit of power, love and sound mind... NOT a spirit of fear. But there will be attacks and scary moments.
  4. I've heard it said that the nomadic shepherds of West Africa faced down lions with nothing more than a staff or rod. When the lion charged, they'd stand their ground. As it would made its final leap/pounce toward the shepherd, the lion would roar and at that moment, the shepherd shoved the staff as far down the lion's throat as possible, causing the lion to gag, stunning it and most often, it would run away. As hard as that is to believe, Into the Pride's (Animal Planet) David Salmoni interacted with lion prides with nothing more than a staff in hand (and a four-wheeler as a quick mode of escape). I also believe, vaguely, that I heard him make a similar statement when I watched the series with my kiddos several years ago. An internet search, however, could not confirm that claim.
So... nothing profound or even super practical. I don't expect anyone reading this will ever have to face down a real live charging lion...

But since I'm curious, what thoughts go through your mind as you read the above verses?

I went to university at Penn State... home of the Nittany Lion.

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