Judah, you are a lion cub. You have come back from the kill, my son. He lies down and rests like a lion. He is like a lioness. Who dares to disturb him? A scepter will never depart from Judah nor a ruler’s staff from between his feet until Shiloh comes and the people obey him. He will tie his donkey to a grapevine, his colt to the best vine. He will wash his clothes in wine, his garments in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine. His teeth are whiter than milk. Genesis 49:9-12
As I was praying and meditating on what to write about this morning (I already knew) I had a picture from this scene from “George of the Jungle”…
Narrator: “And so, onward and upward the tired trekkers trudged on feverished footsies on the perilous paths. When they beheld the mighty Ape Mountain, they reacted with awe.”
Narrator: “I said “awe.” A-W-E.”
Narrator: “That’s better.”
Can you tell that my family and I have a penchant for corny movies?
I was reminded of this scene because of a series of events that have occurred this past week. I’ll start with last things first. As I was going to sleep last night I closed my eyes and focused my mind’s eye on the dark in the area of my forehead. When I do that I usually have a mental image form very clearly. The image that formed was of an awe-inspiring great and beautiful Lion sitting quietly looking off into the distance.
I will be like a lion to Ephraim and like a young lion to the nation of Judah. I will carry [them] off, and no one will rescue [them]. I will go back to my place until they admit that they are guilty. Then they will search for me. In their distress they will eagerly look for me.”Hosea 5:14-15
Immediately my whole body was transported to His side. I was sitting on the ground next to Him in awe, and He permitted me to wrap my arms around His huge head and sink my arms and hands and fingers into His thick, soft, enveloping mane and rest my face against His head, the side of my face buried in that wonderful fur. I felt no fear, only this perfect peace. I melted into this ferocious yet gentle animal, hugging and kissing His face.
…act wisely. Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, or he will become angry and you will die on your way because his anger will burst into flames. Blessed is everyone who takes refuge in him. Psalm 2:10-12
In surrender is peace.
Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Exodus 15:11
That brings me to another event I experienced this past week, and it has taught me a lot about living in Christ. I felt a strong desire in my heart to seek the wise counsel of a Pastor who has been through an extraordinary medical journey these past few years. I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis a little over a year ago, and it has sometimes been a frightening journey. I thought I would talk with this man and glean from him some of the things he has learned about God through it all.
very wise Pastor didn’t “tell” me anything! He didn’t directly “answer” any of the questions I asked him about what he had learned about God! I was very frustrated about it at the time, but I now have peace. Do you know why? Because every time I would ask him a question he would direct me to scripture (Psalm 130 and Romans 5 to be specific.) Not only did he direct me to scripture, but he soaked in it as he read it. He lingered in it. He read it slowly and savored it. Not only did he take his time but every word was spoken with a full measure of this amazing awe in his voice. That awe has stayed with me. I think I learned what the Holy Spirit wanted me to know.
In my devotion this morning the writer quoted Matthew 11:12
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.
and then stated
“Where did we get the idea that faithfulness is the same as weakness?… Modern teachers prefer to portray Him (Jesus) as little more than Mr. Rogers with a beard, but the real Jesus of Nazareth displayed ferocious strength and courage. He conquered demons, cleansed the temple, even faced hostile crowds in Gethsemane. Jesus demonstrated how living in the kingdom of heaven is not for the faint of heart, even courageously embracing the cross to forever destroy the power of sin, death and the devil for our sakes…bold disciples filled with the Spirit of Christ continue to claim His abundant power to violently demolish every stronghold that does not belong in our hearts and our lives…”For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
A Spirit of
awe power great enough to even boldly kiss a Lion!!!
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5
Oh, Jesus, you are the Lion of Judah, worthy of our awe! The powerful and mighty and great King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We praise you and thank you for giving us boldness to come before the throne of grace and receive your forgiveness and grace. You are an amazing Lion and we are in awe of you. We agree with the inhabitants of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia as they say…”Of course He’s good. But He’s not safe. He’s not a tame lion!” Amen.