Have you ever wondered where the lion got his roar? You probably haven’t given it serious thought since it has nothing to do with work (unless you’re a vet on a safari or Jurassic Park. Were there lions there?), or paying bills, or the important things in life. I like questions like these because they usually come from/through children, and they have a way of making you think beyond the brain cells you’ve been using on automatic to the new ones laying dormant desiring to create new grooves in your cerebral cortex. Hmmmm, I won’t try to go too far with that lest I fall into the frontal lobe and can’t get back out.
Anyhooo, I guess the first lion got his roar in the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis. Do you think he scared Adam with that noise, or just blew him away with a gust of halitosis? Just a thought. J Also in the book of Genesis, near the beginning of the ending of the beginning (Just hang in there. I know how you feel because with God, there is no end or beginning. He just is.) Jacob told his sons their future before he died in Genesis 49:8-9, “Judah, you are the one whom your brothers shall praise, . . . Judah, a lion’s cub! With the prey, my son, you have gone high up [the mountain]. He stooped down, he crouched like a lion, and like a lioness – who dares provoke and rouse him?” (Amplified) So just like God commissioned Adam to name the animals, he also commissioned fathers to “bless” their children with words of their future, so they won’t grow up not knowing Who they are and WHOSE they are. J
Well, I was taking a stroll through another Old Testament book full of action like on the World Wrestling Federation – something I’ve not watched in a good while because all the men that turned me on (yes!!) are no longer in the rink. Anyhoooo, ;-) Bust in on an angry Samson, the strongest man who ever lived (stronger than Atlas because he was a myth) in Judges 15. His father-in-law gave his wife away to his best friend. I guess you would be angry too, so Samson caught 300 foxes and tied them together in pairs at the tails. He placed torches between their tails and sent them running through the wheat fields of the Philistines, the enemies of the twelve tribes of Israel, but specifically in this case, the tribe of lions, I mean Judah.
The Philistines inquired as to who destroyed their crops and when they learned it was Samson, they burned Samson’s wife and her father crispy. But all that did was make matters worse, for Samson responded “if this is the way you’re going to act, I will get my vengeance, then I will stop.” So he went on a Philistine killing spree. But the men of Judah trembled and could not bask in his “help” for they said to him in verse 11b “Have you not known that the Philistines are rulers over us? What is this that you have done to us?” And Samson replied, “As they did to me, so have I done to them.” Hmmmm, that’s before Jesus came and said “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” LOL!! But look at their fear. What animal have you ever seen rule over a lion?
I’ve watched several documentaries on wild animals in different countries and I have yet to see one depicting a giraffe, a hyena, or even an elephant ruling over a lion. The only way it could happen is if the lion is injured and unattended by other lions, or dead on a safari banquet. But Judah had lost his roar and he was quivering in his sandals because of the Philistines. No wonder he was in captivity. The roar of a lion is what keeps his enemies at bay, even if he is injured. A long as he can roar, he can live. J
Somewhere along history’s line Judah forgot who he was. Somebody didn’t pass along the story of his inheritance from God through Jacob. Somebody got too busy to talk to the children on the front porch about who they are, and from where they’ve come. Instead they were placed in front of the television playing Nintendo, or they were sent out to play with their friends who also didn’t know who they were or their heritage (Children of the Lost World) and they got separated from their identity. Who am I? From where did I come? Who’s my daddy? Why am I here? Where’s my mother? Who’s her daddy? Why is my hair short and nappy and not long and silky? Why are my brother’s eyes blue and mine are black? “It’s okay for me to have a baby at 14 years of age; my mom had me when she was 16 and her mom had her when she was 18 years old.” “College? Oh no, I’m going to get a job at Micky D’s making $6/hour, then me and MoJo gon get an apartment together and buy him dat knew car he be wantin’.” “Edu-ma-cation? What be dat? I’m a pimp. B_ _ _ _es and ho’s be my dang man. My daddy was a drug dealer and a pimp and so was his brothers. It be my destiny too man. Make mo money dan a lawyer. Dat’s what I’m gon do.”
When you don’t know who you are . . . when you forget who you are and why you’re here . . . when you are a lion, but you don’t know you’re a lion (remember Diana Ross singing to the Lion in “The Wiz”?) you can and will lose your roar. Or you just won’t know what you’re supposed to be “roaring” about. You will run from a mouse and yourself when looking at your image in a mirror. Meow.
The Philistines were ruling over, controlling, and repressing (do these words look familiar in our society?) Judah. They held Judah captive in fear. Somehow Judah forgot who he was, lost his roar and was even afraid of the consequences of being delivered by his brother Dan in the form of Samson. Through a series of events, Samson too came under their captivity because he forgot who he was for a minute, and revealed his secrets to the wrong woman, again. (Hey ladies, don’t forget not to reveal your “secrets” to the wrong man either.) But when he remembered who he was, he began talking to the ONE Who planned his appearance in the first place. (See Judges 13:3-5; 16:28-30) And also, btw and fyi, the word “judge” means “deliverer”. Samson did not sit behind a great desk with a gavel sending folk to prison etc. I think the Philistines wished he had been that kind of judge, but no, he was more like “Judge Dredd” (starring Sylvester Stallone). J
After my stroll through Judges I found myself by a stream in Matthew’s gospel chapter 12:50 where Jesus said that we are his brothers and sisters. Cool! He also called us His friends because He shared His innermost thoughts and feelings with His friends. (John 15:14-15) And He never forgot Who He was and IS, and wow, who wouldn’t want to be friends and family with the “richest” Person in time and eternity? Before Jesus was born as a man, God sent telegraphs, faxes, emails, text messages, voice mails, and signs in the stars (Astronomy not astrology) about Him for many years, announcing His coming and what He would do. He even gave His name several times to people He could trust to spell it right, and deliver it well. He called Him the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, El Shaddai, El Elohim, Holy, and many other names describing His character and mission to us. But one of my favorite names of His is “Lion of the Tribe of Judah”! Even on the cross He did not lose His roar. He never lost sight of Who He was and is, and is to come (read Revelation), and because He remembered Who He is, His roar took Him all the way to Calvary. For you, and for me.
I must admit, I’ve been hit hard in many ways on this safari we call “life on earth”, at vulnerable times which caused me to forget my name, to forget my lineage, to forget my heritage, to forget Who has me in His arms, to forget Who loves me best and the most, to forget Whose blood is in my DNA, to forget “Who’s my Daddy?”. Sometimes I couldn’t even open my mouth to call His name for I was in such “captivity” by Philistines of our culture and times, and my circumstances. Oh, but eventually my hair grew back. LOL!! And I began to pace back and forth like lions do. I began to shake myself and lecture myself and roar – “what’s the matter with you?” “Get up from here!” “Who’s your Daddy?” That would get me every time. My neighbors too. LOL!! ;-)
Do you know who your Daddy is? I’m not talking about your biological daddy. I’m talking about Yo’ DADDY? Mine is “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”, and He will always be the King of my jungle. Roarrrrr!