The Lion

The Lion is mentioned some 155 times in the Old Testament.  While some of the references may have been figurative indicating great strength, others were literal and the animal was well known throughout the Old Testament.  The Lion now lives primarily in Africa, South of the Sahara.  They once lived in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Iraq and Iran.  In the reign of King David they were found all the way to India.  While the Tiger is more solitary, the Lion lives socially in groups called a Pride.

The Lion began to lose ground once man made settlements and kept flocks.  According to Old Testament scholar, R.K. Harrison, the Cape Lion was lost about 1865, and the Barbary Coast Lion in the early 1920’s.  Not all ancient rulers regarded Lions as brutes.  Daniel 6:7 ff pictures them in captivity.  Some rulers trained them for the hunt. Ramses II is reported to have a pet Lion that accompanied him in battle.  King Ashurnasirpal II, who ruled Assyria from 883-859 B.C., bred them and had his own Pride.

The picture of the Lion in the New Testament is so different as to assume the animal had by then become rare.  But Julius Caesar gave shows involving as many as 400 Lions.  The cruel Nero organized fights between Bears, Lions and Christians.  Peter (I Peter 5:8) urges believers to beware of the Devil who roars like a Lion.  On the other hand, Revelation 5:5 gives Christ the Messianic title of the Lion of Judah.

With this background I wish to reference an unusual verse in I Chronicles, “Benaniah was a valiant warrior. . .who performed great exploits.  He struck down two of Moab’s best men.  He also  went down into a pit on a snowy day and slew a Lion.”  (I Chronicles 11:22)  The following verse indicates he struck down an Egyptian giant 7 1/2 feet tall.

King David appears to have organized his army under three strong men who may have been like  Joint Chiefs of Staff. Under these were mighty warriors like Benaniah.  General Dwight Eisenhower, who held the Allied Coalition together in WWII may have been like one of the three.  The mighty warriors may have been more like George Patton, the fighting general most feared by the Nazis.

This context would indicate that Benaniah probably killed a real Lion.  But there is symbolic meaning behind these real events.  At our best our nation has been like the Lion of Judah when facing foreign foes but more Lamb like and benevolent at home toward our own citizens.  This has led to liberty at home and strong defense of freedom when facing enemies abroad.

We saw again this week that we are now considered weak Lambs abroad with the snubbing of President Obama by the Chinese as he had to exit Air Force One by way of the kitchen rather than by a red carpet.  The Iranians continue to brazenly buzz our boats and Vladimir Putin treats Barack Obama with open contempt.

But the President is no Lamb toward his own citizens whom he views as bitter clingers to guns and to religion.  So Obamacare is forced upon us as are Middle Eastern refugees who cannot be vetted and unskilled people pour in from our Southern Border.  Those illegally entering may include terrorists hidden among them from overseas.  Obama winks at this.  The E.P.A. hamstrings private industry to the point that the Titans of Industry cannot provide new jobs for our workers.   Meanwhile government workers (in too many cases who produce nothing but more work and mischief for private citizens) swell in numbers which drain the treasury of the producers.

Hillary Clinton, like Barack Obama, has never run anything but her mouth and she is not even as effective as the President at that.  Meanwhile, Donald Trump has created jobs and may be able to help do the same for the nation if elected President.  I know there is risk here and the Donald was not our first choice either.  But he is asking black leaders to give him a chance by noting that the Democrats have given them only misery under Obama and Hillary would be more of the same.  He asks for the same confidence from all of us.

Today, as in 1980, we need a Lion abroad and a Captain of Industry at home rather than a Lamb abroad who creates ISIS and chaos and only despair at home.  We did not fully know that Ronald Reagan was going to be Ronald Reagan until we gave him power and saw the wonder of his leadership.  Do you remember the blessings for “Morning in America” and the taming of the Russian Bear by a Lion affectionately known as The Gipper?

I am trusting that Donald Trump is a Benaniah rather than a Barack.  I intend to vote for him.  I hope you will consider the same.  Remember a mighty warrior who slew a Lion in a pit on a snowy day.  And remember also a weak, failed President who entered China from his kitchen on Air Force One, whose Navy is buzzed by the Iranians and who has let the Russian Bear loose again in the person of Vladimir Putin.  We need a Lion!

Eutychus

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