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The Lion

THE LION.

You have seen pictures of the lion a hundred times, I suppose, and
perhaps you have seen it alive; would you not like to know what the
Bible says about it? You have heard it called the "king of beasts,"
because it is so strong and so bold; it is afraid of no other animal,
and it is strong enough to carry away a horse or a buffalo. In the 30th
verse of the 30th chapter of Proverbs, we read about "the lion which is
strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any." When king David
was mourning for the death of Saul and Jonathan, he said, "They were
swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions." How strong Samson
must have been to take hold of a young lion and tear it in pieces with
his hands! Did you ever read a riddle in one of the chapters of Judges?
This is it, "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong
came forth sweetness;" and it was made by Samson after he had found the
honey in the skeleton of the lion,-as I told you when speaking of the
bee. He promised some of his friends that he would give them thirty
sheets and thirty changes of raiment, if they would find it out in seven
days; but they would not have been able to do it, if Samson's wife had
not told them what he meant. Then they came to him and said, "What is
sweeter than honey, and what is stronger than a lion?"

The boldness of the lion is noticed in a verse in Isaiah: "Like as the
lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of
shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their
voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them." In Proverbs, 28 : 1,
you will read, "The wicked flee when no man pursueth; but the righteous
is as bold as a lion." This is true, dear child; and if you will love
God and trust the kind Savior, there is nothing in all the wide world of
which you need be afraid. God can take care of you as he did of Daniel,
even if you were shut up in a dark cave with cruel and hungry lions
around you.

The lion lies in his den and sleeps in the daytime, but at night he goes
out to find his food. His eyes are a little like those of a cat, and he
can see in the night better than we can. The Bible says, "Thou makest
darkness and it is night; wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep
forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from
God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them
down in their dens." It has soft feet, like a cat, so that it can creep
quietly along and not frighten the animals that it means to kill, till
it comes very near them. Sometimes the lion lies in his den, very
still, until some animal comes by; then he gives a sudden spring, and
seizes it just as a cat seizes a mouse. The Bible says, when speaking
of a wicked man, "He lieth in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; he
lieth in wait to catch the poor; he doth catch the poor, when he draweth
him into his net."

The lion has very strong claws hidden in the soft cushion of his paws,
and when he has caught his prey he uses them to tear it in pieces. His
tongue is like that of a cat, only a great deal more rough, and with
this he can strip the flesh off from the bones. David in one of the
Psalms prays that God will save him from an enemy, "Lest," he says, "he
tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces when there is none to
deliver."

The roaring of the lion is very terrible, especially at night. He seems
to delight to be wandering around for his prey when it is dark and
stormy; then when he puts his mouth near the ground, his roaring sounds
like thunder, and all the animals that hear it are full of fear. You
have read of Satan, that most wicked being, who would be glad to make us
as wicked as he is; the Bible says he is like "a roaring lion, walking
about, seeking whom he may devour." Let us pray God to keep us safe
from this roaring lion.

Christ is sometimes called "the Lion of the tribe of Judah." He is
always gentle and kind to those who love him; but if we will not receive
him as our Savior, the day is coming when he will meet us in judgment;
then where can his enemies hide themselves.