Animals in Scripture – “Leopards, Bears, Lions, and a Dragon” – Part 2

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


We saw last week that the lion, bear, leopard, and the fourth dreadful and terrible beast of Daniel, are all to be found in the one single beast of Rev 13 where the fourth, great and terrible beast is, there in Revelation, called a dragon.
We saw that according to Ecc. 3:18,  “the estate of the sons of men, [ if ] God… manifests it to them, is that… they themselves are beasts.” Rev 13 demonstrates that all the beasts of Daniel seven, symbolizing all the world ruling empires of Daniels days, are now all within the single beast which is each of us.
Note  how physical are Old Testament types:

Dan 7:16  I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
Dan 7:17  These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
Dan 7:18  But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

The kingdoms of all four beasts are “the [ one single] kingdom [ which] the saints take and possess for ever.” We can now see that this kingdom is the same kingdom which Christ tells us is the new heavens and earth within us as God’s elect:

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

We saw that the “old serpent, the devil, and the dragon” are all one and the same evil spirit within each of us as God’s tool to work all things after the counsel of His own will. We saw that from the beginning the function of the adversary was to destroy Christ and His Christ.
We have also seen through the blessing of Judah, and the use of a lion in several verses in Proverbs, that  the lion can and does typify the function of God’s elect in relation to preying upon our sinful  flesh and upon the dragon within us.
Just like Aaron’s rod which became a serpent and devoured the serpents of Egypt’s magicians, so the lion of the tribe of Judah devours “your adversary the devil… as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

We now continue our study of the ravenous beasts of scripture.

A lion as both positive and negative

No story in scripture shows both the positive and negative application of a lion more that the story of Samson taking a wife of the Philistine city of Timnath.

Jdg 14:1  And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
Jdg 14:2  And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
Jdg 14:3  Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
Jdg 14:4  But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.
Jdg 14:5  Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.
Jdg 14:6  And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.
Jdg 14:7  And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.
Jdg 14:8  And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, [ there was] a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.
Jdg 14:9  And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.
Jdg 14:10  So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
Jdg 14:11  And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.
Jdg 14:12  And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:
Jdg 14:13  But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.
Jdg 14:14  And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.

This riddle of Samson’s should bring to mind the words of Joshua in response to the ten spies who “gave a bad report” of the land:

Num 14:6  And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
Num 14:7  And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
Num 14:8  If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.[ The milk and honey we enjoy in the promised land as babes in Christ]
Num 14:9  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. [“Out of the eater came forth meat.”]

Joshua and Caleb felt like Samson when the spirit of the Lord came on him:

Jdg 14:6  And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him [ the lion] as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

All the works of  ‘the lion’ against us become “bread for us.” “Out of the eater comes forth meat, and out of the strong comes forth sweetness.”
A lion devours God’s sheep and is capable of even devouring a lone unarmed shepherd. It is a rare shepherd indeed who is capable of slaying a lion and a bear that come into his father’s flock. A shepherd who can slay a lion and a bear can also go on to slay giant Philistines in the land.

1Sa 17:34  And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
1Sa 17:35  And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
1Sa 17:36  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
1Sa 17:37  David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

What all ravenous beasts look for in their prey

One characteristic common to all beasts of prey, is their attraction to the young, the weak and the old and weak. In other words, ravenous beasts of prey prefer the weak and will avoid the strong if they can. All such beasts want their prey to come to them. They are all patient until they make their move.
Bears  and leopards are more solitary and stalk their prey over a long area, while lions work together and surprise their prey. But in every case they all prey upon the weak.

Psa 10:8  He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
Psa 10:9  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.
Psa 10:10  He croucheth, and humbleth [ Hebrew, bowed down] himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.

The adversary within preys upon us when we are spiritually poor.

Pro 28:15  As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

Don’t be spiritually poor. Be “very rich in silver and in gold..”

Gen 13:2  And Abram [ was] very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.

Those whose riches are in heaven, have a lion which destroys the things of the flesh while taking strength and nourishment from doing so.

Pro 30:29  There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:
Pro 30:30  A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;
Pro 30:31  A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.

The lion and all beasts of prey are but instruments in the hand of a loving Father who will bring us all to overcome and devour the sinful flesh which “in time past” we have all been. When we finally come to see this, then even the ravenous lion, leopard, and bear, are seen to be what they are, instruments of God , used to destroy our sinful flesh:

Isa 5:29  Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.

Even Samson was devoured by that adversary who “as a roaring lion seeks whom he may devour:”

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Jdg 16:15  And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
Jdg 16:16  And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;
Jdg 16:17  That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.
Jdg 16:18  And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
Jdg 16:19  And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
Jdg 16:20  And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
Jdg 16:21  But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

Jdg 16:28  And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Jdg 16:29  And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
Jdg 16:30  And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with [ all his] might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that [ were] therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than [ they] which he slew in his life.

We have seen in this study what happened to Samson in us when we underestimate the power of the adversary. When we under estimate his constant, ever present within us, strength over our flesh, he will have us for lunch.
So what are we to do? Should we fear the adversary? Not at all! Here again is what we are to do:

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Who is a sober, vigilant person? Who is it that knows how to neutralize “that old serpent the devil and Satan?” It is the person who loves God and keeps His commandments. That is who will have no fear:

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Here is how we handle the adversary within us:

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [ places].
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

There is never a time to lose control when dealing with the adversary:

Jdg 1:9  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

God’s elect never rail or accuse. They simply speak the Truth and the Truth destroys darkness and lies with ease.

Ecc 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [ is] the whole [ duty] of man.

The word duty is not in the Hebrew. The message is that man is not whole until he comes to know God:

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Next week we will see what the scriptures reveal is the fate of the four beasts of Dan 7 and Rev 13. It is a wonderful ending.

Other related posts