Summary: Peter commands us to “resist” the devil, but is not exactly specific. The Apostle Peter describes for us in this passage that Satan is a lion prowling around. Satan acts like a lion. Well, how do you hunt a lion? How do you kill a lion?
HOW TO KILL A LION AND OTHER NEEDED SKILLS
INTRODUCTION… Famous Lions (p)
This morning we will be talking all about lions. Lions are the “King of Beasts” or “King of the Jungle” and occupy many spots in real and fictional stories. One of the first famous lions in literature and then movies was probably the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz (1900). In terms of lions that are there and we do not realize it, MGM Studios has had a lion as it’s logo since 1917. Also in literature there was CS Lewis’ Aslan in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950). Growing up, for me, the most famous lions were the Voltron Lions which were a main staple of my TV watching when I was a kid (1984). Another famous lion from my growing up years was Lion-O from the TV show Thundercats (1985). In fictional stories, the most famous lions at the moment are perhaps those from Disney’s Lion King: Mufasa, Nala, Sarabi, Scar, and Simba (1994). We also can’t for get Alex the Lion from Dreamwork’s Madagascar movies (2005). There are of course many others.
Lions are the logo and inspiration for sports teams as well. The Detroit Lions are perhaps the most famous sports team with a lion as the mascot. Yes they are still a professional football team even though they have not won a championship since 1957. That is pretty crazy considering Barry Sanders played for them in the 1990s. Another team I found interesting was the Great Britain Lions which is a team of rugby players from England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland which, as I understand it, only comes together occasionally to play in major rugby championships. Apparently they win quite often.
Lions are not just in fiction or sports teams’ mascots of course, but are real animals that live and hunt in our world. Sometimes they are hunted themselves. In July of 2015, Cecil the Lion, a male lion being studied by the University of Oxford, was killed by an American big-game hunter and the story was a big source of angst for a few minutes while people were aghast that a lion was hunted.
I mention these things to ask the question: Why are we so fascinated with lions? God created lions to be fierce killing machines. Their bodies, claws, teeth, eyesight, and mannerisms make them a most potent hunter in the wild. Not only that, the mane of a male lion looks quite majestic. When we see a lion we are fascinated, filled with curiosity, and filled with fear all at the same time.
We have been in the book of 1 Peter since the beginning of the year and we are finishing up this book today. We have been sitting under the divine inspired instruction of the Apostle Peter. He has been sharing with us how to live in an authentic relationship with God in many areas. The passage that we are going to look at today has the image of a lion in the center of it which is why we have already been thinking about lions. Let’s read.
READ 1 Peter 5:8-14
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”
I. THE LION IN 1 PETER 5
At the end of 1 Peter 5, Peter is concluding his first letter with some very needed commands and advice about living an authentic Christian life. In verse 8, Peter tells us to be “self-controlled and alert.” As I thought about this, I realized that Peter is speaking from personal experience. Peter is warning us of danger that he himself fell into:
* Luke 22:31-34 says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." 33 But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death." 34 Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” Jesus told Peter he would fall into temptation and deny Him. What did Peter do? He fell into temptation and denied Jesus. Peter knows full well that Christians face an enemy and we need to be self-controlled.