The story goes like this. The Israelites had been defeated in war and subsequently deported to Assyria; however, when the Assyrians moved into Israel to replace them, they were attacked and mauled by marauding lions. Their post-mauling conclusion was that they were being victimized since they “did not know the custom of the god of the land” (verse 26).
To counter this, they recalled a deported priest who could teach them the customs of the God of Israel in the middle of their lion-infested cities.
It’s an interesting story…and it just might sound like the context of your ministry.
Every preacher and ministry leader must do his or her preaching and teaching among lions.
- There are lions that attack our people, threatening to overwhelm and discourage their faith.
- There are lions of busyness, stress, and general disinterest in our message.
- There are lions of conflicting worldviews that are blatantly hostile to the Gospel story.
- And there are lions of spiritual warfare that descend on us in waves of discouragement, apprehension, and intimidation.
The thing to remember about lions though is that they’re the perfect backdrops for God’s power.
Hebrews 11:33-34 gloriously reminds us that through faith there were those who “shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength and who became powerful in battle.”
Let’s not lose heart. Let’s keep a vision of God’s power in front of us. It’s really quite an honor to preach and teach among lions.