When God Sends a Lion

by APC on April 26, 2017

I. Don’t. Like. Spiders. There’s a lot I could say about my strong aversion to arachnids, but I’ll just give you the highlights.

If I’m about to walk into a room and see a spider, it’s an alarm barring my entrance. If I see an abundance of spiders in the same environment—on repeated occasions—it’s an indication I should avoid such environs (e.g., nature). If spiders don their arrival at certain times of the day, it’s direction to me to make myself scarce during said times.

On the whole, a spider is a regular warning sign for me to keep out, stay back, change direction, or relocate. I’m in the right presence of mind to obey those warning signs, and I do so every time. God, in His infinite wisdom, is obviously trying to keep me safe from something—the spider or otherwise.

Okay—so you don’t think I’m crazy…it’s a spider for me, but something else for you. There’s something you will see that will make you stop dead in your tracks; a warning sign, urging you to halt, rethink, and to redirect. If we don’t pay attention, we can wind up in a world of hurt (don’t you know spiders bite?!?)…

And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. 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. 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…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 (Judges 14:1–3, 5, KJV).

Samson was a pronounced a Nazarite from birth. He had a special calling and anointing to follow closely after God and His will. However, Samson didn’t want to pursue his calling at times, and ventured out into the land of the enemy. Instead of desiring a blessing in God’s will—a wife from God’s chosen people—Samson desired a woman from the Philistines. He wanted to choose his own course.

On Samson’s way to visit a woman in Timnath, a lion appeared right in the middle of his path. But, Samson didn’t heed the warning sign of the lion—he killed it, continued on, and through a series of events, broke an aspect of the Nazarite vow by touching a dead thing (Judges 14:8–9).

Instead of living in abundant victory, Samson’s life became checkered with spotted triumphs and trials. His wife betrayed his trust and shared a truth with the men from Ashkelon, he got involved with a harlot, had his trust betrayed by Delilah, lost his eyes, was put into bondage, and violated his vow to God.

All of this happened after Samson killed the lion. If he had paid attention to the warning of the lion—a sign to turn back, to take inventory of his life, and follow God’s plan—He would have lived a much different life.

We need to start paying attention to the lions (or spiders) in our life that cross our path when we’re on different journeys. It could just be that God has a different plan for us, or is trying to keep us out of trouble on the road ahead. He knows the end from the beginning and the plans He has for us. All God wants is the best for His children and to spare us from sorrow, trials, and hardship on the roads we’d normally pick for ourselves.

Today, let’s remember there’s a reason why God sends a lion. What we do next is up to us.