Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him. ~1 Kings 20:36
One of the most sought-out areas of the zoo that people will visit is the “big cats” section. This is the area that houses the lions, tigers, leopards, and other big, predator cats. I have always been thankful for the barrier that keeps the cats separated from the patrons. The closest I will ever want to come in contact with a lion will always be where there is a barrier. This morning, we see a real account of a man who came face to face with a lion.
We see the directive.
“And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee.” One of the prophets gave a command to an unnamed man. He was told to hit the prophet in the face. A command is a something that we are required to do. A command is always a mandated obligation and never a nonessential option. Sometimes, a command might make us feel uncomfortable, but it must still be obeyed. The command given to the man was in the Word of the Lord: it was a command with a heavenly authority. All of God’s commands are to be obeyed. All of God’s commands are never grievous. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
We see the declination.
“And the man refused to smite him.” The man said no to the prophet’s command. He flagrantly disobeyed. This man’s refusal was a protest against the Word of the Lord. This man’s refusal was challenging God’s authority. Disobedience is open rebellion against God Himself. When this man refused, he had no intention of changing his mind. He made up his self will and mind that he was not going to do what was commanded to him.
We see the disapproval.
“Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee.” The prophet called out the man’s disobedience and pronounced immediate judgment from God. Many times, we think that we can get away with our disobedience and that God has turned His attention in a different direction. This man presumptuously assumed that God would not punish him. God told this man that a lion would slay him. "The wages of sin is death."
We see the discovery.
“And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him.” The man did not go very far until he came face to face with a lion. The lion found him! The lion is a symbol of Satan. “...As a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan had been watching this man from a distance. At a moment when the man was not expecting it, the lion appeared and confronted him. Disobedience is always a gateway for the lion to find us!
We see the discipline.
“A lion found him, and slew him.” Just as the prophet announced, the disobedient man was found and quickly slain. The Lord allows chastening, or discipline, into the lives of His disobedient children. Discipline is meant to turn us back to God. In some cases, discipline can be fatal. This happened to Dathan, Ananias, Sapphira, and King Saul. What a fear this incident stirred in the lives of those who knew this man. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of a lion encounter. Follow the Lord always, and remember that His commandments are not grievous.
Have an obedient God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalms 40-45