“He’ll be coming and going” he had said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down–and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”
― C.S. Lewis,
Revelation 5:5 (ESV)
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
When a lion is mentioned in Scripture, 141 times in the ESV, it usually refers to an enemy of God’s people. Whether it is in reference to the psalmist’s enemies, Daniel in the den of lions, or perhaps more noticeably referring to the Adversary, the Devil, roaming about like a roaring lion seeking whom he shall devour.
Yet, there are a few verses that make reference to the Lord as a lion! Genesis 49 records Jacob’s blessing to his son Judah by referring to him as a “lion’s cub” and then in Hosea 5:14 the Lord is likened to a lion that will tear his own people Israel apart in his wrath!
What is interesting is that Judah is the tribe from which the Lord Jesus was born and Judah was promised by his father Jacob an eternal rule, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.“
This is where the Revelation passage comes in. The scepter is in the hand of the Lion of Judah, the Root of David, and he has conquered his enemies. By the end of John’s vision of the last things, Jesus has brought all people into submission. Every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! The prophecy of Jacob will come true.
But, the Lord is not like a tame lion. No, he does as he pleases, for “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” (Ps. 115:3). Christ is a more powerful lion than our Adversary, the Devil! When his time comes, the Devil shall be cast into the lake of fire forever (Rev. 20:10). The Devil will no more be able to roam about seeking whom to devour because the Lion of Judah will finally devour him!
Our Lord is not tame. He is not a circus lion that man can whip into obedience. He is not a genie in a lamp that we can rub the right way and order him around. No, our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases! Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!