This is Part 6 of 7 parts answering the question, “Are there unseen forces and other reasons God allows suffering?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 7 will be posted tomorrow.
Satan is Like a Roaring Lion, Creating Great Fear in Christians
When I was a child, my father used to wait until it was dark and then he would let out this horrendously loud and frightful roar! The first few times he set us on edge, but then we were ready for it and just laughed, because we knew it was our good father.
There is an unseen and unheard roar that is frightening for most Christians and it comes from Satan himself,
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Pet. 5:8-9 NKJ)
Why does a lion roar? The prophet Amos helps us understand. It’s because the lion has already caught its prey and the roar neutralizes the prey to not escape,
4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Will a young lion cry out of his den, if he has caught nothing?…8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy? (Amos 3:4, 8 NKJ)
If there is no prey, there is no roar. If there is a roar, it is because the prey has been captured and the roar prevents it from running. The same is true spiritually. In the context of 1 Peter 5, Peter noted the responsibilities of church leaders and the rest of each local body. The leadership is to shepherd the flock and they, in turn, are to submit to the leadership. The flock should submit to the vision, teaching and values of the church. This will be seen practically in various church ministries which are established by the elders as the elders cast vision and give direction.
When the flock doesn’t, Satan makes his attack and roars, holding both in his grip. The fear, often caused by suffering, will cause many to focus on escaping the pain, rather than patiently putting their eyes on Jesus and trusting in His deliverance. Instead of waiting on the Lord’s deliverance through whatever the suffering is, how many have cursed God?
Satan prowls about seeking people to devour, but He does that only at the permission of the Lord. The Lord allows much of the temptations and suffering to demonstrate that He is sufficient for those who will trust Him.
Part 7 will be posted tomorrow.