Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
On June 20th the Minnesota City of Duluth had a major rainfall.
Understand Duluth sits on Lake Superior. The citizens of that port city are not sissies when it comes to snow, storms, or any other kind of precipitation. Still, nine inches of rain is a lot of H2O.
The disaster was enough to force some people to evacuate their homes. It was enough to flood the zoo. It was enough to release the seals and set free the polar bear.
Now I've never been in a community which had a polar bear running around. I appreciate the mayor's warning residents to stay indoors, but from what I've read there aren't many doors that will stand up against a polar bear when he wants to gain entrance.
This takes me back to the words of St. Peter. The folks of Duluth can understand Peter's point if we rephrase the passage to read "Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring polar bear, seeking someone to devour."
As long as we're at it, you Floridians, how about "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring alligator, seeking someone to devour."
In Colorado, we might suggest a mountain lion, in Montana or Alaska, a grizzly.
Now I don't want anyone to think I wish to play fast and loose with Scripture. I don't. I don't believe in playing with Scripture at all.
Still, it needs to be remembered St. Peter was writing to folks who understood lions. Roaring, hungry lions made them sit up and take notice. The thought of being brunch for a lion would have sent a shiver up their spines.
But most Daily Devotion readers don't have roaring, hungry lions on their block. That is why they read this passage and then, without much thought, continue on.
That's a mistake. God's Word is a wonderfully beautiful, profound Means of Grace. It has the ability to speak to the novice Christian, the experienced veteran, and everyone in between. This is why we need to listen when it speaks.
There's little doubt both the Holy Spirit and St. Peter wanted us to read this passage and develop a reasonable regard toward the devil. They didn't want anyone to think he was a has-been. Far better to recognize that, although Jesus has won the ultimate victory over evil, Satan is still a force to be reckoned with.
Satan, the roaring lion can still do damage to those who aren't sober-minded or vigilant. And so can a polar bear, an alligator, a mountain lion, a grizzly.
So, my friends, read, think and learn.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray You will be with those who are suffering physical tragedies. Help them through; help them recover and rebuild. We also pray for ourselves. You have given us Your Word so we might learn, so we might hear of Your great love and the Savior's sacrifice. May we read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Your words, so we are prepared to face each day as Your redeemed children. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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