To be eaten by a lion would be a terrible thing— the terror of being attacked by a giant cat with sharp claws, the ripping of flesh, aware the entire attack that you might not make it out of the fight alive, but if you do, you will be severely maimed.
Two times in the Bible someone is eaten by a lion. Did you know that? Twice.
“By the word of the Lord, one of the company of the prophets said to his companion, “Strike me with your weapon,” but he refused.
So the prophet said, “Because you have not obeyed the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you.” And after the man went away, a lion found him and killed him. (I Kings 20:35-36)
The next incident is a little more troubling to me. In I Kings 13, the story is told of a prophet of God who is given strict instructions to carry a message to the King then return immediately by a different route without stopping to eat or drink. The said prophet gives his message to the King, then begins his journey home by a different route as he has been instructed in order to obey God. But then, another prophet of God actually comes after the first prophet to trip him up. . .
The man of God said, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. I have been told by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.’ ”
The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’ ” (But he was lying to him.) So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.
This proved to be a TERRIBLE decision. Instead of listening and obeying what God told him directly, the prophet disobeyed God and let another “Prophet of God” tell him what to do, and it ended in disaster. . .
When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him. As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road. . .
I know you are asking yourself—who does that?? Who hears directly from God, and then disobeys? (In case you missed it, disobedience is what gets you eaten by a lion.)
Well, lots of people do it. Every day. Repeatedly. We hear from God and don’t obey. We know what God wants, but we fail to do it or we obey VERY slowly. (As at least one parenting class has said, “Slow obedience is no obedience.”)
Or worse yet, like the second prophet, we let someone “godly” talk us out of what we know God has told us to do.
The disobedience usually ends in a serious maiming or injury, but we still disobey until we are barely limping along.
I have my own terrible, personal story about being eaten by a lion, but this blog is getting too long, so I guess I’ll have to tell you next time. . .