WHEN THE LION KING was released in June of 1994, I was expecting our second child and our first was four years old. Our family loved this animated musical, and through the years, we have watched it numerous times. My middle school chorus students even performed a few of the songs for our concert the following year. It is such a good story.
Woven into every story worth telling is the age-old theme of good vs. evil. Evil may win some skirmishes, but ultimately, good always wins the war
Mufasa and his cub son, Simba, come from a long line of lion kings who have ruled the African plains for thousands of years. Their nobility, integrity, and well-earned respect prove why they are worthy to reign over the wild kingdom. In their lineage, though, there’s bad seed. Mufasa’s brother, Scar, is always lurking in the shadows, conniving and deceiving, waiting for just the right moment to overthrow the throne of his brother, the king. He would do anything to satisfy his appetite for position and power, even kill his own brother.
In the end, good triumphs over evil, and Simba, Mufasa’s son, gains his rightful position as The Lion King, but not without some heart-racing close calls.
Did you know there’s a Lion King inside God’s story of redemption in the Bible? Actually, the story involves two lions. These lions are at odds with one another. One is the essence of good and the other of evil.
God vs. Satan. Lion vs. lion.
In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter issues a warning about the evil one:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (ESV).
In Revelation 5:5, John contrastingly exalts the true Lion King:
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” (ESV).
Satan is described as a roaring lion of prey on the prowl. Yet know from Revelation that Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah, ultimately wins the war against the lion of prey. Still, both lions are worth investigating because we can only pay attention to one “roar” at a time.
Satan is roaming the earth seeking whomever he might destroy. This lion isn’t playing; he’s preying on the weak and vulnerable. He is famished and ready to devour as many souls as possible before Christ returns in the clouds to sweep His Bride [the Church] off Her feet.
Peter gives us warning and wise commands when it comes to dealing with this lion: Be clear minded and on constant guard. We never know when the devil is preparing to pounce, and we need to be ready with God’s plan of escape.
The most obvious battle being waged today is over the minds and souls of our children. The lion of prey knows in the end he doesn’t win, but he’s hell-bent on not going down alone. And who are our most vulnerable? The children.
The Lion King is also seeking souls, not to destroy, but to save from eternal death. He’s searching for hearts willing to trust Him completely. This Lion became the Lamb, and willingly laid down His life so we might be set free from the jaws of the lion seeking whom he may devour. The real Lion King paid our debt on His cross, conquering sin and the grave. He is worthy of the title, Lion of Judah, King of kings and Lord of lords. The true Lion King will reign forevermore.
There’s no need for His children to worry and no reason to be afraid. But we must be following in the footsteps of The Lion of Judah; the One that is always nearby, protecting and empowering His children to escape the schemes of the evil one on the prowl. As Timone says, “Hakuna Matata!”