Lions and Lambs
Several days ago, we entered the month of March. It’s difficult to believe that we are already into the third month of the year and other than a little snow, we have pretty much made it through the winter unscathed. I happened to be watching the weather report this morning and the weatherman put up a list of snow falls that we have had during the month of March throughout the time records have been kept. Most of the occurrences have been in the first several days of the month, although there are reports of snow as late as April in Indianapolis.
And while we look at April showers that bring May flowers, I remembered that as a kid, I was always reminded by my grandmother that if March comes in like a lion then it will go out like a lamb. The idea behind this is quite simple. The beginning of March usually signals the early stages of spring, but anything can still happen. Officially, spring doesn’t start until much later in the month, but the thought is that in another 30 days or so, the weather should be moderating and the “lamb” should appear by the end of the month. This signals the advent of April and the showers that ultimately usher in the flowers of May.
I also remember as a child that I was taught that in the future, the lion would lay down with the lamb; and that is how we would know that the kingdom of God was finally emerging and the endtimes were at hand. I never thought much about that until I went to seminary and learned more about theology. But I know that today, if you put a lamb and a lion together, they wouldn’t lay down next to each other. The lamb wouldn’t be long for this world. But many strange things will happen as we get closer to the eternal reign of Christ.
The Scripture is full of information about what will happen when the end is near. In fact, the prophet Isaiah was quite emphatic about what will occur. And there is a lot of talk in his prophecies about various kinds of animals, so that is where I went on my search to learn about the lion laying down with the lamb. You know what? It turns out that there isn’t any specific reference in the Scripture to the lion and the lamb. Close, but as we used to say when we were kids, but no cigar…
The verse for tonight is from Is. 6:6-8, the very verses I mentioned above about all the animals and how they relate to one another. The prophet tells us that “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.”
Now in fairness to those who cling to the idea that the lion will lay down with the lamb, in a sense of the usage, a “yearling” could conceivably be a young sheep, from 12-24 months old, but we don’t know what type of animal Isaiah is referring to for sure. In any event, notice that unlikely animals will get along and be peaceful with each other. We even see that a child will be near the cobra’s nest, apparently without danger.
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to all get along. Not only in the endtimes but right now as well. My prayer is that you will do your part to live in peace and try to transcend the daily issues that divide us – in the corporate world and in our personal lives as well. So here’s to a peaceful month – may it go out as a lamb, and may the lamb of God shower with a peace that comes from knowing Him. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…