The Roar of the Lion
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
August 5, 2007
Main Passage: Job
I was just a small boy – almost 30 years ago now – I remember traveling
with my family to visit some friends in Ontario. And you know, it’s
strange the things you can remember. I distinctly remember watching
“The Incredible Hulk” on TV for the first time during that trip. And I
became an instant fan of Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. You know, “Don’t
make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
But it was
also on that trip that I remember going to the African Lion Safari on
the outskirts of Hamilton. Have you ever been there? For those of you
who haven’t, let me try to explain it to you. It’s basically a zoo in
reverse. The animals are free; you’re not. They can roam freely within
specific zones on this 750 acre animal reserve. You, on the other hand,
remain in your car and drive through the reserve.
And along the
way you’d be able to observe about 130 different species, including
elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, I remember some baboons sitting on our
car and playing with the aerial… and how we needed a carwash afterward.
There were zebras, and giraffes, and tigers, and of course, the main
attraction… African Lions.
Of course, it’s absolutely essential
that you stay in your vehicle. You can’t even roll the window down.
Actually, back in 1996, one carload of people did that and they got
mauled by tigers. If they had followed the instructions and listened to
the owners of the Safari, there wouldn’t have been a problem. But they
thought they could get away with rolling the windows down and they paid
the price. So if you ever go to the Lion Safari, you’ve got to stay in
your car and keep those windows up and maintain that barrier between
you and the wild animals.
Which means, of course, it’s still a
controlled environment. It’s not like you’re actually interacting with
them in their habitat. Because the truth is, whether you’re seeing the
so called king of the beast at the African Lion Safari or in a zoo or
at the circus or on TV, you really have no concept of what kind of fear
you would experience if you were to encounter one in the wild. Our only
exposure here has been in controlled environments, like the Safari and
like a zoo, and so we’ve forgotten just how dangerous a lion can be.
We’ve diminished the menace. The mighty lion has become a glorified
pet. Not something we are afraid of; just something we are amused by.
just to help you get a little glimpse of what an encounter with a lion
would be like, I want to show you a scene from the movie The Ghost and
the Darkness. And let me warn you, it’s pretty intense. Take a look at
this if you dare…
[VIDEO - The Ghost and the Darkness, 1:36:23-1:39:10]
lion is an incredibly dangerous animal. But in our society, we’ve taken
away the lion’s menace. The only time we see one is in a book, or in a
movie, or on a cartoon. And there’s no fear there. There’s no sense of
danger. We’re just amused by them.
You know, the Bible
describes Satan as being a roaring lion. And I’m afraid we’ve come to
view him the same way. We’ve taken away his menace. The only time we
see him is in a book, or in a movie, or on a cartoon. And there’s no
fear there. There’s no sense of danger. We’re just amused by him. We’ve
forgotten just how dangerous he is.
Maybe we even refuse to
acknowledge his existence. I mean, there are a lot of people who
discount Satan as being just a metaphor. He’s not an actual being, he’s
just the personification of all that is evil. That’s how some people
But I’ve got to tell you, the Bible talks about a
spiritual realm that exists along side of our physical realm. And it’s
occupied by spiritual beings, including Satan. The Bible describes an
actual spiritual being called Satan, and we can see his handiwork all
around us. He’s a spiritual being who interacts with this physical
universe, and it’s his primary mission to pull you as far away from God
as possible. We’re warned…
1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like
a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
I’m afraid that in our view, Satan has lost his teeth. We think we can
domesticate him. We can toy with him, we can entertain him, without
even realizing the danger we’re in.
This is the first Sunday of
August, and all this month I’m going to be speaking on topics that you
have requested. And as you may have already guessed, one of the topics
I’ve been asked to speak about is Satan. And so this morning, that’s
what we’re going to do. We’re going to talk about Satan, we’re going to
talk about the danger he presents, and we’re going to talk about what
his existence means for a Christ-follower. Okay?
So let’s start out by just talking about who he is. Who is he? This is
in your notes…
Rundown on Satan:
Satan is a spiritual being who rebelled against God.
Isaiah 14:12-15 (NLT)
you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You
have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of
the world. For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set
my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods
far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like
the Most High.’ Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the
dead, down to its lowest depths.”
the Bible isn’t entirely clear on Satan’s origin, but generally we
believe that Satan was an angel, perhaps the highest ranking of all the
angels. And the most beautiful. He was even given the name Lucifer
(actually, Hillel), which means “light bearer” or “shining star”.
was the pinnacle of creation… but pride got the best of him. And he
decided that he wanted to overthrow God and take His place. And so he
staged a coup, and convinced one-third of all the angels to side with
Well, he soon discovered that the Creator will always be
more powerful than the created. Even the highest of all the created
angels. So he was defeated, and he was expelled from Heaven along with
all the angels who had sided with him in the rebellion.
his name has been changed. He’s no longer called the shining star. Now
he goes by several names, such as Satan which means “adversary”, or
“devil” which means deceiver, he’s called the father of lies, he’s
called the Evil One. He’s the accuser, he’s the slanderer. He’s the old
serpent or the great dragon. He’s the prince of evil and the angel of
death. Not the kind of guy you want dating your daughter.
even now, he continues his attempt to take over. So he’s constantly
fighting against God and the people God loves. And that includes you
That’s going on right now. But it won’t go on forever. Because…
Satan will ultimately be punished by God and condemned to Hell.
it surprise you to learn that Satan is not currently in Hell? That’s
not his home. In fact, right now, he’s the prince of this world. This
is his home. But Revelation 20 prophesies about the day when Satan will
be thrown into Hell, along with all the angels who chose to follow him,
and all the people who choose to follow Him, too.
Revelation 20:10 (NLT)
the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of
burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they
will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
day is coming. But for now, Satan is like a convicted criminal waiting
for his sentencing to be carried out. It is going to happen, but it’s
going to happen in God’s timing.
It hasn’t happened yet. Which
means that Satan is still a clear and present danger for you and for
me. He’s a threat we need to take seriously. And we need to take him
Satan does wield some power… for now.
[PowerPoint – comic character Hot Stuff]
Look… when this is your image of Satan, he’s not all that scary is he?
the truth is, Satan is not to be toyed with, he’s not to be ignored,
he’s not to be downplayed. Because he does have power and he is
Back in 1971 in the state of Pennsylvania, a man
named Gerald Mayo understood this. And he actually filed a civil rights
claim with the United States district court against who he identified
as Satan and his staff. True story. Mayo claimed that on several
occasions Satan had caused him misery and pain, had made unwarranted
threats, had infringed on the will of plaintiff, and that Satan had
placed deliberate obstacles in his path in order to cause his downfall.
And so Satan had deprived him of his constitutional rights.
know how it turned out? Well, the court first of all wasn’t sure it had
any jurisdiction in the matter. Then they suggested that it might be
better if a class action suit was brought against Satan. But the court
eventually dismissed the case because the plantiff didn’t tell the
court how to locate Satan in order to serve him a summons.
the case was dismissed. Which is too bad – I would have like to have
seen who would be the Devil’s Advocate. But in all this, Gerald Mayo
understood something very important. He understood that Satan does have
power. He has the power to interact with this world and interfere in
In the book of Job, it shows us that Satan is able to
exert influence over governments. He holds some power over the forces
of nature. He has the ability to cause sickness and disease. He can
exercise some control over those who are far from God. He does have
That’s shown in the Old Testament. Let’s jump to the New
Testament. Do you remember when Satan tempted Jesus? Satan promised
Jesus that if Jesus would just bow down and worship him, he would give
Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Well, that’s a pretty bold claim.
But Jesus didn’t dismiss that claim. He didn’t look at Satan and say,
“Yeah, right,” as if Satan wouldn’t be able to come through on that
promise. Because Jesus knew that Satan does have some power… for now.
me remind you that Satan is incredibly dangerous. He’s more powerful
than you or me, and he has an army of fallen angels at his command.
Plus, he has a full arsenal of weapons.
Think about some of his
weapons. There are the obvious ones of temptation and greed and pride
and hopelessness and despair. There’s hatred and bitterness. There’s
the occult, there’s Wicca, there’s fortune telling, there’s astrology.
Every once in a while someone will find out that Shera and I are
expecting, they’ll ask when the baby’s due, and then they’ll tell me
sign of the zodiac that would be. And I cringe every time. Because
that’s delving into some spiritual territory that God has declared off
And Satan has other weapons, too. One of his greatest
weapons is complacency. Because if he can make us complacent (or smug
or lazy) about our faith, then we’re no longer a threat to him. But
when we’re on fire for God, that’s when Satan is going to throw
everything at us. Charles Spurgeon said it this way…
“The best evidence of God’s presence is the Devil’s growl.”
~ Charles Spurgeon
is another weapon. For thousands of years, people have been replacing
God with religious systems. The Pharisees, for example… they were very
religious people, and they were the very people who gave Jesus the most
trouble. I think that’s still true today. There are very religious
people today who have no idea what it means to be a Christ-follower. In
fact, in Matthew 13, it talks about how Satan intentionally places
counterfeit Christians or corrupted Christians Christians-in-name-only
among the people of God, like weeds among good plants.
there are lots of weapons at Satan’s disposal. He is powerful. And the
truth is, we can’t stand against him. We just don’t have what it takes.
But the good news is, God is infinitely more powerful than Satan. You
and I don’t have what it takes, but God does.
Satan is powerful, but God is all-powerful.
Satan gets around, but God is all-present.
Satan is pretty intelligent and is quite a schemer, but God is
Satan has nothing on God. And it goes beyond that. God actually limits
what Satan can do.
God limits what Satan can do.
is neither omnipotent nor free to do everything he pleases. Prince of
the world he may be, but the Prince of Peace has come and dealt him a
~ Harold Lindsell
You know, if Satan had his
way, he’d destroy everything and everyone. He’s declared war on God,
and he wants to demolish everything that God has created. And if God
permitted him, he’d wreck havoc as much as he possibly could.
God has intervened, and He has placed limitations on what Satan can do.
It’s as if God has taken one of those ankle bracelets that Martha
Stewart and Lindsay Lohan have been sporting lately, attached it to
Satan’s ankle, and warned him, “Don’t leave town.” He’s told him,
“Satan, your final sentencing is still to come, but for now Satan, you
play by my rules. I set your limitations. I say what you can do and
what you can’t do.” That’s what God has told Satan, and you can see
this in the very first chapter of the book of Job in the Old Testament.
We looked at these verses earlier this morning…
Job 1:6-7 (NLT)
day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before
the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. Where have you come
from?” the Lord asked Satan.
Satan appeared before God in Heaven. But it’s not like Satan had free
reign over the place. It’s not as if he came and went as he pleased. He
was obligated to appear before God to give an account of what he’d been
up to. Even as a fallen angel, he was still ultimately under the
authority of God.
So Satan reported before God, and they got
around to discussing a godly, righteous man named Job. Satan had wanted
to go after Job for some time, and he wanted to cause him a lot of
turmoil in order to get him to turn his back on God. But God had
protected Job, and Satan had not been able to penetrate the defenses.
Satan challenged God to remove the hedge of protection that was around
Job and then see what would happen. And God agreed. But Satan couldn’t
do a thing to Job until God allowed it to happen.
course, begs the question: “Why would God let Satan do anything?”
That’s a pretty good question, and I don’t claim to have the perfect
answer for it. But I can suggest to you a couple of possibilities.
of all, in a backward kind of way, God actually uses Satan to
strengthen our faith. Because when Satan works against us, we have a
choice to make. Will we remain faithful to God, our will we turn our
backs on Him and follow in the way of Satan? It’s a test we all face.
Adam and Eve faced that test, and they failed. Job faced the test, and
he passed with flying colours. When you face that test, how will you
do? Because it’s going to happen. And it’s going to happen time and
time again. You will be tested. And you need to remember that it’s a
necessary thing. The testing of your faith is critical to your
James 1:2-4 (NLT)
brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an
opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested,
your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your
endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing
So by allowing Satan to do his thing in a limited kind of way, God is
actually using him to help us develop spiritually.
perhaps a second reason that God allows Satan to do anything is because
otherwise we might become full of ourselves and prideful and think
we’re fully self-sufficient. But when we face an attack from Satan, we
quickly learn that we really do need God, and we need His work in our
So Satan does have power, but ultimately, he himself is under God’s
power. Which means…
Satan cannot defeat a Christ-follower… unless you let him.
Bible teaches us that God does not allow us to be tempted or tried more
than we can bear. Instead, God limits what Satan can do and provides us
with a way out so we don’t have to be defeated. We can experience
victory over everything Satan throws at us. But, if you choose to face
Satan on your own and ignore God’s help, then you will be defeated.
We started out here by talking about how Satan is like a roaring lion.
Do you know how far away you can hear a lion roar?
km (5 miles) away. That means, you know when he’s coming. You hear him
while he’s still a ways off, and you have time to escape.
(From The Pet Show with Warren Eikstein)
1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like
a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Devil prowls around like a roaring lion… you can hear him up to 8 km
away. He can’t blindside you if you’re paying attention at all. So when
you hear him coming, don’t hesitate… don’t stick around to see what
happens… don’t see how close you can get to the fire without getting
Let me explain it this way. You know what things
tempt you. You also know what situations you get yourself in that make
you more vulnerable. You know the places you go, the things you do, the
people you’re with. You know how tired you get and how that lowers your
defenses. You know when temptation’s near. You know when your faith is
vulnerable. So get out of there. It’s like going grocery shopping when
you’re hungry: not a good idea. So get out of there.
Christ-follower, the only power Satan has over you is the power you
give him. Because God makes it possible for you to withstand each and
every attack, and to escape safely.
James 4:7 (NLT)
humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from
you catch that? Do you see the promise? When you humble yourself before
God and resist the attack of the Devil, you will be left unharmed. How
is this possible? Because…
1 John 4:4 (CEV)
Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world.