So far in our study, we have reflected on objects that are used as metaphors for God. God has been compared to light, a refuge, water, a rock, fire, a shield, and a strong tower. Today and for the next few days we will examine passages that compare God to an animal.
In Isaiah 31, the prophet was addressing a nation in crisis. The fierce Assyrian army had threatened Judah’s existence. Judah looked to Egypt for an ally, thinking that if they could associate with another powerful nation, they could save themselves. God warns Judah not to be like those who “trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD” (v. 1). Our God is a greater ally than any human army (v. 3).
To drive this point home, God paints a vivid image. Imagine a lion crouched over and defending its prey. Even if a group of shepherds tried to scare the lion away, it is not going anywhere (v. 4). That is how fiercely God will protect Judah. The image of a lion evokes great power and irresistible strength.
We have a bike path by our house with a particular spot where red-winged blackbirds nest. In the spring, when we walk by that area, we are often bombarded by protective blackbird mothers. That is similar to another animal image God uses for Himself here: “Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem” (v. 5).
>> Because God is fiercely powerful and protective of His children, we have no reason to fear. While we may not have an army breathing down our neck, we still worry about things such as the economy, job loss, or cultural change. Take comfort that God is the same today as He was in the past. He shelters and protects His own.
While our bodies may suffer, our souls are secure in You. No physical or spiritual power can cut us off from You. Father, thank You for protecting us like a lion. No evil can claim us, for we are Yours.