“Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom.”
1 Kings 10:20
These statues had to be remarkable. They seemed to stand guard, everyone who entered had to pass by them. Symmetrically and aesthetically, they would’ve been placed six on the right and six on the left. Each lion was placed at the end of the step. Over the centuries, lions are a wonderful symbol of sovereignty , and in them, like nothing else, we can hold concepts of strength, dignity and royalty.
Lions are emblematic of ‘rootedness’ and stability. Those who ‘wear the lion’ are intentionally connecting to this ‘strength’ and are stating they admire and respect all that the lion represents. King Solomon intentionally chose the lion to guide the kingdom and give direction.
Lions cannot be domesticated. They serve no one. They cannot be made tame or docile. Being carnivorous their appetites are something to be aware of. (Lions have a tendency to be a tad irrational when hungry.) But in spite of this they are amazing animals. Fierce and intense, when they need to be, they watch over each other. They do not mingle with other species of animals. They are set apart.
For the Christian believer, there is a definite ‘lion connection’. We know Jesus as ‘the Lion of the tribe of Judah’, (Rev. 5:5). His majesty and power have been intentionally referred to by believers throughout the centuries. Jesus exhibits all the good attributes about lions, and none of the bad.
I wonder where the lions are? Where are those who would stand against the evil we see today? John, the Baptist stood in the light, and he would not take a step back. We see him boldly confronting the wickedness of his day, and in it all, he would not bend; and yet it seems that’s what others thought he should do.
The lions, where are they? There is a boldness that is missing in our churches. It seems as if the lions on the front steps have been taken from us. We haven’t even noticed, but they are not there anymore. Even if the lions were returned to us, there would be a whole scale rejection of such fanaticism. Lions are simply not ‘in style’ for the modern American believer. Lions defy so much of the protocol and etiquette of this present moment. They are simply not ‘politically correct.”
But what will we do without the lions? Their absence may seem somewhat minor. We don’t need them to give us authority or moral courage, after all we really should do this on our own. But we must receive a boldness and decisiveness from the Holy Spirit. He has the ability that we need to follow Him. We need men and women to live their lives as ‘spiritual’ lions.