March 16, 2017
Beyond the Lion’s Claws
David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. – 1 Samuel 17:37
What would you do if, before your proposal to marry was approved, you had to kill a lion? Could you search for and overcome a lion with only a spear and a sword? Like many men, I tell my beloved wife that if this were the prerequisite, I probably would have remained single!
The Masai are an indigenous African group living in Kenya and Tanzania. Traditionally, for a Masai man to marry, he had to first kill a lion. This act was considered proof of his manhood and ability to protect his future wife. After such an act of courage, his future in-laws would give their daughter to this warrior.
Marriage was extremely important to Masai men because, in their culture, having a wife was only one of the many benefits that came with the social “package” of marriage. In many African cultures, one could own property after marriage, could participate in the decision-making process that oversees the welfare of the entire community, and could be considered for and elected to leadership positions. And the most significant reason for marriage was perpetuation of the family name.
Yet, there was an obstacle standing between a Masai man and all of those benefits: a lion. How was it possible that the majority of men in that group were able to accomplish such a daunting task? With unimpaired vision of life after marriage, a Masai man paid no attention to the claws and snarling teeth of a four-hundred-pound lion. The thought of being pounced on was replaced with the image of taking the dead lion to the in-laws and being received ceremoniously. He visualized victory, not defeat.
Think of David and Goliath. David did not dwell on his youth, lack of military training, or inferior weapons consisting of a sling and five stones. He had faith in God and His ability to do the impossible. The trained Israelite army saw a giant who was too big to fight, but David saw a God who was too big to lose.
Do you feel overwhelmed by something God has asked of you? Having the right vision overshadows inadequacies related to skills, resources, and abilities. If we seek God’s vision for our lives, He will help us overcome the lions that would keep us from receiving His blessing.