The imagery of a lion is one of power, splendor and majesty. Christ the Godhead is referenced in the Bible as the lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelations 5:5). Often symbolized as a lion in the Bible, this imagery of Christ is intended to communicate his strength, ferocity, leadership, power and majesty. As a symbol, the lion represents rulership, kingship, fierce and powerful. Indeed our God is unquestionably majestic in all his ways.
In Hosea 5:14-15, God speaks judgment against Israel, saying: “For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them. Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face— in their misery they will earnestly seek me.” It is the imagery of God returning to his lair, waiting for us to seek his face. In Jeremiah 25:38 [NIV] which references the impending 70 years of captivity, the prophet portrays an image of God leaving his dwelling place of Jerusalem, thus leaving it exposed and vulnerable to the enemy: “Like a lion he will leave his lair, and their land will become desolate because of the sword of the oppressor and because of the Lord’s fierce anger.” The Psalmist in 76:2 [LEB] says this about God’s dwelling place: “his den has been in Salem, his lair in Zion.”
Without playing too much into the theology of it, I just wanted to play up the imagery of the lion in its lair. The dictionary describes a lair as “a wild animal’s resting place, especially one that is well hidden”; “a secret or private place in which a person seeks concealment or seclusion”; “a place in which to lie or rest”. This is the imagery of a loving lair that I had in mind when I was rebranding this blog – a place of rest, a place of replenishing, refreshing, renewal, rejuvenation, reprogramming, regeneration, restoration… all things that only God can provide. The image of a powerful Godhead as a lion, resplendent in his majesty coming home to his lair is one that fills my heart with out-of-this-world levels of confidence in the majestic power of the God I serve. And when I see Joshua 24:15 gallantly declare “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”, my heart can’t help but echo a similar declaration, for it is my desire that Christ in-dwells in me, in my very heart. And if our havens can become places of refuge and rest, we can build an altar of praise to him.
A lair as a resting place depicts strength, dignity, and all the things a home should reflect, evoking images of warmth, shelter, grounded-ness, roots, safe haven, resting place, belonging, refreshment, renewal, restoration… For truly, home is where the heart is. Which begs the question -where is home for you and I? What makes a home? Is home a place? A person? A thing? With a life as nomad as mine, home for me has hardly ever been a place. On the contrary, it’s always been more a connection, a people, a person, family, friends, relationships, community. As I go about making this new life (new place, new blog, new people), I am making sure that I pay mind to how I am building. It is Paul who tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” I could rush through life and bungle everything, or I can consider my father’s numerous instructions on how to construct strong buildings and heed his directives; I choose the latter as fashioning a loving lair is what I want to invest my time in –a loving home in my heart for my savior, a loving home for my loved ones, a loving space for our community.
Our lives here are temporary, so are our homes. What truly matters in life is beyond this realm of our current reality. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:21). Building on eternal matters is what is worth spending our lives on, counting the cost of following Christ as gain, loosing that which we cannot keep to gain that which we can never loose. Proverbs 24:27 [NIV] tells us: “put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house”, in other words, count the cost. 1 Timothy 4:16 [NLT] tells us “keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.” Constructing our lives carefully around the cross will keep us treading softly through life, never breaking a bruised reed, nor snuffing out a smoldering wick, for these we have been called to tend to (Isaiah 42:1-4 & Matt 12:20).
“These words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). It is my prayer that we all write the word of God on the doorpost of our home, and that as we turn our homes into loving lairs for Christ, may we not forget or overlook each other, even as we make a worthy home for his word in our hearts. This post conclude the introductory series of the new blog name. Until the next blogpost. Cheers, ღ Helena ღ