IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: THE YOUNG LION AND THE DRAGON SHALL THOU TRAMPLE UNDER FEET
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”
This Psalm is without a title, and we have no means of ascertaining either the name of its writer, or the date of its composition, with certainly. The Jewish doctors consider that when the author’s name is not mentioned we may assign the Psalm to the last named writer; and, if so, this is another Psalm of Moses, the man of God. Many expressions here used are similar to those of Moses in Deuteronomy, and the internal evidence, from the peculiar idioms, would point towards him as the composer. The continued lives of Joshua and Caleb, who followed the Lord fully, make remarkably apt illustrations of this Psalm, for they, as a reward for abiding in continued nearness to the Lord, lived on “amongst the dead, amid their graves.”
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder– Thou shalt be safe among dangers, as if the rage of the lion were restrained, and he became like a lamb, and as if the poisonous tooth of the serpent were extracted. Compare Mark 16:18. The word used here to denote the “lion” is a poetic term, not employed in prose. The word rendered “adder” is, in the margin, asp. The Hebrew word – פתן pethen – commonly means viper, asp, or adder. See Job 20:14, note; Job 20:16, note; compare Psalm 58:4; Isaiah 11:8. It may be applied to any venomous serpent.
The young lion – The “young” lion is mentioned as particularly fierce and violent. See Psalm 17:12.
Whatever happens, nothing shall hurt the believer; though trouble and affliction befall, it shall come, not for his hurt, but for good, though for the present it be not joyous but grievous. Those who rightly know God, will set their love upon him. They by prayer constantly call upon him. His promise is, that he will in due time deliver the believer out of trouble, and in the mean time be with him in trouble. The Lord will manage all his worldly concerns, and preserve his life on earth, so long as it shall be good for him. For encouragement in this he looks unto Jesus. He shall live long enough; till he has done the work he was sent into this world for, and is ready for heaven. Who would wish to live a day longer than God has some work to do, either by him or upon him? A man may die young, yet be satisfied with living. But a wicked man is not satisfied even with long life. At length the believer’s conflict ends; he has done for ever with trouble, sin, and temptation.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion — The lion shall lie prostrate at thy feet, and thou shalt securely put thy feet upon his neck, as the Israelites did upon the necks of the Canaanitish kings, Joshua 10:24. The young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample, &c. — By which he figuratively understands all pernicious creatures, though never so strong, and fierce, and subtle, and all sorts of enemies. “The fury and venom of our spiritual enemies,” especially, “are often portrayed by the natural qualities of lions and serpents.” And it is observable, that when the seventy disciples returned to Christ with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us through thy name, he answered them in the metaphorical language of this Psalm, Behold I give unto you power to tread on scorpions and serpents, &c. A promise this, which, in part, at least, belongs to all his faithful servants, whom through grace, he makes more than conquerors in all their conflicts with the same adversaries; enabling them to resist the devil, as St. Peter exhorts, steadfast in the faith; or bruising Satan under their feet, as St. Paul expresses it. We have need, however, to pray “for courage to resist the lion’s rage, and wisdom to elude the serpent’s wiles.”
God helps us tread on our spiritual lions and serpents
We may encounter spiritual dangers, too, including the metaphoric lions, cobras, young lions and serpents listed in Psalm 91:13.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder.” Over force and fraud shalt thou march victoriously; bold opponents and treacherous adversaries shall alike be trodden down. When our shoes are iron and brass lions and adders are easily enough crushed beneath our heel. “The young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” The strongest foe in power, and the most mysterious in cunning, shall be conquered by the man of God. Not only from stones in the way, but from serpents also, shall we be safe. To men who dwell in God the most evil forces become harmless, they wear a charmed life, and defy the deadliest ills. Their feet come into contact with the worst of foes, even Satan himself nibbles at their heel, but in Christ Jesus they have the assured hope of bruising Satan under their feet shortly. The people of God are the real “George and the dragon,” the true lion kings and serpent tamers. Their dominion over the powers of darkness makes them cry, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy word.”
And what is the answer to overcoming these three formidable creatures? “Dwelling in the secret place of the most high,” says Psalm 91. It’s a relationship with God that is your assurance against the dragons, the serpents, or the lions of life. God is your place of refuge, a place of security to which you can run when you are challenged by the lion, stung by the serpent, or threatened by the dragon. David wrote, “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5) Notice the verse says, “in the day of trouble.” The God of the Bible knows we are going to need Him and He waits for us.
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