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Discovery Magazine 8/1/2000

Wisdom's Corner: Don't go Near the Lion's Den

by  Mark McWhorter

Back during Old Testament times, there were many lions living in Palestine. They can be seen in lots of drawings and carvings that have been found by archaeologists. Sometimes the lions are pictured being hunted. Many rulers back then enjoyed hunting lions. Sometimes the lions are shown killing and eating other animals.

The lions that lived in Palestine were the Asian or Persian variety of lion. These differed from African lions in having a shorter mane, and usually they were smaller.

Most people think of a cave when you mention ''lion's den." But many times the Persian lion made its home in a thicket of trees. If you were on the outside, you could not tell that a lion lived there.

The lion could stay in its den and wait for an animal to come close by. The lion then could jump out of its den and kill the unsuspecting animal. The lion was able to get many meals this way. Of course, sometimes it was necessary to go hunting for a meal. But if enough animals wandered by the den, the lion could eat and be full without having to go too far.

God says that evil people can be like this. They will stay in their dens and wait for an unsuspecting person to come close by. If a person comes close, he will jump out and take him by surprise. God, speaking through David, warned us about such an evil person: ''He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den. He lies in wait to catch the poor. He catches the poor when he draws him into his net" (Psalm 10:9).

You must be very careful at times. A situation may look very innocent. You may think that you are safe, and that no one bad is around. But the evil person is just waiting for you to come within reach. And when you do, he will leap out to get you.

The best way to be on guard for evil people is to study the Bible. In His Word, God tells many true stories about individuals who got too close to the ''lion's den." From reading those stories, you can learn how to avoid bad situations. Also, it is good to listen to your parents and other people who have the wisdom to tell you what not to do, and where not to go.

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