The Lions’ Sacrifice
Our mission completed, we knew it was time to return to our own time through the Mountain of Destiny. For a long time we walked in silent contemplation along the road as we headed back to the Mountain of Gaash.
It occurred to me that both judges, Samson and Samuel, had been born from barren mothers. Their barren condition was part of their intercession for the unfruitful nation, and as they overcame through prayer, they brought forth deliverance. Both mothers had prayed, and God had heard the cries of their grief-filled hearts. Both were born out of bitterness, like Mary, whose name was derived from the word marah, “bitterness.”
As we neared Beth-horon, our lion friends stopped and said to us, “This is as far as we can go with you. There are towns ahead, and the Israelites would not understand our friendship if they saw us walking in agreement. We must now return and go our way, for our Creator has given us another path in life.”
“Yes,” I said, “I understand. It is time for us to return to the future, so that we may give our report to those in our time. But I also have a word from the Creator to give to you.”
“What is that?” the lioness asked.
“You have seen,” Sipporah interjected, “how the love of our heavenly Father shined forth over Manoah and Naamah when they offered that which was dearest to them. Having no children of their own, they loved that lamb more than anything in the world, and yet they were willing to give it up for the sake of the promise that was given to them. Their sacrifice came from pure hearts, and their heavenly Father felt the pain in their love.”
“Yes,” said the lioness, “love is vulnerable, but strong. Falling in love brings a piece of heaven to earth. We do not die in order to go to heaven; we are born of love in heaven and are sent to bring His presence—His love—to the earth. Love, in fact, proves our origin, showing that we are not of the earth. Sometimes death breaks the bonds of love; at other times death seals those bonds with life and strength. The awfulness of sin is seen when we look death in its face, but death is also the door leading to the path of life. Once Earthyman sinned, there was no way to return to life without death.”
“A sword will pierce even your own soul,” Sipporah said to her. 91 “You too will bear a son who, in his death, will prophesy of the great Lion who will take away the sin of the world and who will be the Door of Life for all men. The prophesied son of Manoah and Naamah will be the judge who kills your son, 92 and though it will be painful to you, his death will prophesy of great things for generations yet to come. Many will honor your son as a forerunner of that great Lion.”
The lioness looked at her mate, and the lion comforted her, nose to nose. “Be it done to me according to your word,” she said solemnly, with a hint of sadness. For a moment the two lions gazed into each other’s eyes and contemplated the cost of their divine calling. It was important, they knew, that they should be in agreement with the will of their Creator, for pain that is imposed against one’s will lacks meaning and spiritual value.
Then the lioness looked up and began to sing in a broken voice. I immediately recognized the song, for my mother had written it down and had taught it to me when I was a child.
You cannot out-give God;
He’ll always do much more
Than you could ever ask or think or know.
Give, and you will be given
His blessing free from heaven,
Pressed down and running over He’ll bestow.
I understood then that my mother had heard the voice of the lioness from afar while she was caught up in a dream. She had been inspired to write it down and teach it to her own children. No doubt, too, the lioness would teach it to her anointed son as a reminder that no one who has ever given up any good thing as an offering to God will fail to be blessed abundantly above all that he could ask or think or know.
“Well, friends,” I said, “it is time for us to part. We will see you again in the house of our Father.”
“Be blessed,” the lion replied. Turning, the lion and lioness walked back slowly along the road from which we had come.
“I wonder if we shall see them again, that is, before the end of time,” Sipporah observed.
“We may,” I said. “One never knows the direction that our Father’s path will take.”
- Luke 2:35
- Judges 14:5, 6