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R&V In the Word: When He Roars

Image: Laura Seaman

Read Hosea 11

The people will end up following God.

    I will roar like a lion—

Oh, how I’ll roar!

    My frightened children will come running from the west.

Like frightened birds they’ll come from Egypt,

    from Assyria like scared doves.

I’ll move them back into their homes.”

    God’s Word!

Hosea 11:10-12 MSG

Have you ever heard a lion roar? That rumble can resonate for miles. It rivals chainsaws and motorcycles. It’s designed to get your attention.

But why do lions roar? And why would God compare himself to a lion?

According to the Cleveland Zoological Society, “Male lions will use their roar to scare off intruders and warn the pride of potential danger. It’s also a show of power among other males.”

God will roar to scare off intruders. Maybe this is the spidey-sense you get when something in your gut tells you it isn’t safe here. You are God’s precious child. His love and compassion enfolds you and protects you. God’s roar is his faithfulness, “…He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NASB).

God will roar to warn us about potential danger. I’ve heard God “roar” twice in my life. The first time, I was about to make a horrible mistake, and God knew I didn’t have it in me to flee. The audible whisper of the authoritative voice of God is all that the human heart surrendered to Christ can handle. When God roars, you obey.

God will roar to show his power. The second time I heard God’s roar, it was in response to the other gods I had returned to, again, the gods of security outside of Christ, the gods that promised something other than the joy and freedom Christ had given me. Sometimes the allure of the other gods is more than God will tolerate, and so he roars.

God is too big for us to ever fathom. Thankfully, God gave us similes and metaphors as a way for us “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18).

In the book of Hosea, God’s love for us is constant, faithful, unconditional, and strong, even when we keep turning to other lovers and other gods. God longs for us to seek after our One True Love, and even when we don’t, God seeks after us

God roars like a lion to protect us. God roars like a lion to remind us that we are his. God roars like a lion to remind us who he is.

When he roars, we will come running. 

And he will welcome us home.

Points of Reflection

  1. What moments in your life have felt like God has needed to roar to get your attention?
  2. How does the image of God roaring like a lion make you feel?

For the Kids

  1. What do you think it means for God to roar like a lion?
  2. Based on today’s reading, what do you think God is like?


Lions are listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. In some regions of Africa, lions are considered “critically endangered” because their populations are plummeting at an unprecedented rate. Our daily habits and consumer choices have a ripple effect, reaching all the way around the globe. Besides making donations toward lion conservation projects, you can make a difference for all creatures great and small by supporting sustainable agriculture, conserving water, reducing meat consumption, and adopting other sustainable consumer practices, all of which care for creation locally while impacting biodiversity globally.


The metaphor of God as lion is a central image in The Chronicles of Narnia. If you haven’t read this classic series by C.S. Lewis, now is the time to add it to your reading list. 

If you’d like a little hair-raising (and tear jerking?) example of what it might look like when God roars, here are all of the roars of Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia movies:

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