The lions that are believed to have escaped from the world famous Kruger National Park, which is the country's biggest wildlife reserve. There has been at least one confirmed sighting by a local resident, who spotted the enormous cats on a road in Komatipoort, a town near the park, on Monday morning.
Park officials do not yet know how the animals got off the preserve, but they believe the cats are now holed up in sugar cane farms in an area that has thick fog in the mornings. There is also growing concern that the lions may have split up into two or more groups.
Naturally, local residents are being strongly urged not stop to take photographs of the lions. As wild animals, they are extremely dangerous. Indeed, they are thought to have already killed and consumed at least one domestic cow.
Of course, this last admonition from park authorities should be self-evident. But sadly, it seems, we live in a day and age where a great many people have lost all sense of appreciation for the danger presented by wild animals.
In our modern world, where we have very little interaction with such majestic predators, we have allowed ourselves to be deluded into thinking that they are somehow akin to mere housecats. We are so accustomed to being taken into their private worlds via wildlife documentary cameras that we have lost any healthy sense of fear.
Proof of this is seen in the all too familiar reports of people get too close to large predators and then paying the price. Whether it be golfers encountering alligators in south Florida or tourists straying too close to feeding bears in Alaska, the outcome is all too often tragic. I certainly hope any such misfortune does not unfold in South Africa.
As a Pastor, upon reading this story, I could not help but think of what the Bible admonishes in the fifth chapter, eight verse of the Apostle Peter’s First New Testament Letter: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
The good people of Komatipoort, South Africa have been duly warned of the danger lurking among them. One can only hope they will heed this admonition. But so have we, my friend. For while we may not face any immediate physical danger from any actual earthly predator, we most certainly face an onslaught from an even more dangerous spiritual marauder.
In light of this, we would do well to heed Peter’s admonition. I pray that we will!
NEWS ITEM SOURCE: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/05/09/5-lions-escape-from-south-african-wildlife-park.html.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/1_peter/5.htm.