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Year of the Tiger

The Bible does not mention tigers. (Except in The Message version in the Book of James, in a section about taming the tongue; but there, the tiger reference is mere poetic license and not literal Greek text.) Tigers were not native to the people of the Middle East. Though I wonder if someone might have brought a tiger to King Solomon at the zenith of his reign. The Bible does however make many references to big cats, and especially to lions.

The tiger in the Chinese year is meant to signify power and especially boldness; which the Bible does illustrate often in its reference to lions. For example, in the Book of Proverbs (28:1): “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” The proverb describes the wretchedness of being continually hampered by a guilty conscious; as distinct from one whose conscience is carefree, and who can live with an untroubled heart.

The righteous in the Bible are not people who are perfect, but simply ordinary people who want to live God’s way, and choose so to do. And who in this year, where fear abounds, would not wish to live more boldly? But the pathway to boldness is not a claim made by matching the year of my birth, nor pretending to a personality that I do not have. But to choose the paths of God, and to live in the strength of Judah’s Lion.

DM 27th January 2022


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