“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
like a roaring lion
The word “like” introduces an analogy. Peter draws an analogy between the devil and a lion. The devil is like a lion that stalks his prey. The Christian life is like a jungle war.
Peter presents the devil also as a roaring lion. This lion produces a howling or roaring sound. They have extremely powerful voices. The lion uses his roar to frighten his game. By his roar, he immobilizes his victims. His roar is a weapon. What the devil cannot accomplish through allurement, he tries to achieve through dread.
Lions usually weigh near 420 pounds; male lions can weigh over 500 pounds, standing four feet high. They run 50 miles an hour in short bursts. They are entirely unpredictable. Lions will attack for no apparent reason.
Fear will blunt an aggressive Christian life.
A roaring lion intimidates by his roar. The devil intimidates us by fear. He casts fear into weak Christians because that will discourage them from a life of faith. As a lion in the wild chases a herd of gazelles and runs down the weak of the pack, so the devil usually catches weak Christians first because he freezes them in fear. Fear disables us from moving ahead with our Christian walk,
“He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap” (Ecclesiastes 11:4).
But why should the devil intimidate Christians when Christ already defeated him?
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down‘” (Revelation 12:9-10).