1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
I have this week had a sobering reminder of these words. A servant of the Lord has been brutally attacked and barely escaped in time to save his life. How did it happen? Why did it happen? I believe the verse at hand provides some insight into those questions.
This is a word that literally means to abstain from wine. It implies the need to be discreet. We must be thinking clearly. Wine blurs the judgment and compromises the discernment. To be sober is to have clear judgment and uncompromising discernment.
This is a word that literally means to keep awake, to watch. It implies the need to be alert. We must not allow ourselves the luxury of slipping into the nether world of drowsiness.
The word "because" means a reason is forthcoming. There is a reason we are to be both sober and vigilant. It is the reason that should provide a sense of urgency to the exhortation.
We have an adversary. We have one who opposes us. We have one who stands against us. We have an enemy. If an enemy is afoot sobriety and vigilance is certainly in order.
It is not an unnamed adversary. It is the devil. It is a spiritual adversary. It is a spiritual warfare. We are weakened in our defense when we underestimate the ability and power of the wicked one. The devil is a murder and has been so from the beginning. He is a liar and the father of it. He is a deceiver. He is the declared enemy of all that is holy, pure, righteous, godly, and just. He has set himself to oppose God and consequently opposes all those who align themselves with God. He never raises the white flag of surrender. He is relentless. He is brutal. He is cunning. He is a destroyer. He takes no prisoners. He is a skilled warrior with six millennia of experience. He knows "his doom is sure, for one little word will fell him". So he wages war with wild abandon. He fights as one who has nothing to lose. He abides by no rules of engagement. His is a scorched earth policy.
as a roaring lion
He is a predator. He is especially attracted to the weak and young. His only objective is to satisfy his appetite with the spiritual destruction of the children of the King. He stalks. He waits. He watches. He hunts. He crouches. He springs from the tall grass and is upon his prey before they realize what is happening. He has them by the throat and their very spiritual life is being squeezed from them. He is about to feast on that one who was not sober, who was not vigilant. Unless the "man of God's own choosing" comes to their aid they will shortly be laying lifeless and brutalized on the parched plain of temptation, under the searing sun of fleshly lusts.
And he does. He is. He will. At this very minute he may be crouching down in the tall grass of your life waiting ever so patiently for you to move just a bit closer. Come on a little more, a little more, come on...........GOTCHA!! And all the fiends of hell rejoice. They feast on the spiritual carcass of a believer who was not sober, who was not vigilant. He is walking about. He is looking for opportunity. He is seeking to move you in his direction. He stays downwind so as not to be detected. He moves slowly, cautiously, patiently, getting closer and closer. Waiting for the time when you are distracted, inattentive and then when you least expect it he will be upon you. In the struggle will you have the presence of mind and/or the ability to extract your sword from the sheath and dispatch this vile, treacherous, enemy. And why, why was the sword ever sheathed to begin with???? You were not sober, you were not vigilant. Now, you are in a struggle for your spiritual survival.
seeking whom he may devour
Why is it that modern Christianity has transformed the battleground into a playground? Instead of soldiers we are turning out clowns who think it is all about a smile and having fun. While we play he devours and we are in such a state spiritually that when we see the carnage we think it is part of the game. We fail to realize having dispatched one playmate he will be seeking others whom he can devour. Because we have been conditioned to play we have been rendered defenseless. When it comes time to fight and play the part of Mr. Braveheart we will find we have spent far too much time in Vanity Fair to understand the nature of what we are facing.
1 Corinthians 10:12 - Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.