Hi, kids! I’m King, a big lion from the plains of Africa!
A lion like me is sometimes called “king of the jungle” because we’re symbols of strength. Lions are mentioned in the Bible at least 154 times! We’re ferocious carnivores now, but we didn’t always eat meat. In God’s original creation only 6,000 years ago, we were vegetarians and lived peacefully with animals we hunt today (Genesis 1:30). In the new earth we won’t have to eat meat anymore either (Isaiah 11:6).
Lions are part of the cat kind, along with other big cats like tigers, leopards, jaguars, and pumas. Most other big cats usually stay by themselves, but lions live in big groups called prides. We love the open plains, but we sleep in the shade when we can find it, usually napping around 18 hours a day. We lions need our beauty sleep!
Lions are strong, but Jesus is stronger than any lion. Jesus is called the Lion of Judah, because he fulfilled a prophecy saying a man from Judah would take away the sins of the world (Revelation 5:5). We’re called the kings of the jungle, but Jesus is King of everything! Isn’t it amazing to think about? Jesus is so strong, and he loves all of us.
One of the most famous accounts in the Old Testament is Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:1–23). Evil men convinced foolish King Nebuchadnezzar to sign a law saying no one could pray to God for 30 days, or else they would be thrown into the lion’s den to die. However, even in the face of this threat, Daniel kept praying. The king had to throw him in with the lions, but God sent an angel to close the lions’ mouths.
God saved Daniel from one of the most dangerous animals on earth, but he can save us from something much bigger—our own sin. When Jesus died for us, he died for our sins. If you trust in God, believe in Jesus, and repent of your sins, you will live forever with him (John 3:16).
Family: Felidae (Cat kind)
Genus and species: Panthera leo
Subspecies: African lion (Panthera leo leo) and Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica)
Weight: 550 lbs (250 kg)
Lifespan: 10 years