Recently I was praying for America. My heart was heavy and grieved. As I prayed, I felt strength as the Lord reminded me of all the people crying out for God to heal our land. Then as the strength came over my spirit the Lord showed me a picture of a crocodile with his jaws roped shut. This sent me on a journey to find out all that the Lord was trying to tell me.
Crocodiles in the Bible symbolized the reign of the Pharaohs of Egypt which God would destroy (1).
Ezekiel 32:1-2 reads,
Ezekiel, son of man, condemn the king of Egypt and tell him:
You act like a lion roaming the earth;
But you are nothing more than
A crocodile in a river,
Churning up muddy water with your feet. (CSV)
Though Pharaoh prided himself as a lion among the nations, in actuality he was a crocodile—the monster in the sea—muddying the waters with his feet.
As I continued my search on the crocodile it only became more exciting to learn that during the Middle Ages the early Christians (in line with key Scripture), viewed the crocodile as a monster of chaos, and the devil. So much so they chained stuffed crocodiles on their church walls to represent the devil being chained. What a powerful picture of overcoming the enemy.
The closest translation for the Hebrew word Leviathan in Scripture is crocodile. A crocodile is known for getting its prey in its jaws, then bending, twisting, and wearing it down with its relentless thrashing back and forth. So, too, the enemy can twist our words, thoughts, and relationships in an attempt to swallow us whole through misunderstandings, lies and half-truths, causing division rather than unity; hate rather than love.
Crocodiles have also been viewed hypocritically as shedding “crocodile tears” while eating their victims. Though there is some evidence these tears are based on a physical response to the crocodile being on land and severe jaw movement, it is still a chilling picture of insincerity and deceit.
Isaiah 27:1 describes Leviathan as a serpent:
In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.(ESV)
Psalm 74:14 continues the theme: You crushed the heads of Leviathan (Egypt); You did give him as food for the creatures inhabiting the wilderness (AMPC).
I was reminded of The Prince of Egypt movie scene when Moses’ mother Jochebed placed her precious son in the ark of bulrushes sending him off in a desperate attempt to spare him from Pharaoh’s death sentence on all baby boys .Tearfully she sang the song “Deliver Us” as the movie shows the perilous journey of Moses escaping fishing nets, hippopotamus, and the dreaded crocodile only to land safely in the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter. Eventually Moses became all that God called him to be and delivered His people from years of bondage, escaping the traps of the enemy trying to steal his God-given identity. Lord, we pray too you would deliver us.
Hear our prayer, deliver us
From despair, these years of slavery
Grown too cruel to stand
There’s a land You promised us
Deliver us from the bondage
And deliver us to the Promised Land
(Prince of Egypt) 1998
Lord, everywhere we look we see a need for your deliverance. Your people cry out for justice, freedom and truth to prevail, for good that triumphs over evil in every situation we might face.
When I think of the depravity all around and our deep need for you to deliver us, our call to pray earnestly and to do so without ceasing becomes paramount these present times.
Matthew 6:9-13 comes to mind when Jesus’ disciples asked Him for this crucial weapon. “Lord teach us to pray.” They knew the importance of it, and right there He gave them The Lord’s Prayer. Woven in that authoritative intercession is the cry to “deliver us.”
Let’s look at His beautiful example of communing with God.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors,
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
(Matthew 6:9-13 ESV)
And as we pray faithfully let’s also “be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV).
And always remember to . . .
“Never Smile at a Crocodile”
No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile
Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin
He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin
Never smile at a crocodile
Never tip your hat and stop to talk awhile
Walk away, say good-night, not good-day
Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile.
(Frank Churchill and Jack Lawrence in the movie Peter Pan). 1953
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19 KJV).