LIONS are known for their unique vocal ability to boom out a loud roar that can be heard for miles. The roar of the lion has been regarded as one of “the most impressive natural sounds.” Lions usually roar during the hours of darkness and at dawn. Both male and female lions engage in roaring, and sometimes a whole pride will lift up their voices together in a community roar.
Scientists who study lions suggest that roaring accomplishes several things. Male lions will roar to advertise their territorial boundaries and, as an expression of aggression, to warn other male lions who may enter their territory. Fittingly, the Bible referred to the aggressive, proud, and greedy Assyrian and Babylonian rulers as roaring “maned young lions” that violently opposed and devoured God’s people.—Isaiah 5:29; Jeremiah 50:17.
Roaring allows pride members to locate one another when separated by distance or darkness. After a kill, this vocalization alerts the other pride members to the location of the waiting meal. Referring to this characteristic, the Bible observes: “Will a young maned lion give forth its voice from its hiding place if it has caught nothing at all?”—Amos 3:4.
Surprisingly, when hunting wild animals, lions do not use roaring as a hunting strategy to scare their prey. In his book The Behavior Guide to African Mammals, Richard Estes observes that there is “no indication that lions deliberately roar to drive prey into an ambush (in my experience prey species normally ignore lion roars).”
Why, then, does the Bible refer to Satan as a ‘roaring lion that seeks to devour someone’? (1 Peter 5:8) Although wild animals do not seem to be intimidated by the lion’s roar, this is not the case with man and his domestic flocks. The terrifying sound of the lion’s roar, resonating in the darkness of the night, would frighten and intimidate anyone not protected behind a closed door. Long ago it was accurately observed: “There is a lion that has roared! Who will not be afraid?”—Amos 3:8.
Satan is skillful in the use of fear to intimidate people into submission. Thankfully, God’s people have a powerful ally. With strong faith in Jehovah’s backing, they can successfully resist this powerful “roaring lion.” Christians are encouraged to ‘take their stand against him, solid in the faith.’—1 Peter 5:9.