The messenger in 1 Peter 5:8 calls for vigilance and sobriety because our adversary is stalking us like a lion. Not the “cowardly lion” in The Wizard of Oz movie, but the King of the Jungle’s stealthy creeper that devours its prey. This villain is not a joking matter! You are the object of intense surveillance and observation, as the enemy awaits the slightest opportunity to pounce.
The King James Version of this biblical text says, He, the adversary, is seeking whoever he “may” devour. ‘May’, implies someone grants permission before the strike. Whose approval does the destroyer need in order to complete his act?
God gave license for the devil, the evil one, to try to loosen Job’s trust in Him. Satan’s ferocious attack demolished everything Job possessed, including his children. commintary shows that he had no power over Job without God’s permission.
Jesus informed Peter that the devil asked permission to sift him as wheat, but Jesus told Peter, “I have prayed for you.” In John 17 we are assured that Jesus has prayed for you and me as well.
To clarify, when God guarantees to deliver you from trouble, He doesn’t promise free sailing through life but does ensure the outcome. He vows to uphold, strengthen, and sustain you through any circumstance. For free choice to exist, God must allow the evil one the liberty to try and sway us.
Someone else, also, allows the devil to enter their lives. We — you and I — are the culprits that invite disaster. By opening doors that lead to destruction, we invite the lion into our lives. What we see, hear, say, our choice of friends and what we love, pulls us toward either devotion to God or ruin.
The only safe place is under the mighty wing of our Savior because living in Jesus’ presence causes every adversary to fail.
1 Peter 5:8 King James Version
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Proverbs 14:22 NIV
Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
Proverbs 24: 19 Good News Translation
Don’t be envious of evil people, and don’t try to make friends with them. 2 Causing trouble is all they ever think about; every time they open their mouth someone is going to be hurt.