Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Psalm 91:13,KJV
The old King James text of Psalm 91 talks about the lion, the adder and the dragon and it says that you, as God's trusting child, can triumph over these adversaries. All of the difficulties and challenges that you will ever face in life are represented by one of these three images.
Now lions are bold. They meet you head on, unplanned and unexpected, like the phone call that you never wanted to get in the middle of the night. You open an envelope to learn that you are being sued by a competitor. Or a pink slip with a paycheck tells you that you are now unemployed. Like lions, certain difficulties confront you in life, making you cower or feel like running when they hit you. The reality, however, is that there is no escape from some of the difficulties which stand in our paths.
Adders are poisonous snakes, and of all the creatures that God created, snakes are among the most unlikable. No wonder Satan is personified as a serpent who confronted our first parents in the Garden of Eden. But snakes and lions are vastly different. Lions roar. Snakes hiss or slither quietly through the grass until their prey gets close enough to attack, and then the deadly fangs of the adder strike. There is no warning with snakes, no loud roars, no footprints on the trail of your life. The snake simply strikes and your heart is filled with terror.
Life’s unforseen wounds are like the stinging attack of the adder. A comment is made--totally unexpected and coming from a source you would never have thought capable of saying what you just heard. You have been struck, betrayed by one like Judas, who sells your friendship.
The third image in this triad of creatures which Psalm 91 talks about is the dragon. Now, have you ever seen a dragon, I mean, a real fire-breathing, flame-spouting dragon? No, not unless it was on Chinese New Year when the dragon was actually a bunch of men in a costume. Dragons are creatures of mythology, or beasts of your imagination. Living in our minds, the dragons of our lives are terrible creatures made up of of our fears, robbing us of our peace. They are the things that you fear may happen such as getting cancer, your money being exhausted before you are, the plane crashing or your child being kidnapped.
Dragons don’t exist, but that doesn't mean these fears are not real. Your dragonish fears cause your body to prepare to fight or flee bringing physiological and mental fatigue. And our bodies weren’t designed to be able to face our imagined dragons of life.
And what is the answer to overcoming these three formidable creatures? "Dwelling in the secret place of the most high," says Psalm 91. It's a relationship with God that is your assurance against the dragons, the serpents, or the lions of life. God is your place of refuge, a place of security to which you can run when you are challenged by the lion, stung by the serpent, or threatened by the dragon. David wrote, “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5) Notice the verse says, “in the day of trouble.” The God of the Bible knows we are going to need Him and He waits for us.
Here is God's promise to you: "'Because he loves me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.'" (Psalm 91:14-15).
Resource reading: Psalm 91:1:16