[Image courtesy NASA's Visible Earth]
The United Kingdom (or Great Britain) and Ireland are not so united; not like they could be. They have the potential to be so much more, especially if they knew who they were. To help them find out, let's zoom in on Ireland, and see what it's shaped like:
Ireland is the head of a lion!
Now let's take this lion's head, rotate it 90 degrees, and attach it to Great Britain:
Ireland and Great Britain combine to form a lion, rampant!
Here's another look using a map:
[Original map from the Perry Castenada Library,
Courtesy The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin]
I chose London as the heart of the British lion. In London we also find Greenwich. Greenwich is the home of the prime meridian, the point from which all longitude is calculated. An imaginary line passes through Greenwich, and continues around the world to form the international date line, and together they divide the earth into eastern and western hemispheres. Greenwich is also the standard for calculating time worldwide. That all of this happens inside the heart of the British lion is most interesting because the heart beat regulates the body, and keeps the body alive.
Let's investigate why God created these islands to look like a lion. The first lion that occurs in our heavenly Father's word is in Genesis chapter 49:
8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.
The lion is thus a symbol of Judah and his tribe, and it was our Father's promise that kings and queens would come out of Judah's loins until the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These kings and queens include King David, Solomon, Richard the Lionheart, King James of the King James Bible, and our current Queen Elizabeth II. They are all lions of the tribe of Judah.
Of course the Lion of all lions is our Lord Who is also the King of all kings, as it is written in Revelation 5:
1 And I saw in the right hand of Him That sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?" 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5 And one of the elders saith unto me, "Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."
Now let's take a look at Judah's (and his wife Tamar's) children, going back to Genesis 38:
27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. 28 And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, "This came out first." 29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, "How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee:" therefore his name was called Pharez. 30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah.
So we might say that the first lion (Judah) sired twin lions. It's very interesting that Zarah's hand was marked with a scarlet thread because "of the heraldic sign employed today in Ulster, northern Ireland, consisting of a Red Hand coupled at the wrist with a scarlet thread" (from E. Raymond Capt's book, "Jacob's Pillar"; available from Artisan Publishers).
It was through Pharez and his wife that the seed line of Jesus Christ continued. His lineage also passed through king David and his son Nathan (Luke 3:23-31). But it was David's son Solomon who really nailed home the connection between lions and royalty in 1st Kings chapter 10:
18 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold. 19 The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. 20 And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.
It appears that Solomon wanted his people to think of lions when they came to see him as king of Judah and all Israel.
Lions also support the Queen's throne, under which we find the Stone of Scone, Jacob's pillar (Genesis 28:18):
I also find it interesting that, of all the places on the Earth, most redheads (per capita) are found in Ireland and Scotland; as if they wear the lion's mane and testify that they are of the tribe of Judah, the tribe of kings and queens.
I believe these are at least a few of the reasons why Great Britain and Ireland are shaped like a lion. They are witnesses that God's word is true. Let's close this study with a scripture from the 2nd book of Kings, chapter 11 (from the King James version). Although it was written long ago, and involved the coronation of King Joash, it includes a tradition that may sound very familiar:
12 And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, "God save the king."