Advent Devotional, Dec. 9: “Predator” by Quinn G. Caldwell
Are you prepared for a world without bacon? Because that’s what Isaiah’s vision of the peaceable kingdom promises us. Not just that enemies will get along, but that the entire natural order will change. God gives food to the hungry, says the Psalmist, and until now, for a whole bunch of the world’s living animals, the food God has given has been other living animals. But not forever, says Isaiah.
Someday, somehow, the lion will start eating straw. The wolves won’t hunt the lambs, and the bears will eat grass. Which is to say, the predators will stop being predatory. They won’t need predation anymore; maybe they won’t even have the urge. This sounds nice, I guess, but think about what it would mean, really, to go from Tennyson’s “nature, red in tooth and claw” to Isaiah’s nature, green in tongue and paw. It would require not just a change of attitude for the predators, or a change in desire. For most of them it would require a complete change in anatomy. God who gives food to the hungry will also have to give an extra stomach or two to the non-ungulates if they’re going to start eating grass. It’ll need to be a near-total makeover for the predators.
And you know who the world’s apex predator is, right? The one that nobody else can beat? It’s you, or at least your species. I know, you feel like a lamb most of the time, pushed around by the world. But the truth is, on an evolutionary scale, you outwolf the wolves by a mile. What’s God going to need to overhaul in you before you stop being a predator?
United Church of Christ Stillspeaking Devotional Published by Pilgrim Press. Shared with permission of the publisher.