The Psalms, God and Mother Nature (A Satirical Criticism)
by Edward T. Babinski
The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from the Lord...[What if that "meat" is a Christian in a Roman arena? ? Skip]...Oh Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all...both small and great beasts... These all wait upon thee; that thou may give them their meat in due season.
- Psalm 104
How blind the psalmist was to nature's ways! He forgot to mention that "the Lord" either gives lions "their meat in due season;" Or has them be eaten by their own mother (because they are runts or deformed); Or has them be eaten by a rival male who has taken control of the pride; Or has them starve because their parents fail to bring enough food home or die trying; Or makes young lions the "meat" of some other predatory species that catches them off guard; Or (if they are male) has them grow up and be killed in combat by another male seeking territory or mates; Or makes them the "meat" for a parasite or disease organism. It's all the same to "the Lord."
In 1994 one thousand lions, one-third of the population of East Africa's Serengeti park, died from painful convulsions by a virus that attacked their blood cells, lungs and brain, i.e., the Canine Distemper Virus. The lions probably picked up the virus from hyenas who picked it up from domesticated dogs that lived just outside the park. (That same year, a tenth of the 500,000 western gray kangaroos in South Australia and the 2.8 million gray kangaroos in neighboring New South Wales, went blind due to a mystery virus.) Let us all praise "the Lord" for supplying those viruses their "meat" in due season.
- Skip Church
On Thy wonderful works I will meditate...The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works...Thou dost open Thy hand, and dost satisfy the desire of every living thing...[By giving them other living things to prey upon? But then how is the desire of every living thing satisfied? ? Skip]...He will also hear their cry and will SAVE them. [But if He "hears their cry and saves" them from being eaten by some living thing, then He is starving that other living thing. ? Skip] He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens which cry.
- Psalms 145:5,9,16,19 & 147:9
Speaking of how well "the Lord" "satisfies the desire of every living thing," let's take "the young ravens which cry" as a prime example. A recent study showed that one-third of adult birds and four-fifths of their offspring die of starvation every year (David Lack, "Of Birds and Men," New Scientist, Jan., 1996). Not surprising, since birds have to eat from one-quarter to one-half their body weight daily, so starvation is a common killer of birds.
Neither does "the Lord" "save" the baby birds that the baby cuckoo tosses out of the nest (the cuckoo's mother lays her eggs in the nests of other birds, and when it hatches, her baby tosses the other birds out of the nest) so that only the cuckoo chick remains in the nest and is fed by the other bird's parents.
Nor does "the Lord" "save" the baby birds that I saw on the "Hunting and Escaping" video (in the Trials of Life series) which were dragged from their nests by sea birds of a rival predatory species in order to feed the predator's own hungry chicks.
Nor does "the Lord" "save" baby birds tossed out of the nest by their own parents (because they aren't developing properly or swiftly enough).
How blind the psalmist was to nature's ways!
- Skip Church
Surely He will deliver you...You will not be afraid of...the arrow that flies by day; or of the pestilence [disease] that stalks in darkness; or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you...Because you have made the Lord your refuge... no evil will befall you...His angels...will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and cobra...you will trample them under foot...Because you have set your love upon Me, therefore I will deliver you...with long life I will satisfy you.
- Psalm 91
A modern day editor of Psalm 91 would probably add that "Atomic bomb radiation shall not burn you even though thousands melt at your right hand and your left into puddles of ooze." Which reminds me of how Rev. Pat Robertson in the late 1970s gave a rousing speech about how "machine gun bullets" would not be able to harm true believers who stood up for Jesus.
Of course, anyone taking a moment's thought must recognize that Psalm 91 portrays a fantasy version of earthly existence, i.e., of a man incapable of being hurt by arrows, an army of foes, diseases, poisonous snakes, lions, not even a chance of painfully stubbing his toe. But if mankind's earthly existence teaches us anything it is that "bad things happen to even the most righteous believers." Job, Jesus, and Pope John Paul can all testify to that, not to mention the Christian and Olympic runner who was portrayed in the film, Chariots of Fire, who died at a relatively young age of a brain tumor while working as a missionary in China with his parents.
Another psalmist (or perhaps the same one who wrote Psalm 91) sang that he had "never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread." (Psalm 37:25). If he had only opened his eyes.
- Skip Church