Survival of the Fittest
by Mary Alice McGinnis
When I was a little girl, my brother did a science project where he had to hatch some chicken eggs in an incubator. He had to document each egg and their progress through the hatching process. Of the hatchlings that survived, my little five-year-old eyes observed a disturbing phenomenon.
The older and stronger chicks attacked the tiniest, weakest and most vulnerable one, mercilessly nearly pecking it to death.
My brother intervened and rescued this littlest chick, separating it from the rest of the brood, giving it special care and nursing it back to health.
It caused my little five-year-old mind to wonder WHY the other chicks did this mean thing? Why did the strong ones attack the weak one?
This type of behavior is common among baby animals born in the wild. Scientists have dubbed this phenomenon as “survival of the fittest,” meaning that this is nature's way of only allowing the strongest to survive, therefore, producing a stronger species.
This “survival of the fittest” mentality translates itself into human society too. Often, we see young children, are bullied in schools. In our adult life, we see those in positions of power and leadership, those who use their authority to oppress others and promote their own agenda.
It can cause us to wonder, why do the strong and powerful often oppress the weak? Is there no one to call them to account?
Here in Psalm 82, the writer reminds us that those who are in authority (the small letter g gods) were given their positions by the Almighty God Himself. Yet God Himself oversees it all.
Those who are given this divine appointment are to use their strength, power, influence, and authority for GOOD. When they do not, He will hold them to account.
Where has God appointed you as a leader and influencer? In your home, in your community, in your workplace? In your day-to-day dealings with those around you? How are you using this powerful gift to do these things?
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
This is God’s heart. He wants “all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)
He reminds us we ALL are children of the Most High God. We dare not categorize other people and think of them as less than human. Isn’t it easy to do? In our pride, we often dismiss other people’s hardships by saying or thinking, “Well, they must have brought it on themselves.”
Have there been moments in your life where you felt like that weak little baby chick? When have you felt vulnerable and in desperate need? Where have you been treated as a cast off or as dispensable? When or where have you felt poor, needy or oppressed?
1 Peter 2:23 says this of Jesus, the very Son of God: “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.”
Even in His most vulnerable moment, Jesus did not need to defend Himself. He clung tightly to who He was. He knew He rested in the Sovereign hand of His infinite Father whose plans and will is always GOOD.
Hear this! Because of Jesus standing in our place, taking our sinfulness and powerlessness on Himself, in exchange, God the Father calls us His own inheritance. The wickedness and injustices of this world can NEVER pluck you or me out of the Sovereignty of God’s Almighty hand.
A Private Litany of Humility
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours. O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, strengthen me with your Spirit. O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, teach me your ways.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, help me put my self-importance aside to learn the kind of cooperation with others that makes possible the presence of your Abba’s household. Amen.
Adapted from a prayer by Rafael, Cardinal Merry Del Val, 1865–1930