Survival of the fittest



Survival of the fittest is fine, unless you are not fit, then it stinks. In fact, I'm beginning to think that survival of the fittest is not a very biblical phenomenon. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, God is on the side of the powerless. Psalm 35:10 says, "Lord, who can compare with you? Who else rescues the weak and the helpless from the strong? Who else protects the poor and the needy from those who want to rob them?" Jesus' first sermon emphasizing his solidarity with the poor and the weak was as a baby, when he cried out as one of them, born into the harshness of peasantry. Instead of the house of Caesar or Herod or even the household of the High Priest, all of which would have made perfect sense, he chose the obscurity of a poor family. The Bible is filled with references to God's predilection to act on behalf of those who are weak and his preference for the powerless, particularly when they are preyed upon by the strong. Ezekiel 34:16b states, "I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!"

Secondly, strength, wealth and power do not necessarily befall the righteous and the wise. Perhaps that is why God invented human authority structures, it was his fail safe to protect the helpless. The purpose of power is to protect and serve the weak, not to increase the realm of the already powerful. Proverbs 29:14 says, "If a king judges the poor with equity, his throne will be established forever." There are a number of places (particularly the prophets) where God commands those in power to "give justice to the weak and the orphan, maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute." (Ps. 82:3). God's intent in giving humans dominion over the earth, is to act as mediator to the survival of the fittest phenomenon, lest we have a world of predators - mostly lions and dandelions.

Woe to us if we do not look out for the weak - unborn children, those trapped in poverty, child soldiers in Uganda among other places, all people caught up in human trafficking. If we are complicit or silent in the face of such atrocities, we are caving into the unbiblical principle of survival of the fittest.

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