A fascinating online science article reports that researchers have determined that the Greenland Shark is the slowest shark in the world, cruising at speeds less than 1 mile an hour.
After tagging the GS for electronic data collection, the scientists also learned that it lives in near freezing water (36 degrees) farther north than any other shark species.
Because researchers have found remains of seals in the sharks’ stomachs, they’ve wondered how a fast swimming seal could be caught by a predator that takes seven seconds for a full sweep of its tail—to propel it forward.
One theory has been that the shark is a scavenger that eats the remains of dead animals lying on the ocean floor. But other recent findings indicate that the sharks are taking live animals.
According to the article, two theories are being discussed. One is that the slow moving sharks sneak up on seals that sleep under water in frigid regions to avoid polar bears. Another theory is that they use a powerful sucking action to pull in an unsuspecting seal that gets too close to the shark’s mouth.
In an attempt to find answers, the scientists are planning to attach a video camera to one of the GS in hopes of capturing “the slowest chase on record”.
The article might bring to mind a spiritual parallel. As we wonder how a slow moving Greenland shark can catch and devour a fast moving seal, a more important question is how can a defeated enemy like the devil catch and devour anyone who is in Christ?
Could one possibility be that, Satan really does try to catch us asleep? The Apostle Peter seems to imply that Satan feeds on us when we are spiritually asleep or distracted from the God who cares for us (1Peter 5:7-8).
I don’t think I’m just imagining that Peter views the devil in much the same way as the Apostle James does (James 4:7).
Peter describes our enemy as being like a roaring lion who is walking about trying to scare up some lunch. James talks about the same devil as someone who will run from us if we resist him by drawing near to God (James 4:8).
In the process both Apostles make it clear that our real wake up call is not that we need to resist the devil, but rather than God resists the proud, while giving grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1Peter 5:5). Both warn about our spiritual enemy in light of the greater problem of thinking that our well being lies in the use of our own strength. Both seem to suggest that Satan feeds on children of God who are already proudly engaged in eating and devouring one another.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time considering together Satan’s attempt to break Job. It may have bothered us that God let his enemy bring such heartbreaking loss into Job’s life. As Job himself found out, getting to the place where he could humble himself finally in the presence of the Creator’s wisdom was a difficult and painful process (Job 42:1-6). But is it possible that the devil was smiling as he saw Job and his friends engage in their bitter dispute?
Or, by trying to find a relationship between a shark, lion, and the devil, am I overcooking our food? :-)…